||BREAKING NEWS |
N.C. Firm's Videos Teach 'RV Education 101'
Friday, October 8,
consumers buy a towable or motorized unit from Allsport RV Center in
Fayetteville, N.C., they receive something unusual before taking the
customary walkthrough: An instructional video that covers everything from
weights and towing to campground setup, leveling and operating the unit's
water, holding tank, electricity and LP gas systems.
Allsport RV Center is one of
about 400 dealerships across the country that supplements its walkthroughs
with Class A-, Class C- or towable-specific instructional videos.
are selling the videos, while others, like Allsport President Annette
Autry, offer them free of charge as a means of better addressing their
customers' questions, both before and after they take delivery of their
just solves a lot of problems out there and makes the customer a happy
customer," said Autry.
Autry said the videos, developed
by Mark Polk of Fayetteville-based RV Education 101, help her to provide a
more meaningful and informative walkthrough experience. "It really
prepares them," she said, "so they ask more substantive questions."
approach, Autry maintains, ultimately helps her customers achieve a higher
level of product knowledge. It also lessens the frequency of follow-up
phone calls from consumers because the videos answer many of the questions
they are likely to have.
"A good percentage of your
complaints from customers reflect a lack of knowledge rather than a real
problem," Autry said. "These (videos) allow them to have an understanding
of the whole vehicle."
Polk said he came up with the
idea for the instructional videos after working as a sales manager for a
North Carolina RV dealership. "When we would sell a unit," he said, "we
would give them a class. And then they'd get the unit home and they would
call with questions."
Polk said the follow-up questions
were understandable. "You can give somebody the best walkthrough – I gave
walkthroughs myself," he said. "But it's a matter of retention. And when
you cram that much information in a two-hour period of time, they're
probably only retaining about 25% of that. And if they don't go out and
use that (information) themselves within a week of purchasing, they're not
going to retain it."
Polk, who is entering his fifth
year in the instructional video business, has broadened his offerings to
include videos and CDs on renting, storing and winterizing RVs as well as
e-books, all of which are available through his website at
Dealers feel that Polk's
instructional videos and CDs are worthwhile. "They make our customers
better educated," said Steve Schermaul, parts manager for Byerly RV in
"They (the videos) work out well for us," said George Leduc,
general sales manager of Longview RV in North Hampton, Mass. "We've had
them for three years. And we try to make sure our customers get them
"They find them immensely helpful. They (watch them) and write down
any questions they may have. And then, when they come in for the
orientation, they're light years ahead of where they would otherwise
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