Our family went camping up to Salmon Arm last week. We really had a great time, but as you may have read in my previous post, the drive up tested our strengths as parents. The night before, we stopped at a campground in Penticton and discovered that there was a problem with the water connector on the RV that I borrowed from my sister. We had a site with full hookup and had the water connected, but the connector itself wouldn’t allow any water to come through. So when we arrived in Salmon Arm the following day, the first place we went to before settling into our final destination for the week was Country Camping (A local RV Dealership), hoping that they could take a look at the problem.
As I went into their store, the person working at the front desk greeted me with great enthusiasm and a genuine interest in helping me. I asked where the water connector parts were, and after taking a look at a brand new one, I realized that the old connector on my sister’s 1980’s Winnebego had decided to retire from service after many years. It looked fairly straight forward to install, but I didn’t have any tools with me. In the meantime, my wife, our 3 week old son, and 3 year old daughter were waiting in the RV. It was pretty comfortable in the shade, and they didn’t want to come outside even though we just spent that last few hours driving. They were however eager to get to the campsite as it was getting hotter and hotter outside, and the kids were becoming grumpier and grumpier. I was going to need some help to install this part quickly.
I was directed to the service department and asked if there was any possibility that they could install the part for me. They could, but unfortunately they were already busy working on two other RV’s and it would be at least a couple of hours before they could start. I explained that I had a 3 week old and 3 year old in the RV and that it would be really tough to stick around for that long. I asked if there was any way that they could squeeze us in. She said “I tell you what… Go ask for Tom in the parts department and tell him that I told you that he would install the part for you for free.”. “Really?” I asked. “Are you sure you want me to say that?” haha. I was pretty excited, but wasn’t sure if he would be willing or able to do it for us.
Just before I walked to the service department from the store, I observed someone yelling at a Country Camping staff member. Although I didn’t have the pleasure to listen to the entire conversation, I could easily tell that this customer was out of line. Using colourful words and making unreasonable demands about a warranty for a product that wasn’t even purchased from them. The guy’s wife was even trying to calm him down and the passengers in his car looked like they were trying to blend into the seats. As it turns out, the staff person he just finished yelling at was… you guessed it… Tom! Literally just sitting down at his desk obviously frustrated and upset at being berated and yelled at irrationally, here I am walking into his office, saying; “Hi, are you Tom? The service department said that you would be happy to install this for free for me!”. Not even giving him a second to take a break, calm down, punch a stack of toilet paper, etc. – I’m asking for a freebie. I tried to make him feel a little better and made a couple of sarcastic jokes about what I had heard outside. I then explained our situation, to which he quickly jumped out of his chair and said, “Let me take a look”.
We went out to the RV, and like nothing happened, Tom began helping me with the connector explaining that it did in fact need to be replaced. I was completely blown away by his generosity and willingness to help us right away especially given the circumstances. It wasn’t quite the easy job that we were both expecting, but it really didn’t take that long and we were on our way before the kids got too fussy. Every single person that I spoke with at Country Camping was amazingly helpful. Although we only bought one part and a few supplies, I can guarantee you that we will always remember the great customer service as well as their willingness to help.
It is not very often when someone will make an effort to help another out without thinking about immediate gain. A small gesture such as the one we experienced can net larger returns in the future. When our family is finally ready to purchase a trailer of our own, we will definitely consider Country Camping and will always recommend them to others. To be clear – I’m not suggesting that you should expect free repairs and this is the only indication of good service! They do have bills to pay and families of their own to support as well, and it is not fair to expect these things. I would have been happy to pay for the installation, which really only would have cost around $30. What I’m trying to illustrate is that it doesn’t take much to develop a relationship with your customer. The fact that they cared enough to try to help install the part quickly so that we could get on our way was what made us feel a connection towards this company. The free installation was a bonus, but definitely not necessary. So if you are going to expect anything, expect great customer service!
Thank you Tom and the entire Country Camping team for such a great experience. You really saved the day! Hopefully next time we’ll have more time to chat!
Visit their website: www.countrycampingrv.com