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Main Forum => General Discussion => Topic started by: aimee on August 07, 2012, 02:07:08 pm

Title: I think I have a brilliant idea
Post by: aimee on August 07, 2012, 02:07:08 pm
What if I can come up with a way that makes it easy for prospective buyers to hook up with current members around the country to get a tour of a unit? I already facilitate quite a few of these requests on my own.  I get PM's from people in the forum who want to know who is near them, and I poke around until I find someone on vacation or at home who will be near them and I start the process of introducing the two parties for a meetup/tour.

But we probably miss some people this way because not everyone is going to e-mail me.

What if I can come up with a way for our current owners to be like miniature RV Shows around the country?

I was thinking something like a map of the US.

Current owners who want to participate can register with me and I'll give them a username and login maybe.  Then they can go in and drop a pin where they're going to be and put a date on it or something maybe. I haven't worked out the details yet. I'm still just noodling the idea....Then when someone wants to see a unit near them, they just have to go to the page, pick one of the locations where someone is who is willing to show their unit. They click on a link there and it sends a request and then we can connect the two parties. They never have to see each other's contact information until we connect them and I'll run IP checks and read requests to be sure they're real people, etc.  We wouldn't show the address on the map either--we'd just show the city or maybe even just the region of the state where the unit is going to be.

This would probably let people get enthusiastic tours from people knowledgeable with the units. And customers trust them because they aren't "salesmen".  We could even offer a $500 as a "thank you"  for those who show their units and then the visitor goes on to purchase a unit. I'd have to have a verified way to be sure who showed which unit, etc. but I think I could work out something.

Obviously I have a lot of details to iron out, but what do you think? Would anyone be interested if I can get this developed?
Title: Re: I think I have a brilliant idea
Post by: TomHanlon on August 07, 2012, 03:22:31 pm
There is already a map in the Phoenix HQ with pins for where the owner live. There is already a $500 reward for referring someone to Phoenix when they buy a unit. At least there was when we bought our PC. You might want to call Stuart about this whole thing. 

I showed our PC to SA Johnson when he was looking and asking a lot of question on here. All of a sudden he disappeared from this forum. I don't know what he ended up doing. I even sent him a private message and never heard from him.   

I would still be willing to show my PC again.           
Title: Re: I think I have a brilliant idea
Post by: Ron Dittmer on August 07, 2012, 03:55:22 pm
I don't believe there was ever an "active" gift-referral program over the past 5 years as I have never recieved a gift of any kind from Phoenix-USA, and I have done a lot of referral-became-a-sale for them.

Aimee's "Where Are There PC's To See" interactive map sounds cool.  But I wouldn't mind some much simpler.  Place a eye catching "Look" symbol by our name that when clicked on, will state we live in zip code 00000 and are willing to show our PC to interested parties.  We could control this in our profile.  Make it fancier by adding a place for us owners to add a link to web pics, so the person would know what he will see during his visit.  Click on the zip code to be sent to the web for a map or description of where it is.  Maybe a protective filter of some kind would be a good idea.
Title: Re: I think I have a brilliant idea
Post by: bobander on August 07, 2012, 03:59:08 pm
Aimee,

I like your idea and would be interested in participating.  We live in Northern California and I remember how hard it was to actually see a PC.  At the time there was a dealer in Phoenix and we went there, it would have been nice to see one closer to home and talk to an owner.

I especially like your idea to be able to indicate where we will be when on the road, we live in a remote area not convenient for someone to visit, but we are on the road at least 4 months a year.  That might also be a fun way to meet up with other PC owners on the road, just see who is in the area at the time.

Bob A.
Title: Re: I think I have a brilliant idea
Post by: kevin on August 07, 2012, 04:18:40 pm
 2o2 Sounds good in theory.  I hope practical application works ewll.  We, too, have shown our Big White Phoenix in Stealth Mode.  I tell them to tell Stuart that the guy in a big white......sent me.  So far, no beers or diet coke. :-D
As PV-IV Club members we all know who else are members and has room for us to park overnight or might have local knowledge to share. :-D (Take a hint, join the club)  (cheer)  Hi Frank, Hi Dee...see how friendly we are?  ya know, special handshake & code ring  :-D ;) (exactly)
kevin

ps - it's even hotter in Vicksburg today & the Mississippi Creek needs a drink.
Title: Re: I think I have a brilliant idea
Post by: aimee on August 07, 2012, 07:48:15 pm
There is already a map in the Phoenix HQ with pins for where the owner live. There is already a $500 reward for referring someone to Phoenix when they buy a unit. At least there was when we bought our PC. You might want to call Stuart about this whole thing. 

I showed our PC to SA Johnson when he was looking and asking a lot of question on here. All of a sudden he disappeared from this forum. I don't know what he ended up doing. I even sent him a private message and never heard from him.   

