…in engaging with the manufacturer of my new home about issues with the trailer both large and small, I’ve come away with some opinions about the RV industry at large and its future. I thought I’d share some thoughts as I’ve written them to a major player in that industry. These emails were written to the parent company in an attempt to get the genuine attention of the customer service team who have been near impossible to deal with. (Actually, it appears it’s the team lead who’s fully responsible for all of the frustration.)
Again, I don’t want to name names until this chapter has played out and I can write about these events with complete clarity. In the meantime… (Those of you who know me will understand my glee and the irony in my use below of the word CENSORED.)
Thanks for whatever you did to get CENSORED to engage with my issues. It appears that the problem is not with CENSORED, but with her supervisor CERNSORED who took my situation out of her hands into what are clearly his glaringly incapable ones.
I’ve attached a single email thread that covers most, though not all, of my communication with CENSORED.
For what it’s worth, it looks like your world is evolving very quickly from where it’s been for decades. CENSORED and its competitors may view today’s white-hot spotlight on RVing as nothing but a boon, but I’d take a step back for a broader, more thoughtful view and consider the unexpected consequences you may soon be facing.
Your customer demographic will be more and more like me and less like individuals who grew up in trailer life and have been programmed/trained to believe that their RV is not expected to perform like an automobile or any other highly technical product. In other words, your quickly evolving customer will react to cheap materials, breakdowns, inconsistent workmanship, poor customer service and ‘excuse as a rule’ as entirely unacceptable. As a result, as has happened so many times before in American business, former giants will wither and die as start-ups will race past with far superior products at lower price points.
Your industry has thrived in spite of its inability or reluctance to deliver the degree of state-of-the-art quality and consistency that car manufacturers, for instance, commonly deliver in the hundreds of millions each year. Their customer service isn’t ideal, but the quality and reliability that they churn out at spectacular volume is so many magnitudes above where the RV industry is that it hardly matters.
I realize I’m no one and nothing in your arena, but I’ve been pretty consistent over my career in predicting consumer trends. I believe that there is a huge opportunity for you to get ahead of a coming freight train if you choose to.