Everyone in the industry knows that an RV dealership’s fortunes are closely linked with the manufacturers whose products it sells.
But the latest research from survey firm RoperASW suggests the linkage between RV builders and dealers in the minds of consumers is even stronger than many believed, according to Claire Skinner, chairwoman, president and CEO of Coachmen Industries Inc. and chairwoman of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) Board of Directors.
“The RoperASW research did shed a new light on the issue (of brand loyalty) by pointing out that customers don’t necessarily distinguish between a manufacturer and a dealer when assigning brand loyalty,” Skinner said in a recent interview, the full contents of which will appear in the September edition of RV Business.
“It appears as though their total RV experience drives the brand loyalty, regardless of whether it’s actually the dealer’s or the manufacturer’s (actions) that actually are impacting that experience,” Skinner said.
“It points out, I think, the need within the industry for manufacturers and dealers to approach the customers hand-in-hand, because the customers view the manufacturer and the selling dealer as one,” said Skinner, who is halfway through a two-year term as chairwoman of the RVIA board.
The latest RoperASW consumer satisfaction survey was commissioned by the Go RVing Coalition’s Committee on Excellence. The coalition includes members of the RVIA, which represents RV builders and their suppliers, and representatives of the dealer body and the campground operator community.
The latest RoperASW survey was conducted in February. Responses from 8,300 owners of model year 2002 motorhomes and towable RVs purchased prior to July 31, 2002 were included.
The next survey is scheduled for early 2005.