I would still be willing to show my PC again.           

Tom,

Of course I checked with Stuart before I mentioned this in the forum.  I am well aware there is a $500 referral gift program.  That's why I said it would be a $500 gift. Having a map at Phoenix HQ does not help visitors to the site who need to find people.  I know that something online is needed because I have to do this at *least* twice a week.  I get private messages from people who need to see one.  I scour the site and see who lives where or who is traveling through where and I check with the owner to see if they're willing and then I connect the people.

It will all be voluntary, but I think it has the potential to be really neat.

A lot of times buyers forget to tell the factory that someone referred them or helped them out. The way I would work this is that after a showing, it could be verified and then on record.
Title: Re: I think I have a brilliant idea
Post by: aimee on August 07, 2012, 07:58:27 pm
I don't believe there was ever an "active" gift-referral program over the past 5 years as I have never recieved a gift of any kind from Phoenix-USA, and I have done a lot of referral-became-a-sale for them.

Aimee's "Where Are There PC's To See" interactive map sounds cool.  But I wouldn't mind some much simpler.  Place a eye catching "Look" symbol by our name that when clicked on, will state we live in zip code 00000 and are willing to show our PC to interested parties.  We could control this in our profile.  Make it fancier by adding a place for us owners to add a link to web pics, so the person would know what he will see during his visit.  Click on the zip code to be sent to the web for a map or description of where it is.  Maybe a protective filter of some kind would be a good idea.

Ron,

For the referral program, either you need to actively tell them before the client comes in and purchases, or the buyer needs to tell them specifically "I am referred by Ron Dittmer"  For them to say "oh I saw a unit while we were camping and I loved it!" is not enough.

This map is not going to be part of the forum. It also needs to be able to show locations when people are on trips and would be open to showing their unit.  What phase ONE will be will be primarily a listing instead of an interactive map.  Owners will log in, plot dates and locations where they would be willing to show the unit.  Visitors would come to the page, select a date range and see a list of locations for those dates where units will be available. Eventually we will grow it into something bigger.
Title: Re: I think I have a brilliant idea
Post by: aimee on August 07, 2012, 08:04:47 pm
Aimee,

I like your idea and would be interested in participating.  We live in Northern California and I remember how hard it was to actually see a PC.  At the time there was a dealer in Phoenix and we went there, it would have been nice to see one closer to home and talk to an owner.

I especially like your idea to be able to indicate where we will be when on the road, we live in a remote area not convenient for someone to visit, but we are on the road at least 4 months a year.  That might also be a fun way to meet up with other PC owners on the road, just see who is in the area at the time.

Bob A.

Bob, that's great!  I agree that it could be a lot of fun and rewarding (both financially and socially)!

Kevin,  I agree!
Title: Re: I think I have a brilliant idea
Post by: billy on August 07, 2012, 08:28:10 pm
All plans are only as good as the company. We were in Quartzsite and drove up to see Bobs rig. He was very nice and gave us ALL the time we needed. When I purchased our 3100 I told Amanda  who recommended us and latter when I called Bob he said no referral fee ever came? I would be more then happy to join in and show anyone our rig.
Title: Re: I think I have a brilliant idea
Post by: aimee on August 07, 2012, 08:29:58 pm
I sent an e-mail to Amanda to see if she knows what happened.

Thanks!
Title: Re: I think I have a brilliant idea
Post by: billy on August 07, 2012, 08:39:47 pm
I appreciate the effort but it's been over a year and a half.
Title: Re: I think I have a brilliant idea
Post by: njheart on the road on August 07, 2012, 09:29:26 pm
...and obviously we benefited from this very kind of thing, as Ron introduced himself to us and gave us an open-handed invite to "come-see" his unit.  It really helped us know for sure that we were headed in the right direction.  As a result we headed down to the factory, met with Amanda, and found ourselves scheduled for our own P-C build.  We told her that it was Ron's referral, so hope that he benefits for having to spend all that time with us on the Grand Tour.  His online pictures helped, but the actual hands on visit to his unit was what made us sure.

I love the idea of having a way to connect both owners and potential customers up in a somewhat protected kind of way.  I am sure we would participate, once we actually have ours home and are able to represent it knowledgeably.  Good thinking! woot
Title: Re: I think I have a brilliant idea
Post by: Ron Dittmer on August 07, 2012, 09:52:26 pm
Ron: I don't believe there was ever an "active" gift-referral program over the past 5 years as I have never recieved a gift of any kind from Phoenix-USA, and I have done a lot of referral-became-a-sale for them.

