A recommendation to form a coalition similar to the one that oversees the Go RVing campaign to focus on service-related issues is expected to emerge from a Nov. 10 meeting of the Go RVing Coalition’s Committee on Excellence in Ontario, Calif.
“We want to get together to see how the role of the Committee on Excellence will be changing,” said Richard A. Coon, president-elect of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). “It will be a coalition that should stand on its own.”
A preliminary meeting Oct. 21 between Committee on Excellence Chairman Jim Sheldon and representatives of RVIA, the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) and the RV Aftermarket Association (RVAA) set the stage for the Nov. 10 conference.
“Anyone is welcome to come, but we are sending out invitations to other people we’d like to be there – state association leaders, key suppliers, campground people,” Coon said.
The new coalition is expected to have co-chairmen much like the Go RVing Coalition, which is headed by Clarksville, Ind.-RV dealer Tom Stinnett and Donald J. Walter, president of manufacturer Starcraft RV Inc., Topeka, Ind.
“We are talking about co-chairmen,” Coon said. “We are looking for a dealer-type person to co-chair the coalition with Jim (Sheldon).”
The need for top-level industry leaders to become more actively involved in finding solutions for customer service issues stems from a survey that found that about one out of five owners of new RVers was displeased in some fashion with his or her RV experience.
Just as disturbing to some industry observers was the fact that the results were about the same as they were in 1999 when the bi-annual survey was first taken. That occurred despite industrywide efforts to focus attention on the need to increase customer satisfaction at all levels.
Discussions at the Nov. 10 meeting are likely to cover the committee’s name in addition to identifying subjects for four or five subcommittees and discussing methods to finance the new activities.
“The consensus among industry leaders is if we want to increase customer satisfaction we must move from being a fact gatherer and taking a more proactive stance on these issues,” said Phil Ingrassia, RVDA vice president for communications.