RV Dealership Thrives on Customer Service with IDS Astra G2 and CRM
Scott Motor Coach has used 30 years experience combined with IDS’ Dealer Management Softwareto educate its customer base and offer the very best in overall service. Read on to see how CEO, Brad Scott continues to strive for excellence in his RV dealership…
IDS: What do you consider to be the strengths of your RV business compared to most other RV dealers?
Brad: “It’s a combination of things. Having good employees is essential to our business and having good systems in place. We really take the time to train our employees and also train our customers on how to use their coaches comfortably. Having all of those factors in place allows us to provide the best in customer service.”
IDS: You mentioned having well-trained employees are critical to success. How do you ensure your employees have the proper training?
Brad: “Whether it’s a tech, sales person or a counterperson, we teach them about being a good listener and how to direct the customer, based on their needs, to the right department. We send our RV techs to school to keep all of their certifications current. We do internet training from RVDA. We have our Master Technicans mentor new techs with a 30-60 day process before they are on their own. We also have a tiered technician level system from 1-15 where techs are categorized by their abilities and training. We also encourage them to take classes and advance so they move up in the tech levels and keep current with technologies and certifications.”
IDS: You recently implemented the IDS Astra CRM module, which can also greatly benefit your customer service. How has this impacted your business?
Brad: “We are still in the learning process, but use Astra CRM every single day. It’s one of the tools the managers use as a scoreboard. They can see which sales or service personnel have been making phone calls, returning emails, and communicating with customers.
We also have 10-15 templates in place through an email campaign program called Bronto for emailing customer; it’s a great sales tool for getting information to our customers. Reminding our customers to winterize and de-winterize, scheduling service appointments before they are due. We try to get them ahead of time to keep business steady and provide better customer service.
I’d definitely say we are staying on top of customers more with Astra CRM. It allows us to communicate in a timely and effective manner and without it I don’t think we would be as effective.”
IDS: You have a Camper’s Corner section on your website filled with advice for those looking to get the full camping experience. How did that come about and how has that impacted your customer service?
Brad: “There are a lot of new people that are looking to get involved in the RV lifestyle but don’t really know anything about how they function, how to use them, where to go, and how to even cook in some cases. We use that page to educate our customers and make them feel more comfortable in the RV lifestyle.
We also have seminars that we do every 6-8 weeks on different parts of the RV lifestyle which includes sessions on anything from towing to safety issues. We actually have one coming up on taking care of your systems and keeping your units smelling fresh. It might sound funny, but people really need to know how to take care of their black and gray tanks and know how to flush them out. We post seminar dates and topics on our website. We also email our customers prior to the event and then send a reminder email a week leading up to the event so they don’t forget. We’ve filled our last three seminars to capacity.”
IDS: What best practices have you incorporated to manage your service department more effectively and how does Astra help?
Brad: “The biggest thing IDS has helped us with is the Astra G2 Service Module. The scheduler allows our service writers to assign work to our technicians based on his abilities and time available each day. As the technicians sign in and out of a job at their work station, the service writer can see where the tech is in the process of the work order and completion of the job. This allows us to have better communication among our service writers, customers, and technicians. The scheduling of the technician’s time, when the customers are coming in, and when their units are done has greatly benefitted us. You can communicate better with the customer when you know what the job is, what’s been done, and what’s left to do. G2 has streamlined the scheduling process from the previous version and made it a lot easier.”
IDS: You upgraded to Astra G2 from the previous version of Astra. Can you tell me about how the transition went?
Brad: “Any transition is not easy. Change is difficult for employees and getting them to want to learn the system was difficult. It took us several months to get comfortable, especially in service. But now that we’re there, we would never go back. The change was good because now they see how much time we are saving and how much easier G2 is.”
IDS: What factors made you choose Astra?
Brad: “Reporting and accounting information. Also the integration from parts, service, and sales as one complete system. There are some systems out there that aren’t fully integrated. Some systems require you to manually input information from each department and we didn’t want to do that. IDS gave us one complete system. They gave us all of the reports we were looking and the ability to create custom reports to view all of the detailed history that we wanted. With our old system, once we closed a month we couldn’t go back and look at detailed history. Now we can go back and see what’s going on and compare this month to last month.”
IDS: Which features in Astra G2 do you find most beneficial?
Brad: “For myself, I like having the dashboard. I can log in to my computer and look at sales, service, parts, and have snapshot of how the dealership is performing on daily, weekly, monthly basis without using multiple menus and keystrokes. I have all of the important KPIs on my dashboard that I look at every day and use to manage the company.”
IDS: What advice would you give to someone that is looking to buy software for their business?
Brad: “First, you need to figure out what your goal is for the RV dealer managment software. Compare the different RV dealer softwares with their ability for reporting, history, functionality and trends for each department. You also want referrals from other RV dealers who are using the product so you can get candid unbiased feedback about the software. Support is also a major consideration when buying, if you’re not getting the proper support from your software provider, the dealer management system is only as good as you are. IDS has always been very good with any potential glitches we’ve had. IDS has always been there in a timely manner and our system has never been down; preventing us from managing our day to day business.”