You cannot improve that which you do not measure. When I changed from healthcare to RV repair, I was surprised to find many of the same issues. Long wait times, expensive surprises, a lack of clear criteria to determine the most appropriate repair provider, confusion and frustration when dealing with insurance, extended warranty, I could go on, but you get the idea. Our industry has begun to attempt to address these issues.
At Blue Moon RV one of the traits we share is we are fixers. We cannot stand to NOT address a problem. Rodney built his company committed to minimizing the time RV owners were without their investment. As the industry sales grew, we had to become more skilled at managing our customers if we wanted to do the quality work we were committed to and do it in a prompt turn around. This pain point is most evident in the summer. If you have been to our shop, you know we have 4 dedicated techs that take a full support team to assist. When receiving 700-1000 calls a month, we had to have a model for assisting as many folks as possible. It breaks down to the solid numbers and then the art of managing the logistics, prioritization, communication, and speed of the work.
Let's start with the concrete
Math..... I was never a fan, but it is critical for us to measure certain metrics. How many RV's can one tech to work on each week? That question is harder than it first appears. For example, it could be one RV if it has a 20-item list of repairs or up to 15 RV's doing mobile.
There are also differing levels of efficiency with each tech. How do we schedule for adequate time in the schedule based on a customer's complaint and not yet having a diagnosis? A generator problem can be a 2-hour fix or a 10-hour fix and can present to the customer equally. Have you ever had your weekly workload increased by 5 times? You are getting a better behind the scenes idea of the problem. Great RV technicians are in extremely short supply. We cannot just find someone handy and have them start working on coaches. It takes years of training to make a tech. Each tech can do 40-50 hours/week. First, we had to define our metrics.
Repair time average - from the date the appointment is set to pick up, (not the appointment date- that would not account for appointment wait times).
Our average of all jobs including collision is 10 days - That ranges from a 1-hour generator oil change to a massive body work job. Then we take an honest look at what caused delays or pain points during the process. We are always refining not just our repair knowledge, but how to do outstanding work as efficiently as possible.
A couple tactics we find helpful in managing the art of the service experience
We are grateful for every call we receive and are working other avenues to be able to serve more of you. This is what we know is key in performing the kind of work we are proud of and maintaining quality partnerships with our clients we love. When any of us seek service of any kind, we want an appointment and expect it to be accurate. An appointment is no good if you must wait days or weeks for the actual service.
We do not commit to more customers than we can do in a high quality and rapid fashion: Our customers in house do not have to chase us for updates, there is a small amount of what we call wiggle room for emergency needs and unforeseen problems. If you come for other items and we find a safety related issue we want to be able to help and not delay. This pipeline of customers is priority one. As we complete one job, we book another. To us each job is a promise of service. We take our word seriously at Blue Moon RV.
Rushing leads to poor experience and re-work: Urgency and rushing are different. We do everything with a sense of urgency but will not set your expectations based on unrealistic timelines. One example is a black tank replacement requires glue to set 24 hours before water testing. Could we shave off a day and a half and just not test it? Nope, we must do it correctly, no one wants that glue to fail!
What about all the RVr's we cannot assist. As many of you know we are addressing this as well. We provide referrals to competitors we trust; we provide 24/7 telephone support for free and keep a running detailed list of appointment requests. It may be a week to get on the schedule but when you do it is usually no more than 2 weeks out.