"A good 50% of our calls everyday were because a customer was out camping, tripped a breaker, and then couldn't find it to reset it"
We are all aware of the downturn in the economy a few years ago and the impact it had on the RV industry. Unfortunately many manufacturers had to either close their doors completely, or reduce their workforce to a mere skeleton crew. For the RV owner, this meant that the typically long wait to get through to customer service got even longer, or non- existent.
As a former customer service rep for a major RV manufacturer in Northern Indiana, I thought that an article based on my experience and the calls I received might be just the ticket to help alleviate some of the call volume to the manufacturers as well as some of the stress those calls might cause the consumer.
There are a number of calls received daily that never have to be made if the customer is educated correctly at his dealership when purchasing a unit. This information is directed towards helping the customer learn exactly which questions to ask when buying an RV in order to prevent problems down the road.
First of all, you are entitled to a complete walk-through of your new unit. This entails an in-depth description of how to use all of your appliances, how to turn on your water heater, and where all of your important components are located.
A good 50% of our calls everyday were because a customer was out camping, tripped a breaker, and then couldn't find it to reset it. Make sure you know where everything is before taking that first trip, your experience will be much more enjoyable. An added thought: know what every switch in your unit operates. If you have heated holding tanks, know how they operate. You will be charged for that walk-through- there is no reason to drive off of the dealer's lot without knowing where everything is.
Secondly, and I cannot stress this enough, read your warranty. Know what you are responsible for as far as maintenance on your coach and what the manufacturer will cover. It's hard to believe, but many people who called were not aware that there was any maintenance that needed to be performed on their unit, AND they admitted they never read the warranty. Unfortunately, a lot of these calls took place after thousands of dollars of damage was done due to a roof leak. Now the customer is extremely upset at having to pay this expense out of pocket. It is much easier and less expensive to make sure that everything that you are responsible for is checked and maintained routinely.
Another really important point, and one that garnered several calls a day, is "who takes care of what on your RV"? If you have purchased a motorhome, it has a chassis made by Chevy, Ford, International, etc. If you have problems with the chassis portion of the motorhome, it will need to go to a chassis dealer who is capable of servicing such a unit.
Most RV dealerships do not employ auto mechanics, and the manufacturer doesn't either. They will not be able to answer many questions regarding the engine or drive train or other things related to the chassis. Along with that goes the appliances. Many times it is easier to call the manufacturer of the appliances instead of the RV manufacturer. You should get a manual to go with each appliance in your RV all of them that have a customer service number for you to call. It can be a much quicker call and solution when handled in that manner, and some of them will even send a repair technician directly to your house so that you don't even need to move your coach to a service center.
The things I have mentioned account for approximately 75% of the daily call volume to the RV manufacturer. It is my fondest hope that this article will be a great help in educating the customer and helping him/her to know which questions to ask when purchasing, and how to handle the unit after the purchase so that the RV experience becomes much less stressful, especially for the first-timer. Making sure you drive off the lot knowing where everything is and how to use it will make the RV consumer a much happier camper.
Diane Williams was born in Indiana and has lived there for most of her life. As a younger person she worked in a factory building RV's, but then moved on to other industries where she gained years of experience in customer service. That is how she finally landed the job at the RV manufacturer she worked for, although she then got a hard education because RV customer service is a world apart from any other type of customer service.
She really enjoyed helping people and now because of that job she has friends all over the world. She is currently laid off from the RV industry due to the economy and searching for employment. She has 2 teenage sons who are very active and keep her young at heart. She loves horses, horse racing, the mountains, and reading.
If you are looking for even more great information on what you need to know about buying an RV you can visit Diane's Buying An RV Blog.
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