Aimee: For the referral program, either you need to actively tell them before the client comes in and purchases, or the buyer needs to tell them specifically "I am referred by Ron Dittmer"  For them to say "oh I saw a unit while we were camping and I loved it!" is not enough.
Over the years, I have corresponded with many people, some people for hours on end with numerous detailed emails with pictures of my PC and other units to help explain.  Some correspondance yield a sale for the factory.  I never ask anyone to say I referred them.  It would throw "question" as to my intentions.  I figured, if Stuart or someone there would probe the buyer as to how they came about to buying a PC, then it would come out by itself.  But I'll never ask anyone to mention my name as a referral.

Once I asked a buyer to say hi to Stuart for me.  That was all.

I do it for the fun and comradery.  A gift is never the mission.  If it was, I would had dropped off-grid long ago.  But a gift would be nice.  I mean a real gift, not money.  Things for our PC that we wished we had ordered from the start like leather dinette cushions with more dense foam for example.  A mirror next to the stove.  Compass and temperature rear view mirror.  Things like that.
Title: Re: I think I have a brilliant idea
Post by: Ron Dittmer on August 07, 2012, 10:35:12 pm
We told her that it was Ron's referral, so hope that he benefits for having to spend all that time with us on the Grand Tour.  His online pictures helped, but the actual hands on visit to his unit was what made us sure.

 tymote njheart.  You are my first official.  tymote
Title: Re: I think I have a brilliant idea
Post by: TomHanlon on August 08, 2012, 06:06:08 am
Aimee,
    Sorry, I did not mean to cause a problem about the incentive program. I was told about it when we got our first PC and I thought everyone was told about it. I was just trying to remind you about it. I guess I could have worded it better.

Ron,
    I hope you get a reward from Phoenix. Be it money or something else. I like the idea of allowing the owner the choice of something else or money. I think a lot of folks would opt for the windshield shades if given the option. The owner gets what they want and Phoenix saves some money, a win/win.

    
Title: Re: I think I have a brilliant idea
Post by: Ron Dittmer on August 08, 2012, 06:51:57 am
Aimee, I did run this post deep down a different road.  I appologize for that too.  Hopefully the detour is past.
Title: Re: I think I have a brilliant idea
Post by: ge_montana on August 08, 2012, 07:57:43 am
Count us in also: we live in Montana south of Billings in Summers and in the Tampa Bay area much of the rest of the year.

greg matthews
2551S 2009
Title: Re: I think I have a brilliant idea
Post by: gradygal on August 08, 2012, 08:48:10 am
Aimee,
Count us in as well. As you know, we have had 3 (2350 Sprinter, 2551 and now the 2910). We live on the West Coast of Florida between Sarasota and Ft. Myers and would be willing to show our 2910 to any prospective PC owners.

Judi
Title: Re: I think I have a brilliant idea
Post by: aimee on August 08, 2012, 03:08:58 pm
OK.  I'm excited that so many of you are eager to participate!  I think it will be a fun way to meet new people and to add to the PC family!

Quickly about the referral program and then I'd like to move on to the other aspects of the new idea:

Just like with any kind of rebate or loyalty program, there have to be very specific rules. While we love and trust all of you, there is no reason to put temptation before the general public.

Over the years in the referral program they have certainly paid out referrals when customers come in and tell the factory specifically (as the sisters did this week) "we were referred by <First Name> <Last Name>"  Ron Dittmer's name is right on their file.  Stuart put it there himself. He should receive a check after they take delivery.

What there has been a lot of is some variation of the following: (all names are for example only)

1. We talked to Jim when we ran into him in Nebraska.  He told us to come in and say hi!

problem: Who's Jim? Does he live in Nebraska? How do we contact him? Does saying hi mean he showed them the unit? (WH)


2. We talked to John and Debra Doe in Oregon and they showed us their unit.

problem: John and Debra Doe aren't in our system (maybe they bought used from somewhere else?) and we don't have contact info for them.


3. After someone has taken delivery of a unit, 3 months later an owner or buyer calls in to tell us they referred the person.

problem: This needs to be done before purchase. At least once this has happened after a owner and new buyer met on the forum and actually had no contact before the purchase.


So to get the referral benefit there have to be rules and guidelines followed. We're not going to ask you to jump through hoops the way you do for a $20 rebate somewhere, but there are simple rules that must all be followed completely going forward. We will just start new with it. 

Here are the rules:

1. The buyer needs to tell the factory *before they make their purchase* that they were referred by someone.

2. The buyer needs to provide first *and* last name.  Forum nickname, first name etc. will not work.

3. If the referrer is not someone we have in our system at the factory, then the buyer needs to provide a phone number, e-mail address or home address of the person *so that we can reach them*.

