How Leisure Time Sales Leverages Analytics to Deliver Amazing Customer Service Across Multiple Locations

Company Size:
3 Locations
Number of Employees:
New Brunswick


When Ken Dobson, General Manager at Leisure Time Sales Ltd., says he grew up in his family’s RV dealership, he means it literally. A typical small-town business in New Brunswick, his family’s house was in the front yard of the dealership. Ken comes from a long line of entrepreneurs. His grandfather started his business in 1973, selling Cygnet trailers on a corner lot. Today, the family runs the Dobson Group which consists of 9 brick-and-mortars across Housing, Automotive, Outdoor Equipment and RV Industries.


After chasing some of his life aspirations, including a four-year stint working for Hockey Canada, as well as scouting and coaching a local team that played the national championship. Ken returned home to help run his family’s business. He started in Human Resources for the Dobson group and worked his way up to the role of General Manager of the RV Division.


His foray outside of the dealership gave him perspective on the importance of leveraging your dealership’s data to fuel decision-making. We asked him how he uses the built-in analytics reporting in IDS to help him oversee three RV dealership locations.


How does data reporting help you manage three locations?

“In my current role and in the future, it’s going to be around the live reporting in the management dashboard.


I take that data to determine what questions I need to ask our frontline, which allows us to move our customers through our process more efficiently.”



Why do you think it’s important to invest in analytics? Why is it important to get your team on board?

Our DMS is one of our largest operating investments outside of our bricks and mortar, our people, and inventory. If you’re going to have that kind of relationship or investment, then you need to ensure that you’re leveraging it. It’s got to improve our business so that it can make our team members’ jobs easier and more efficient.


So, I think our investment is trying to get to our team members to see that and make their day-to-day lives easier. Which ultimately creates a better experience for our end customers.”


What are some other ways your team uses IDS to deliver a better customer experience?

“I think one of our downfalls is proactive communication—especially sales conversations about trying to find the right unit for them or service to get their unit repaired and communicating where we stand in the process.


Our industry, as a whole, is still a little bit dated in the sense of access to parts. Unlike the auto industry where you know they can open and close 50 work orders in a day, we have work orders open for 10, 20, 30 days depending on what the issue is. We could be actively working on it, but if we’re not communicating that to our customers, then they don’t know the difference.


So, in the system, if we input the right information, we can either free up time to communicate with customers or have the information readily accessible to get to the customers.”


How do you see dealers leveraging analytics moving forward?

“To me, data drives you to ask questions. Sometimes we get lost on that side of it, where we’re using it to provide all the answers. When we are using it to provide answers then we are removing some of the human element or gut feeling out of the business, and that’s not always positive. I have a view that it’s not there to provide answers, it’s there to provide information and opportunities to ask a different question. You can go too far when you lose your gut feeling.


Analytics don’t drive your business. It’s just a vehicle. Someone still has to drive the business. I think the next generation needs to ensure they combine analytics and gut feeling to ensure they are making the best decisions for their business.”


How has IDS been a partner to your business?

“It’s a joint effort. I think support is one of the calling cards for IDS. I’m in the Spader 20 Group, and three or four dealers in our group that have switched over to IDS have talked to my uncle and me about it. One of our proponents on it is, is that support is accessible through chats, phone calls and email.


Any partnership we have with either a manufacturer, a bank, and insurance company, or an accounting firm, they’ve been a long-standing relationship. We might not have the most cost-effective manufacturer, but we want a manufacturer that answers the phone.


That’s the way we’ve always looked at all this and we feel IDS is the same way in the sense that when we make a phone call, or we send a text, IDS answers—it doesn’t matter where the input is. Whether it’s someone at our service desk or the owner, they actively get back to us and all questions are treated as important. The partnership side of it to me is in the support.”

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