He knows he’ll get the calls, first because he invites them. And second, because motorhomes are complex products and they need service from time to time. An array of different systems must work as one to keep 30-48 thousand pounds of vehicle, 100-150 gallons of diesel fuel, 90 gallons of fresh water, 100+ gallons of waste water, plus cabinets, furniture and personal belongings (not to mention driver and passengers) rolling down the road.
“A motorhome, first of all, is a home,” Tiffin points out. “It has everything a home has, but on wheels. It also has hydraulics and a diesel engine – like a backhoe.” Not to mention the finest TV and electronics packages available. Plus a fine kitchen, an air conditioning system and two electrical systems, including a generator. And it all has to operate properly at sea level or at 11-thousand feet and accommodate a variety of climate and road conditions. From chassis to engine to handcrafted cabinetry to exceptional fit and finish, the company’s quality standard is high, whether an owner vacation travels or lives full time in their motorhome.
“Our customer sets the standard,” says Tiffin. “The customer is the culture of our company. We think about them when we design our products. We think of them every minute of every day and do everything we can to help them. We have 200 employees in our service department. Fourteen techs each take 30-40 calls a day. And CoachNet takes the calls after hours and on weekends.” (CoachNet is a leading provider of 24/7 technical and emergency roadside assistance for motorized and towable RVs with a network of more than 40,000 service providers throughout the U.S. and Canada.)
“My three sons work with me in the business, and we meet every day with our engineers to go over each problem we got a call about the day before,” notes Tiffin. Many of the fixes to those problems find their way into the company’s six Class A motorhome lines, which range from Allegro Breeze, the smallest rear engine diesel coach on the market, to the lavish Zephyr, “45 feet of sumptuous grandeur loaded with more features than we’ve ever put into a motorhome,” including a residential style fridge, two bathrooms and a stacked washer / dryer combo.
Build it well. Make it better. Back it with good service. Treat customers the way they would want to be treated. And always answer the phone.
“If you can’t look your customers in the eye, you can’t do business with them,” Tiffin believes, a maxim that goes back to the Tiffin Supply Company days and has stuck with them since the family acquired and developed a motorhome manufacturing business after one of their customers went bust forty-odd years ago.
The product may be more sophisticated these days, but Tiffin’s attention to the basics remains the same – in fact, it’s at the nexus of quality and service that Tiffin Motorhomes really shines. The company is known not only for meticulous attention to design and manufacturing but also for Bob Tiffin and his legendary customer service, all of which combine to set Tiffin apart in a business where the competition isn’t shy about contending for market share.
“There used to be something like 100 motorhome manufacturers,” Tiffin says. We’ve survived four major economic meltdowns since we started in business, and now there are only 6-7 manufacturers left.” Which says a lot about his company’s products and the people who build and service them.
Just ask a Tiffin owner.
“Our customers talk about us around the campfire,” he points out. “We want them to say that we try our best to help if there’s a problem. We don’t sugarcoat the fact that motorhomes can be challenging. If there’s an issue, we ask our customers to call us, contact one of our 85 dealers, or drive to the factory. Ninety-nine percent of the time, we’ll fix whatever needs to be fixed. Because it’s our name that’s on their motorhomes.”
Bob Tiffin gets it. He gets it that the promise of quality begins on day one of the manufacturing process, continues through sale and delivery (by a limited number of carefully chosen Tiffin dealers) and extends through the entire ownership experience. His team gets it too, understands that integrity is the foundation stone on which their current and future business success rests. The promise Bob makes to Tiffin owners, the promises his sons make, and the promise that every associate in the Tiffin family makes is part of each motorhome that heads up the road from Red Bay.
“Customers invest from $100,000 to more than $500,000 in their motorhomes,” the founder says. “Sometimes that’s their whole life’s savings. And keeping them happy is our job” -- a Marketable Truth© deeply embedded in Tiffin’s long-time tagline:
“Where You Go, We Go!”
TakeAway: Live your integrity. A reputation for excellence will follow, and your customers will brag on you.
Content © by Brian E. Faulkner Marketable Truth © by Brian E. Faulkner