The $500 gift is meant to thank the current owner for the inconvenience of giving up a couple of hours of their time and letting strangers come in and view their units.  Sometimes the buyers have driven out of their way to meet up with people, or they've given up personal time to be available, etc. The buyer should not be offended that the current owner is compensated for very gracious hospitality.

The best way to make sure the factory finds out about your referral and knows how to contact you after delivery has taken place is to send the buyer with one of your business cards. Print Stuart's number on the back of it and tell them "give this to them at the factory and I know they'll take care of you" or "tell them I sent you and I know they'll take care of you" or "tell them if they need their memory refreshed about any of these options I have that you liked that they can call us" etc.

With this new system hopefully you won't mind to ask them to mention your name at all because it's not like you are soliciting random strangers. These are people who are requesting an audience with you and your rig. But if you are uncomfortable, you do not have to participate.

OK so all of that said, I hope that there are no hard feelings. I promise you that nobody has intentionally been trying to cheat  or slight anyone. It's just that the system has to be straightforward. We cannot put into place a system that sends all of us into a tailspin trying to figure out who there may be out there and where they live, etc. so we can send them a check. And little Amanda is the biggest cheerleader for the referral program. She loves when it happens! I've had a lot of discussion with the factory today about the referral program and they are willing to suspend it if confusion about it is going to offer hurt feelings. They are also willing to start new with it and make sure people understand the rules. There are a lot of PC owners out there these days and a lot more of them are buying used from outside of the factory and we honestly don't know if "Bob showed us his unit" means any number of Roberts we have in our system or someone else entirely. (WH) First name and last name and honestly a contact method would be the very easiest way.

Also, just for transparency I will tell you that when I presented the idea to Stuart, I offered three reward options--$0, $50, or $100 and asked him to just pick one. I figured the owners weren't having to drum up people, we were connecting them, and so it would be easier for them. Stuart insisted (in two different e-mails because I presented it to him a second time thinking he didn't understand me) that owners would be given $500 if the person goes on to buy a unit, because he appreciates the inconvenience an owner is willing to go through to open up their home on wheels to strangers.
Title: Re: I think I have a brilliant idea
Post by: bobander on August 08, 2012, 04:29:02 pm
Well done Aimee, you have made it perfectly clear and thanks to Stuart and Amanda for supporting the referral program

Now on to the other aspects of your idea, I am looking forward to posting my location while on the road (or home) and meeting up with prospective buyers and other PC owners.  I would love to show off my PC to buyers and to share mods with other PC owners.

Bob A.
Title: Re: I think I have a brilliant idea
Post by: aimee on August 08, 2012, 04:45:22 pm
Thanks!  I think the ability to choose a day or two/city or two of a trip (or more) and show off your unit/meet up with other campers will be nice! 

Plus it will be a nice easy way to see who's traveling and is willing to have some company near you! :-)
Title: Re: I think I have a brilliant idea
Post by: lghjr on August 08, 2012, 06:23:33 pm
Well shucks, I showed my PC to two potential customers, both made offers and one took it home with him and the toad too.  Sorry about the referral.
Title: Re: I think I have a brilliant idea
Post by: jandmhilton on August 18, 2012, 11:35:21 am
Great idea!  The best thing for us was that PC gave us the name of an owner in our part of the country. We got in touch...and it turned out that we were traveling on the Kansas Turnpike at the same time they were traveling north.  We met in an Interstate 35 island and they kindly gave us a tour - everything including cabinets, cupboards.  It was GREAT.  We would like to be a part of such a sharing.
Title: Re: I think I have a brilliant idea
Post by: Bob Mahon on August 18, 2012, 09:35:56 pm
Well, shucks, noone's gettin' mine.
After being in this game for over 30 years and having all types of motorhomes, none of the 3 PCz have given me/us any problems (other than that damn fridge door breaking clean off the bottom hinge, which Carol took care of immediately).

I figure I'll be at this for another 3 years or so and we'll enjoy all that goes with it.

Can you tell I'm impressed with PC products and after sale service?
Title: Re: I think I have a brilliant idea
Post by: LRS on August 20, 2012, 11:51:44 am
 :)   Two years ago I did receive the $500 bonus/reward for showing my PC to an interested person who ended up buying one.

LRS
Title: Re: I think I have a brilliant idea
Post by: BandD on August 30, 2012, 12:53:38 pm
Hi Folks,

Diane and I would be happy to show our rig to prospective buyers.  We're in the San Francisco area, near Oakland.  We have a 2007 2350S with many changes suggested by this forum.

Bill
Title: Re: I think I have a brilliant idea
Post by: Frank on August 31, 2012, 12:54:30 pm
Dealers are scarce in this part of the country, so anyone in the UP
or northern Wisc. that would like to see the greatest Rv  B+ built,
give us a call.

Cheers,

Frank & Dee