Customer Always Comes First
Connecticut Trailers & Powersports Stands by Its Products
Connecticut Trailers & Powersports stands by the products it sells, so much so that the company doubles the manufacturer’s warranty on all new trailers sold.
Founder and President Gary Bergeron says that the practice stems from how much his company values the trust that customers are placing in Connecticut Trailers & Powersports’ products and services.
“We try to have a transparent attitude and policy through everything,” he says. “And we do very good research on the products we sell and will only agree to do business with manufacturers that give us a quality product with a good warranty. So to show our faith in those products, we’ll double their warranties.”
In the 21 years that Bergeron has been selling trailers, he says that he’s seen some manufacturers “that are less than honorable in standing by their products.” The problem especially worsened, he notes, after the 2007 recession, when a lot of companies went out of business.
As the economy picked back up, “that opened the door for a lot of new companies to start up, and many opened without enough background, quality or capital,” Bergeron says. “As such, there were a lot of inferior products built, and that created a lot of problems in the marketplace. That’s why we believe it’s important to have a good manufacturer behind you.”
Erika Peace-Cooper, Sales and Operations Manager for Connecticut Trailers & Powersports for 12 years, agrees that the company’s policy “goes hand in hand with the fact that we don’t carry anything that’s inferior.”
Connecticut Trailers & Powersports sells light- to medium-duty cargo trailers that range from general purpose homeowner trailers to a commercial 48-foot gooseneck trailer. The company also sells construction, equipment, landscape and dump trailers. In 2017, it expanded its dealership inventory to include ATVs, UTVs and golf cars. Based in Bolton, Connecticut, the company has 24 employees and brought in just over $5 million in revenue in 2017.
Part of the company’s success is rooted in Bergeron’s decision in 2009 to focus on government and municipal sales.
Connecticut Trailers & Powersports now has a dedicated department for government and municipal sales, with contracts with the federal government and the state of Connecticut. That department makes up about one-third of the company’s business, with customers including the U.S. Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and the Bureau of Land Management. Connecticut Trailers & Powersports will ship equipment all over the country.
Treating Employees with Respect
Bergeron treats his employees as one of his company’s greatest assets and believes in giving them “a lot of latitude to perform their duties” while maintaining an open-door policy. The company’s close-knit culture reaps its own rewards; some employees have been in management positions for six to 20 years.
“I treat all employees as family, and go around and say good morning to everyone,” Bergeron says. “Sometimes people look at me kind of funny because they’re not used to it.”
Bergeron doesn’t believe in micromanaging.
“Each and every person in my company has the complete authority to give final decisions to a customer on just about anything,” he says. “I want them to take ownership of what they’re doing. They know what I want and how I want to run the business, so as long as they’re operating within those parameters, I don’t have a problem giving them the authority to make decisions.”
VIP Customer Service
In return, Bergeron expects his employees to have a can-do attitude and always be willing to help customers as needed.
“You won’t hear ‘not my job’ around here,” he says. “If a customer asks for help, we expect our employees to help in any way we can, even if it’s people who have made purchases elsewhere and have a problem with them. I try to have the policy that people always come before money.”
Peace-Cooper agrees. For example, she says, the company follows a “never say no” policy.
“If people come in here with registration issues, we try to help them get their registration processed,” she says. “Even if they are not a customer of ours. We all operate in that we do more than is expected of us.”
That means if a customer’s horses struggle with a ramp gate, Connecticut Trailer can figure out how to change the back of a trailer from ramp gate to barn doors.
“That can be difficult to switch over,” Peace-Cooper says. “But we’ll find a way to do it even if it means getting a welder here. We’ll find someone to do that for them rather than say no just because it can’t be ordered from the manufacturer that way.”
The company operates by giving all customers VIP treatment, she says.
“A lot of trailer dealers might sell out of the back of a garage or out of a dirty shop,” she says. “But we have a beautiful showroom that runs very efficiently, and we offer free yearly inspections. We just offer preferential front-of-line service.”
Strong Community Support
Connecticut Trailers & Powersports believes in giving back to its community. It has created a scholarship fund for a local high school, to be awarded to a student who has decided to pursue a career in automotive technology. Every fall, the company joins the state police in collecting toys for disadvantaged children. The company also contributes to the Muscular Dystrophy Association annual drive in Connecticut.
Connecticut Trailers & Powersports also partners with the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce to help collect jackets and mittens for the needy and donates to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.
“Connecticut Trailers & Powersports has always been deeply involved in our community,” Bergeron says. “We are longtime residents of the area where we conduct business and have always felt the most important aspect of owning a business is in the giving back to the very community that supports it.”