October '17

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50 • RV PRO • October 2017 rv-pro.com D E A L E R S As Friesen hands the gavel over to Tim Wegge of Burlington RV Superstore in Sturtevant, Wis., at this year's Convention/ Expo, he knows he has a fellow dealer who is onboard with continuing that progress, because keeping up with the demand for service is an issue facing dealers across the U.S. and Canada. They Want It Now In a sense, the RV industry is almost a victim of its own success. The appeal of the RV lifestyle has attracted new gen- erations of customers. These new customers are some of the most demanding the industry has ever seen. Unlike previous generations, who might patiently wait for their newly purchased RV to be brought up to their satisfaction before taking delivery, Millennials demand instant gratification and aren't much in the mood to wait. "Everything is changing," Friesen says. "We either change with it or our industry is going to lose out to some of the more flexible industries. The customers have no patience. They expect everything to be perfect when they pick it up." When stacking that impatience up against the fact that most manufacturers are seeing record demand for their products, resulting in huge backlogs, one can forgive some dealers if they are feeling a little shell-shocked these days from indignant customers banging on their doors. Some might say that having such an in-demand product is a good problem to have – but when the customers are waiting longer than they would like to get that product, it can leave a bad taste in their mouths. "Every manufacturer that I am dealing with, I am four to six months out easy," Friesen says. "Because of that, we need to build some infrastructure. The infrastructure we have currently isn't up to snuff. It can't handle this kind of volume. Yeah, I want product, but the quality can't go down." The Society of Certified RV Professionals (at top) hold their annual reception at 5:15 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 6. David Spader (above) will lead an education session titled "Become the Leader Your Dealership Needs" at 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9.

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