Phil Ingrassia

Editor’s Note: The following is a column from Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association President Phil Ingrassia, appearing in the May issue of RV Executive Today, stressing the importance for retailers to participate in the Dealer Satisfaction Index Survey (DSI). Input from the survey has provided a long-standing gauge of manufacturers’ performance while offering a working guide to improving OEM-dealer relationships.

The annual RVDA Dealer Satisfaction Index (DSI) survey is under way right now, and it’s a great time to review a basic question – what exactly is the DSI?

The DSI is not a scientific study. Its purpose is to measure dealers’ attitudes about their manufacturers’ performance in eight key areas developed by dealer leaders serving on RVDA’s Industry Relations Committee. Those areas include:

• Sales support

• Sales territory

• Vehicle design

• Vehicle reliability/quality

• Competitive price/value

• Parts support

• Dealership warranty support

• Overall dealer communications


Several manufacturers have told RVDA they use DSI results to adjust policies and procedures that affect dealers, so it’s extremely important for all dealers to fill out the survey. When more dealers fill it out, more brands can get ratings . . . and it has more impact.

To prepare for this year’s survey, RVDA staff worked with brand committee dealer leaders and the many towables manufacturers to update their lists of brands that will be rated in this year’s DSI in order to best reflect what’s happening in the marketplace.

RVDA will release the DSI results to Partners in Progress/Brand Committee chairmen in time for the meetings at the 2012 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, Oct. 1-5, at the Rio in Las Vegas. While the DSI will be available at those meetings, the Industry Relations Committee has decided it won’t be the focus unless the participating dealers want it to be.

Recent DSI results have shown an overall improvement in manufacturer ratings, which should be encouraging for everyone in the industry and, of course, our customers. When dealers and manufacturers are working together, RVers have a better buying and service experience.

So please make sure to fill out your DSI survey, preferably online to help RVDA process results faster. Or, you can print the form and fax or mail it to RVDA. Be sure to rate all brands and manufacturers whose new products you carry.