By Chuck Woodbury
The new chairman of the RV Dealers Association, Tim Wegge, addressed the problem of long waits for RV repairs in a column in the January issue of RV Executive Today. The average time a customer must wait for a repair when parts are not in stock might shock you. Many RVers will not be surprised. Here are some highlights from his article.
RV industry leaders across the supply and repair chain are focusing their attention on a chronic issue – repair event cycle time (RECT). RVDA and RVIA leaders are part of an industry group that’s working on a joint project. The group is measuring key steps in the repair process — such as vehicle in, repair start, repair complete, and vehicle out.
The group has already gathered and analyzed repair-order information through dealers’ DMS software programs. The preliminary results reveal — to no one’s great surprise — that one of the biggest impacts on RECT is parts availability and the long waits dealers experience to receive parts.
When items are available and in stock, the average repair time is about four days. When parts are not available, the average repair time jumps to 21 days. That’s an eye opener. I think we all know that 21 days is not what our customers expect when they drop their RVs off for servicing, especially during peak camping seasons when most people plan their vacations. What’s more, that 21-day average is concerning because it’s just seven days short of triggering lemon laws in many states.
A Go RVing study several years ago found that the service advisor’s performance had the single biggest effect on a customer’s satisfaction with the dealership. If we give all our fixed-operations employees the support they need, maybe we can keep more of our customers RVing, increase positive word-of-mouth referral business, and take the industry to sales levels that seemed unimaginable a few short years ago.
Read Wegge’s column in the January issue of RV Executive Today. Download the January issue.