Carlyle RV & Leisure is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and although owners Ron Mitchell and Kelly Dew have witnessed both demographic and technological change in their industry, both men say their commitment to customer service remains unchanged.
The dealership specializes in all-season leisure products, including R.V.'s, enclosed trailers, snowmobiles, ATVs and more. And more and more, outdoor pursuits are embraced by entire families, according to co-owner Ron Mitchell.
“It's a lot more family-centred now,” says Mitchell. “It seems like over the past few years, the recreation industry has gotten into full, family involvement. People go camping as a whole family; and most couples we see now each have their own quad or snowmobile.”
“Our customers are from throughout the southeast and from as far away from The Pas and Prince Albert,” he adds. “Many of them have been with us since the beginning and that's something we're very proud of. When you make a purchase here, that's not the end. Our after-sales service is equally important.”
Dew agrees and says that members of the service department are “constantly learning,” as vehicles and trailers become more complex.
“Snow machines have RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) keys now, for example,” adds Dew. “And campers have Linc Pads-that's like an iPad for your trailer that allows you to operate everything that way.”
“BRP (formerly Bombardier) products now use a DESS system,” says Mitchell. “That's a digitally-encoded security system. It's like a tether that's not only digitally-encoded to start the machine, but it can also be programmed so a snowmobile or quad will go at a slower speed for kids.”
“The technology in all of our products is pretty amazing,” he adds. “And it's pretty challenging to keep up with all of the technology integrated into the products, but we do. We have to, for our customers.”
Carlyle RV & Leisure has won numerous industry awards, among them, Prairie North magazine's reader-voted “Saskatchewan's Best Place to Buy an RV” title.
“We have customers who have been with us since the beginning,” says Mitchell. “And we'd like to invite everyone to our 20th Annual Ski Doo Open House on Saturday, Nov. 21. One of the things we've planned are customer prize draws every 20 minutes to celebrate our 20 years in business. Another is Ski Doo demo rides, weather permitting. Those are just a few of the things we have planned to say 'Thank you' to our customers and to celebrate our two decades in business.”
Both Mitchell and Dew began their careers in the autobody industry. Mitchell started his first business in Manitoba at the age of 22 and says,“I learned parts, sales and service there. And I learned that the customer always comes first.”
Dew's skills also stem from the automotive world and he uses those skills to teach, mentor, and apprentice staff.
“One of our employees who trained under Kelly is now a master tech for Ski Doo and was certified at BRP (formerly Bombardier) in Sherbrooke, Quebec,” says Ron.
In the RV industry, for example, staff attend yearly seminars in Indiana, where they study advances and changes in refrigeration, electrical, and plumbing, to name a few.
“It's almost a constant thing,” says Dew. “Because our industry is constantly changing.”
The Mitchells, the Dews and their staff are all avid campers, snowmobilers, hunters, golfers, motorcyclists or ATVers. “We use what we sell,” says Mitchell.
“It's all part of our customer service,” he adds. “We really try to help our customers as much as we can, whether its with their warranty needs or ensuring our service and service pricing is very competitive and usually below that of the city.”
As dealers, Dew says they act as advocates for their customers in an increasingly complex sector.
“We really fight hard to get the warranty for our customers,” he says. “When digital cameras came out, it was fairly easy to get warranty claims approved. Now it's become more complex, and a bit more difficult, but we'll work hard to go the extra mile for our customers.”
“And we are big enough to provide a balance of quality products and small enough to know your name and provide for you,” says Mitchell.
“There's a season for everything here and we enjoy every season with the toys we provide.”
Carlyle RV & Leisure is located on Hwy 39 near Carlyle.
For more, call 453-6773 or check out www.carlylerv.com or Carlyle R.V. & Leisure on Facebook.