What’s More Important, Customer Service or Product? After you drive away in your new coach, what are you thinking about?
My first coach was purchased privately and with the exception that I did not have a clue about anything after the purchase, everything went perfectly.
After a total of 4600 miles and a couple of months on the road, we were having service done at a very friendly dealer in Kentucky and ended up buying a coach that we felt would meet our needs. With the help of the internet, we worked every last dime and a new set of tires out of the owner of the dealership. They did everything they could do to help us and we did everything we could do to pay as little as possible.
Upon driving away in our beautiful coach that we purchased, I did not feel too good about my relationship with the dealer. After all, their business is customer service. My business was travelling with the Band for the Greatest Show on Earth. I never thought about a business relationship. After we started having a few minor issues, I would call the dealership and not get any help until I got on their case about it. a couple of weeks later, we were travelling through and stopped by to say hello.
It was at that time that I realized that I was ……THE CUSTOMER FROM HELL……..I never thought about the dealers’ side of the equation. We got the coach that we wanted for less than we should have. When we went back, it was obvious; the dealer did not want to see us again….
Our third transaction was similar to the second. I treated the salesperson with little respect and was treated professionally by he and his managers and delivery team. My coach had problems which I had taken care of on the road since the coach was delivered to us. The dealer reimbursed us with a check in the overnight mail for our costs. I was very impressed since I got a new satellite system and about $2,000 of other service out of them on top of buying a 2 year old Monaco Executive below NADA Wholesale. After six months and 17,000 miles, we called in to say that we were coming back to Florida for a few weeks and wanted them to finish the work that they said they would finish six months earlier. We dropped the coach off and went to perform in Puerto Rico for 3 weeks. I told them we would be back in 2 weeks. We came in to pick up the coach and were totally blown away with the fact that our coach was completely detailed and fixed well beyond our expectations. The kicker came when our Aqua-Hot Heat exchanger in the bedroom stopped working. Jimmy Asaad, our service advisor sent us up for lunch and said he would have it ready by 2 PM. After lunch he called us and told us that it was ready, I forgot to tell him I wanted it covered by our extended warranty. When he learned he could not get them to cover it, he said “Don’t worry Mr. Bruno it’s on us. It was that moment where I decided that I wanted to be part of that company. When I was in the investment business, I never made any of my clients feel as good as Lazy Days made me feel after all I put them through. After working there for over a year, I knew firsthand what It takes to be able to deliver between 7,000 and 8,000 RV’s in one year. Dealers who do not stick by their customers cannot exist in such a competitive market. From my research, I discovered that more than 50% of the new diesel motorhome sales come from 5 dealerships. The other 4,000 dealers of that time fought over the other 50%.
Today, I send customers to those 5 dealerships because I know they will be treated right.
Does it matter to you that you treat your dealer in an ethical way as in any business relationship or are you just trying to save an extra couple of thousand dollars?