February '20

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36 • RV PRO • February 2020 rv-pro.com However, the buying experience was an unpleasant one, as salespeople at the dealership sat around playing cards and not paying any attention to Arthur, who was still wearing his mechanic uniform from his day job. After discussing how badly they were mistreated, the Hirsch family decided to invest their life savings to purchase and retail folding tent trailers, selling them from the family's front yard. By the early 1970s, Arthur Hirsch began working as an RV dealer full-time, creating a brand his son, Jeff, would later take the reins of and expand. "What we talk about is growing our company sustainably, making sure that we're doing it with the original founder's vision in mind, which really is about cus- tomer service and treating the customer right," says Ben Hirsch. "How we treat the customers is a competitive advantage." That's meant to be taken quite literally. Unlike many dealerships, Campers Inn has in-house customer satisfaction scores that are directly tied to the management team. Conference calls, annual training, the satisfaction scores and comments out- line exactly what needs to be improved upon to create a customer-centric atmo- sphere. The greater payoff is employee retention, according to Ben Hirsch. "We have a lot of employees that are gaining tenure as we grow, and we're really proud about that," he says. "We'd like to go ahead and create opportunities for all our stakeholders," says Jeff Hirsch, "but employees and cus- tomers are obviously very dear to us. It's nice to go ahead and maybe leave the industry a better place than when we found it." That outlook, he says, perpetuates growth. And creates a family. He mentions how employees will check in on him, just making sure he's taking care of himself. Ben Hirsch is pictured next to an RV displaying the RV dealership's support for the community in Jacksonville, Fla. The dealership started in the New England states but in recent years has expanded south and west to include 27 locations. Jeff Hirsch (center) cuts the ceremonial ribbon at the Campers Inn location in Raleigh, N.C., which expanded into a supercenter location in mid-2019.

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