“I always wanted to take good care of our customers,” said Camping World Founder David Garvin. That’s why he founded the President’s Club in 1985, offering not only a 10% discount on all purchases but also special recognition of Camping World’s best customers and a way of letting them know how much he appreciated their business.
At first, according to Garvin, customers didn’t really understand what the club was all about. So Camping World sales associates and service technicians began to explain the President’s Club to individual customers, detailing how they could save money on RV accessories and service by joining. Once customers understood the advantages of membership, their numbers soon began to swell. About 10,000 members joined the club that first year. Today the President’s Club numbers about 750,000 members across North America and abroad.
When a President’s Club member presented their membership card at the checkout counter in Camping World stores, that immediately identified that customer as someone special, noted Garvin. And it let Camping World crew members lavish the best care on their best customers.
Sometimes Garvin himself got the opportunity to express his appreciation to some of his best customers. He recalled an incident where an early President’s Club member recognized him at a Camping World store, where he would frequently visit and pitch in with whatever needed to be done that day, from bagging purchases to helping out in the shop. Garvin said the man pulled his President’s Club membership card out of his wallet and told him that he and his wife were members of his club. Garvin said he was gratified for the opportunity to tell that customer how much he appreciated their loyalty to Camping World when purchasing products and accessories for their RV.
As important as the savings and benefits are to customers, Garvin says the chance to recognize and say “Thank you!” to the company’s best customers was always the chief benefit to him.