Reflecting a groundswell of interest that has been building up for imp Learn more here roved customer satisfaction recently, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) board of directors voted to significantly upgrade the future role of the Go RVing Coalition’s Committee on Excellence.
The vote, conducted at the RVIA Annual Meeting, Sept. 22-25 at the Kingsmill Resort & Spa in Williamsburg, Va., could have a long-term impact on this industry, although many details of the plan have yet to be fleshed out.
The motion approved by RVIA’s board simply sets the industry on course “(to) assess what the RV industry can do to improve customer service.”
RVIA’s efforts to better focus the Committee on Excellence’s attention on fixing customer satisfaction concerns was spurred by a bi-annual survey by Roper NOP released earlier this year that indicated significant numbers of owners of new RVs weren’t happy enough with their overall experience.
The 2005 survey results, showing that only 76% of motorhome and 82% of towable owners were either completely or very satisfied with their overall RV experience, were all too similar to those from 2001 and 2003 for some industry decision makers.
“None of us is thrilled with the results,” said Richard A. Coon, the RVIA president-designate named to succeed outgoing President David Humphreys, for whom a gala farewell dinner was held in Williamsburg. “We’ve done this (conduct consumer satisfaction surveys) for eight years now and customer satisfaction has flat-lined and in some areas it’s come down. That’s a bit discouraging.”
To map strategy for the new consumer satisfaction initiative, a meeting among representatives of RVIA, RVDA, the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) and the Recreation Vehicle Aftermarket Association (RVAA) is planned for Oct. 21. Another session with other industry “stakeholders” was being scheduled for Nov. 10 in Ontario, Calif., Coon said.
Although the Committee on Excellence’s primary role to date has been to coordinate the bi-annual surveys that began in 1999, Coon said the path that the committee will take to beef up customer care and the details on how its activities will be financed had not been determined.
“We don’t know,” said Coon, adding that he hopes that the restructured Committee on Excellence will be patterned after the Go RVing Coalition, which has broad participation from all segments of the RV industry.
In other actions, the RVIA board:
• Approved a budget of $12.9 million for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, which will result in a $1 million surplus at the end of the year.
• Formed an ad hoc committee to study FEMA unit issues and report back to the board by March 1 for any action the board may deem necessary to take.
• Agreed to make available to final stage manufacturers and component part suppliers a voluntary mediation/arbitration agreement to settle disputes.
• Extended the lease with the Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center four years through 2010 for the National RV Trade Show.
• Designated the Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, D.C., as the site of RVIA Committee Week, June 11-14 of 2007, the same venue at which the meeting will be held in 2006.