Allow us to introduce you to Richard Baker, just one of Princess Motor Yacht Sales’ Aftersales Advisors. We asked Richard to talk in more detail about the ins and outs of our Aftercare Services and how we support our ever growing customer base to maintain and enjoy their beautiful yachts.
How long have you worked for PMYS?
Two years now, I joined the company in November 2015.
What did you do before PMYS?
I started in the motor trade as a mechanic aged 16, before rising to the ranks of Master Technician and moving across to Service Advisor and ultimately Workshop Control Management.
How does working in the marine industry differ from the motor trade?
The principle is very similar, booking work and dealing with issues through proper processes. However it’s a far more personal role. In this environment we get to know the customers much better and enjoy a closer relationship with them.
How many boats do you look after?
It varies. Boats are sold with the Concierge Service included and we pick up other customers through website, advertising or word of mouth. But typically I’ll be dealing with thirty to fifty boats.
Which areas do you cover?
The area I cover loosely spans from Weymouth to Brighton and as far north as the River Thames. We have a couple of boats we look after at Bray and Penton Hook Marina for example. But I also help out our overseas colleagues occasionally, such as Mallorca.
How many engineers do you have at your disposal?
On site here we have twelve engineers, some of whom specialise in certain areas like carpentry or electronics. That number is growing as we expand our scope of operations.
How do you prioritise jobs?
We have a computerised loading system similar to the motor trade into which all jobs are entered in order to be correctly managed. But we’ll give a higher priority to a breakdown for example, or a major fault. Ultimately we want to keep everyone operational and able to enjoy their boat.
What does a typical day look like?
We’ll start with a team meeting to make sure everyone is aware of the agenda. Then I’ll focus on the engineers’ jobs for the day, making sure everyone knows what they are doing and has the parts and tools required. After that I’ll be following up on quotations and touching base with customers either regarding ongoing jobs or scheduling maintenance.
What is the most unusual request you have received?
Perhaps one of the most challenging was a replacement windscreen for a boat in Uganda. Not only did I have to arrange the parts and logistics for the trip (we sent two engineers out with the new windscreen), but we had to arrange security whilst they were there. We had the job done in five days.
What are you dealing with right now?
I’m currently involved with quite a bit of retro work. We’ve just supplied one of the new Williams MiniJets to a customer which also involves fitting dinghy chocks, tie down points and sometimes we’ll even fit a transom deck wash which makes it easier to wash down the tender after use. Other retro work I’ve recently been involved with includes fitting a saloon TV, wifi system, wine coolers, dish washers – there’s not much we can’t do.
What is your favourite Princess yacht?
It used to be the Princess 52, I particularly like the aft galley arrangement which puts the bar or catering in the centre of the action, whether it is in the cockpit or the saloon. However the new Princess S60 has this feature, plus the aft sunbed and tender garage and a forward seating area, and it looks fantastic – so sleek!
What three things should every Princess owner have on board?
A nice bottle of something bubbly obviously! Safety kit is essential – especially a life raft! And the phone number of his or her Concierge – we actually give out an A5 card to each customer with our picture and contact details on so that they know who we are and can always get hold of us.
What do you enjoy doing when not working?
Ironically, after spending all day organising work, I’m really enjoying some DIY at home at the moment. I find working with Princess yachts quite inspirational and often borrow ideas like the position of down-lighters in the galley. I also enjoy air-rifle shooting with my son and family time in general.
To find out more about our Aftercare services, click here. If you would like to get in contact with the team at Southampton, please call us on +44 (0)2381 103170 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org