Last month, Coach-Net, a leading provider of RV emergency roadside assistance, joined forces for a week with the RV Technical Institute to receive additional training for their company’s technicians.
“Coach-Net has been in the RV industry for 35 years,” explained Shannon Boudreaux, Director of Sales at Coach-Net. “We specialize in providing 24/7 RV technical assistance as well as 24/7 emergency RV roadside assistance.”
At the heart of Coach-Net’s dedication to its customers is a desire to make sure they can get back out on the road and enjoy the carefree RV adventure that they had originally planned.
“RVers spend months and months planning their trip,” explained Shannon. “Whether they’re in a campground and can’t get their slides to retract or they blow a tire on the side of the road—people take time planning every detail of their trips and if one of these hiccups occurs, they may not be able to make their campground reservation or do the activities they planned on doing for so long. We understand the importance of time spent with family and friends and take it very seriously to ensure RVers can get back on the road and back to their adventures.”
Coach-Net’s drive to get RVers back on the road is what led them to participate in training with the RV Technical Institute, which provides the only industry-backed training curriculum and RV technician certification and career path.
“We invest in our employees and put them through the RVTI training program to get their technician certification,” said Shannon. “The people who went through this training with RVTI have been through 4 levels of our own internal RV-specialized training program and now they’re on the next step of their career path with us and with the industry.”
The Coach-Net technician team is led by its Director of Technical Services, Lacey Pintado, who helped oversee the five-day training endeavor conducted by RVTI’s Director of Education, Bill Stewart.
“We had two different groups attend training with Bill,” explained Lacey. “Everyone, whether they were completing the Level 1 or Level 2 training, did the RVTI online corresponding course before Bill came. During the days he was here, he split his time between the Level 1 and Level 2 courses.”
Although Coach-Net isn’t a dealership, there was no shortage of materials that were available to help conduct training. “Bill brought demo boards, and we utilized our tech garage,” Lacey elaborated. “We don’t have service bays. But Coach-Net does own a Class A, a travel trailer, and a tech table that we built in order to be able to see and understand multiple RV components. All of these resources allow us to incorporate hands-on training. For instance, Bill could take apart an air conditioner to show students what they needed to know.”
Bill Stewart, RVTI’s Director of Education who worked with Coach-Net during the training, expressed his admiration for the company’s commitment to expanding the knowledge base of its employees: “It was an awesome feeling going to Coach-Net as they have a great amount of dedication to what they do. They will and have made a difference in the RV industry and it was a pleasure to work with them.”
RVTI and Coach-Net’s shared devotion to training RV technicians is especially important in the wake of the RV industry’s ongoing technician shortage.
“Everybody in the industry realizes there’s a lack of technicians,” said Bill. “And training sessions like this are important because it helps their techs better understand the sequence of operations so they can assist their customers with furnaces, fridges, and other appliances.”
“Coach-Net knows that they have RVTI’s support, and customers know that if they run into any difficulties with their RV, they will have Coach-Net’s help,” he added. “Coach-Net has been and continues to be very knowledgeable. They want to make sure they have trained employees who can keep customers happy with the large investments they made in their RVs.”
A month has now passed since the training, and it’s become clear that the experience had a significant impact on Coach-Net in more ways than one. “The biggest thing is the expansion of our tech team,” Shannon said. “The industry continues to grow, and I know we’ve all seen record years. We’re experiencing higher call volumes and we’ve expanded our tech team to make sure we’re still supporting the industry the way that we need to. The biggest impact is being able to grow the team at a faster pace.”
On a more personal level, Lacey adds that this training went a long way in helping employees have more certainty in their own skills: “Our technicians already had a lot of common technical knowledge. Bill filled in some of the gaps, but a lot of our technicians learned that they knew more than they thought they did, so it was a complete confidence boost. They’ve been able to use that and now they have quicker diagnostic times with the customer and our average handle time has decreased which all leads to higher customer satisfaction. A lot of what we’ve noticed is the confidence factor.”
Along with an expanded technician team and a boost in confidence, RVTI’s visit to Coach-Net’s facility also gave a sense of industry unity. “RVTI’s eagerness to invest in Coach-Net and use their time to personally come out and train our techs shows how much they think of Coach-Net,” Lacey said. “Even our employees who aren’t technicians see how much the RV industry thinks of Coach-Net, and it boosts everyone’s confidence and the overall value of what we do every single day. Having the RV Industry Association and RV Technical Institute invest in Coach-Net helps to solidify that we all have the same goal – helping RVers ultimately enjoy the outdoors.”
Coach-Net took its passion for the RV industry even further last January when they launched a program for dealers called Ultimate Protect, which enhances their current benefits and services to match the growing needs of RVers and RV dealerships. This new product is sold exclusively by Coach-Net participating dealers.
In addition to Coach-Net extending its benefit offering, a portion of every Ultimate contract sold will be donated to RVTI. The donations made will be added to the RVTI scholarship fund that allows recipients to continue their RV technical training and provide them with the experience and expertise needed by manufacturers, dealerships, and repair shops nationwide. Despite having only been launched in January, Coach-Net raised enough money for a scholarship during the first quarter of the year, and soon will have raised enough for even more.
“We love this industry and want to continue to see everyone succeed,” Shannon commented. “We know service is key to that and we want to bring more qualified technicians into this space and have more techs who go through RVTI’s training, so this scholarship was a no-brainer for us.”
With such strong dedication to their shared interests, it’s no surprise that Coach-Net fully plans on future training sessions with RVTI.
“We believe in the training aspect and the investment in our own employees and the industry. We hold ourselves to the high standard of being RV specialized to handle the customer’s needs,” Shannon said. “We will continue on this path and have a great partnership with RVTI. We want to make sure our employees will get the training they need so we can support people out there on the road with their RV technical assist needs.”