February '20

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34 • RV PRO • February 2020 rv-pro.com RV D E A L E R S A t the time of this writing, Campers Inn RV has 27 stores – repre- senting a four-fold increase from the six stores it had in 2013. How does a dealership grow by that much seemingly overnight? The answer, according to company Chief Operating Officer Ben Hirsh, is simple: Put employees first. Or as his uncle, company CEO Jeff Hirsch elaborates, "Employees first, cus- tomers second." Ensuring that employees are happy translates to happier customers, which ultimately has a positive impact upon the dealership's bottom line, the two Campers Inn executives say. "Most of our managers have some portion of their compensation tied to customer satisfaction," says Ben Hirsch. "That's unique in the industry, as far as I've heard." While it may sound contrary, that strategy harkens back to what Ben Hirsch calls the company's core values: integrity, teamwork, continuous improvement, and sustainability. In an effort to improve this, at the end of 2018, Campers Inn hired a few con- sultants to visit several of its stores. The dealership did cross-sections of its stores followed by "value-sensing" sessions with employees to gauge whether they felt that the company's core values were present. The result was getting honest opinions from every employee: sales managers, technicians, detailers, finance people, and support staff. "The consultant got their input into our values – and where we were upholding the values that we propose – and making sure that the four core values fit our com- pany," says Ben Hirsch. Based on the feedback, Jeff and Ben Hirsch made little adjustments. The plan is to continue these assessments as Campers Inn looks West to continue expanding at its own pace, finding the right dealers to partner with. "Probably the thing we're most proud of is Campers Inn's reputation among stakeholders," says Jeff Hirsch. "There are a lot of people out there that would like to see their legacy aligned with Campers Inn because it's important to them. They don't want to just go and sell it to any- body, especially if they have a relationship – not only with their employees – but their community. "One of the things that was said to me that will always stick in my mind," he Campers Inn was founded in 1966. However, it wasn't until 2013 that the business doubled down on its values and, in the process, grew from six locations to 27 today. By David MacNeal Happy Happy Campers Campers Campers Inn got its start in the New England states but has since expanded significantly down the East Coast and as far west as North Dakota, with a total of 27 stores. Pictured above is one of the dealership's stores in North Carolina.

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