Winnebago® Industries Shares Voice of Customer Feedback with Escapees RV Club Members
Winnebago design teams meet with Escapees staff and members to share latest developments
Livingston, TX- October 2021
Escapees RV Club’s 2021 Escapade gathering was a big hit for many reasons. In addition to being a sold-out event bringing members and RV enthusiasts “Together Again” after many months of cancelled gatherings, Escapade provided an opportunity for attendees to connect with an RV manufacturer to offer feedback as well as learn how past input is shaping new RVs!
As part of the Voice of Customer program, Winnebago sent team members from both their gas and diesel divisions to talk with Escapade attendees. Their presentation “On the Road Again with Winnebago” gave attendees an insight into what’s ahead for Winnebago and how feedback received in 2019 and 2020 at club events has been implemented in upcoming designs. For example, designers and engineers have taken into consideration feedback on how current entry doors do and don’t work for the consumer, adjusting the size and design in upcoming models. They’ve also re-examined safety features such as mirror side and placement to enhance the view from the driver’s seat.
Jack Decker, Product Planner for Winnebago, answers questions from seminar attendees during their On the Road with Winnebago presentation at Escapade.
Attendees enjoyed their presentation, evidenced by many questions and conversations following the session. While their seminar/presentation was great, the RV tours proved to be a hit with attendees. Winnebago’s team arrived at Escapade in prototype RVs, several Class A motorhomes in which they were living and traveling for several consecutive weeks. Escapees members were eager to explore these motorhomes inside and out, testing the furniture, checking out the systems, and learning what new features were being considered for future models. They enjoyed seeing some of the changes in action, changes they had learned about in the earlier seminar.
In a conversation with Escapees leadership, Joe Liviero, Class A Diesel Product Planner, with Winnebago shared “We drove these coaches here because one of the complaints we’ve received from prior surveys is ‘no one drives their coaches’” (referring to fellow RV manufacturers). John Bonczyk, Director of Product Management, added “our customer doesn’t need to do the testing for us.”
John Bonczyk, Director of Product Management for Winnebago, shows Escapade attendees some of the new features currently being tested on the prototype motorhomes he and his team drove to Escapade.
The experience of living in the coaches for an extended period of time is really critical to understanding the consumer experience better. Staff used to be limited to weekend trips, but with Winnebago now encouraging staff to use RVs for weeks at a time has exposed them to many more aspects of RV life than could be experienced in a weekend.
This perspective has been the driving force behind the partnership between Escapees RV Club and Winnebago. “[Our] members are learning as well that Winnebago is trying to break the stigma of most RV manufacturers. Not all manufacturers have the same approach. [Winnebago is] here to ask questions, listen to feedback, and take that feedback to your teams to see where changes can be made,” commented Travis Carr, Escapees RV Club President.
Following the Rock Springs, Wyoming event, Escapees staff packed up the club’s event trailer and rolled out to join more of Winnebago’s team at the manufacturer’s Grand National Rally in Forest City, Iowa. As the club’s first time officially attending GNR, Travis and Melanie Carr, Escapees President and Vice-President respectively, Kerensa Durr, Escapees Marketing Director, and Brandon Hatcher, Escapees Brand Manager, enjoyed several days getting to know more about Winnebago’s team and customers. “We really enjoyed being on the Winnebago rally grounds, bringing the Escapees event trailer with us and seeing first-hand what the experience was all about,” said Melanie. “In addition to the education and services they offered, it was great to partake in the camaraderie of the Winnebago community!”
About Escapees RV Club
Since 1978, Escapees has been a leader in supporting those who pursue the RVing lifestyle. The club was founded by full-time RVers, Joe and Kay Peterson, at a time when there was no support group for full-timers. Today, the club continues to grow and transform itself according to the needs of its members, supporting them through benefits and educational and social opportunities. Learn more about what is available to Escapees RV Club members at escapees.com.