Alastair Clements
Group editor

See other Blog articles filed in ‘Editor's Blog’ written by Alastair Clements
   
Tell us what you think about your tourer and your supplying dealer, to help buyers of new and used caravans shop smarter – our Group Editor explains why

Voting for the Practical Caravan Owner Satisfaction Survey 2016 is already well under way, but today I’m appealing to you to get involved! Last year we received more than 2000 entries, and I’m keen to beat that total for this year’s awards. 

Why should you vote? Well, that’s easy: with your help, we can make the caravans that you buy better, and improve the service you get from your dealership. And that’s no hollow promise. At the February NEC show, I sat down with a senior representative of one of the UK’s biggest tourer manufacturers, who told me that he was making it his top priority to work his way up the rankings for new caravans and provide a challenge to Slovenian maker Adria, which has topped the poll in this category for the past two years.

In last year’s awards, Salop Leisure demonstrated what is possible when you listen to criticism and put your customers first, securing overall honours for both new and used caravans. “It’s important to measure how we’re doing and we encourage positive and negative feedback,” said managing director Mark Bebb. “Customer satisfaction is vital to us, so the Owner Satisfaction Award is a wonderful accolade to receive.”

Visit our forum or our Facebook page and you’ll find plenty of vociferous complaints about water ingress, fit and finish, or poor customer service. Well now’s your chance to have a rant that actually makes a difference: what could be better than to get the opinion of thousands of fellow caravanners before you buy your next van? 

So why not give your view to help others? If you have bought a new or pre-owned caravan since 1 January 2012, we want to hear from you about the experience of buying and owning your tourer. Our Owner Satisfaction Awards is the only scheme that is based entirely on feedback from owners, both on the purchasing experience and the reliability and practicality of the tourer in use. 

We’re confident that our new caravan reviews are the best in the business, but only by living with it can you find out how well a tourer stands up to the rigours of a touring season. As in previous years, we’ll use your feedback to produce satisfaction scores for manufacturers and suppliers, awarding Gold Awards for the very best, and Silver Awards for those who are hot on their heels. 

We launched Practical Caravan’s Owner Satisfaction Survey in April 2012, and this year we are delighted to introduce a fantastic new headline sponsor, water pump and heating specialist Whale, and supporting sponsor Shield Total Insurance. As well as a new sponsor, we have a new co-ordinator for 2016 in the shape of regular contributor Nigel Hutson, whose experience as a lifelong caravanner and a former police officer means that he has the forensic attention to detail that makes him the perfect candidate to support awards founder ‘Gentleman’ Jack Bancroft.

But we can’t do anything without you. The more of you that get involved, the more accurate our results will be. To take part, simply click here and fill in the survey before it closes on 20 October 2015. Not only will you be entered into a draw to win a fantastic prize worth £250, but you will also help us reward the very best manufacturers and supplying dealers – and to encourage those that aren’t up to scratch to drive up their standards. All of which should mean better caravans and better dealers, making buying a new tourer an experience to relish rather than fear.

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