Camping World Customer Service (or a lack thereof)
As I mentioned in Tuesday’s blog post, on this past weekend’s trip the switch that operates our Lippert electric front stabilizer jack broke, so finding a replacement was near the top of this week’s “to do” list. Along the way, I wanted to share my latest experience with the nation’s largest RV retailer.
If the price is reasonably close, I’d rather buy from a local brick-and-mortar retailer than shop online, as it supports the local economy and local jobs. As Camping World‘s Draper, Utah location is close by my office, I called their store from my office land line to see if they had the switch in stock. After being transferred to the parts department, the phone connection was virtually unusable on my end, so I advised the parts clerk that I would hang up and dial right back. He readily agreed.
So I dialed back immediately. After the receptionist transferred me back to the parts department the phone rang a good 40 or 50 times before I my phone call was simply terminated. So I dialed back, and again the phone rang another 40 to 50 times before the call was unceremoniously terminated once again.
Smarter people would have simply chosen another retailer at that point, but I’m stubborn and not that smart, so I called a fourth time. This time, after several rings the parts clerk answered, and yes — it was the same clerk that I earlier told that I would call right back. After providing him the part number printed on the switch he was unable to locate it, and instead recommended that I bring the switch into the store.
I hadn’t yet removed the old broken switch, but I had taken several good cell phone photographs of both the front and the back. By that point, however, I was so frustrated with Camping World that I vowed to take my business elsewhere, especially as this wasn’t the first time I’ve experienced this phone behavior at their Draper location. So instead I called the parts department at Motor Sportsland, a local Salt Lake City independent RV dealership. There, Sarah promptly answered my call and bent over backwards to help me over the phone. She researched her inventory extensively, and even went online to Google the part to locate it online while I was on the phone. Based on what she found online, Sarah indicated that they had a similar switch but not an exact match, and after the trouble she went to I didn’t even hesitate to drive over to their location — even though it was twice the distance of Camping World — to see what they had in stock.
America’s economy is increasingly service based, and going forward delivering memorable customer service is increasingly important. The success or failure of any customer-facing business will rely upon excellent customer service…and the RV industry is no exception. In fact, it’s Exhibit A. One doesn’t need to search the Internet for long to find countless online tales of woe about not only retailers including Camping World, but also RV manufacturers, warranty service, dealer repairs and more. Those RV companies that find a way to deliver excellent customer service (as companies like Champion Power Equipment and Progressive Industries already have) will quickly distinguish themselves from their competitors, and those that don’t will quickly be relegated to the dustbin of history.
Even though the switch at Motor Sportsland didn’t fulfill my needs, their service did. Motor Sportsland has now gained another customer, and Camping World has lost one.
So, what’s your customer service success story or failure in the RV world? Tell your own tale in the comments section below!