How John Deere and SMAG are Cultivating Trust in the Mauritius Experience
In August 2023, the John Deere Golf & Turf team embarked on an exciting journey to the picturesque island of Mauritius. This long-anticipated trip brought together golf enthusiasts, industry experts, and John Deere representatives to explore the golf courses of this stunning tropical paradise. The event was made possible through a collaborative effort with SMAG, the trusted John Deere Dealer in Mauritius.
The backdrop of this adventure was shaped by the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Travel restrictions and the post-pandemic recovery period had postponed this gathering for far too long. Nevertheless, with invaluable assistance from the local dealer, SMAG, a full week itinerary was put together, allowing the team to reconnect with golf club managers, greenkeepers, and technicians across the island.
Ting Ting Lim, John Deere Region 1 Manager for Golf & Turf, represented the team from the John Deere Singapore office and was accompanied by Christa Burger, the Territory Customer Support Manager from the John Deere South African branch. They were also accompanied by several representatives from SMAG.
The primary objective of this visit was to engage with as many customers as possible; gaining insight into their evolving needs, especially considering future purchase plan, namely; Heritage La Reserve, Ile Aux Cerfs, Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mont Choisy, Paradis, Avalon, Tamarina, and Anahita.
Our expedition was structured around two essential components;
1. Technical Training for Golf Course Technicians: A basic, but comprehensive training program was designed to equip technicians with the knowledge and skills necessary to operate John Deere machinery effectively on the various courses. This training encompassed classroom sessions and practical demonstrations focused on machine safety. Yann Koenig from SMAG spearheaded this training initiative, with valuable support from John Deere representative, Christa Burger. The interactive nature of the training received enthusiastic feedback from the technicians, underscoring its success.
2. Face-to-Face Engagements with Golf Club Managers and Gold Club Greenkeepers: These in-person visits with golf club managers and greenkeepers marked a significant milestone, being among the first to occur post-COVID-19. The warm reception by all parties emphasised the importance of these interactions. SMAG has gained tremendous Golf & Turf market share over the last couple of years, particularly by converting Heritage La Reserve and Ile Aux Cerfs to almost an entire full John Deere Green Fleet. These customer visits were led by Robert Koenig, the Director of SMAG, accompanied by Christopher Marot, Head of Sales for SMAG, and Ting Ting Lim. The occasion also provided the opportunity to meet with Ryan Dodds, the Commercial Consultant Manager for the Sunshine Tour.
The week in Mauritius passed by swiftly, but its impact was enduring, once again demonstrating the significance of face-to-face interactions in building and fortifying trust-based relationships between John Deere, its dealers, and valued customers.
Stay tuned for our next R1 Golf & Turf visit, as we continue to strengthen our golfing community's connections.