We had a chance to sit down with Newmar Motorhomes‘ Matt Utley who hails the title of Vice President of Service Operations. He basically takes care of anything customer service related that deals with the product. And he’s a pro at it! Here’s our interview with Matt, which appeared in the 2017 edition of our Bucars Magazine.
- What did you have for breakfast?
As boring as this may be, I typically just eat a bowl of cold cereal. If I were more ambitious I would go all out and make some oatmeal with fruit.
- How do you normally start your day?
I normally wake up (which is always a good morning), take a shower, iron my clothes, eat my boring bowl of Wheaties with no sugar and head out the door.
Do you have a routine? I live about 20 miles from Newmar and I really enjoy the drive. It helps me gather my thoughts for the day and reflect on the way home.
- Tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a Pastor’s home here in Indiana with three younger sisters, which had its own challenges and blessings. Some of my fondest memories are from having people in our home. Our home was a revolving door. I especially remember the Evangelists and Missionaries visits. Don’t tell the Missionaries, but as you can guess although they had the best stories, the Evangelists were the most entertaining.
- What did you do after high school?
Following High School, I planned to follow in my father’s footsteps and enter the ministry. After graduating from Bible college I returned home to Plymouth, Indiana and was the Associate Pastor at my father’s church. A year later circumstances beyond my control had me looking for a job. Although I love it, it was never my plan to be involved in the RV industry. Following my search for secular employment, I was offered a job at two different RV manufacturers on the same day. Not knowing which way to go, I accepted a position in Cabinet setting at Newmar. It’s hard to believe that it was over 29 years ago. I have absolutely no regrets and love working at Newmar.
- Do you RV?
My wife and I love RVing. If so where do you like to go? Newmar has afforded us the opportunity to use various demonstrator coaches over the years and we have traveled to Florida and other locations in the United States. What do you own? If not, do you like traveling? Where to? We are the typical RV couple. We don’t mind dry camping in a Walmart parking lot as long as it doesn’t include a trucker idling next door. We also like to visit the national parks. We have not had the opportunity to RV in Canada but our plan is to someday purchase a Newmar diesel pusher and travel through Canada to Alaska. My wife wants a Mountain Aire or London Aire and I keep showing her the Ventana.
- Tell us about the new Newmar Motorhomes coming off the line these days. Is there any one feature that is your favourite?
Newmar has introduced several innovations this year. We’ve introduced the “More Floor”, which includes a Hydraulic Slide out mechanism designed by HWH. This allowed us to introduce floor tile inside the slide out. We’ve also introduced a new hydraulic step, which makes the step very sturdy and easier to enter and exit the coach. Although these are great innovations, my two favorite innovations are the rear exit door and the raised ceiling in the rear baths. Since I am 6’1”, I have taken many showers in an RV with my head sticking up in the skylight. The raised ceiling really opens up the rear bath and, at least for me, is a huge improvement.
- What can you tell us about Newmar’s customers? Are they loyal fans?
I’ve had the privilege to get to know many Newmar customers over the years, especially our Kountry Klub members. Some may consider customer service a thankless job, but I do not see it that way. I really enjoy solving problems and the challenges associated with Customer Service. The vast majority of Newmar’s customers appreciate the “Newmar Difference” and are very easy to accommodate. I try to treat everyone as I would want to be treated and since I see myself as a future customer, it’s easy for me to put myself in their shoes. Do you get fan mail? We always appreciate the thank you letters we receive and we receive a fair amount of them. It’s always good to hear from our customers, even if they are not sending us a thank you note but are handing off a concern. Newmar listens carefully to our dealers and customers and many of our innovations are a result of feedback we’ve received from them.
- What’s in store for 2017?
Newmar Service has developed several programs to assist our dealers and customers in the past year. The most recent and prominent is Newgle, Newmar’s technical information knowledge base for dealers and customers. As a Newmar coach owner, Newgle provides access to content pertaining to the owner’s coach. Newgle consists of nearly a dozen categories, dozens of subcategories, and thousands of item-specific links connecting directly to the manufacturer of the items in the coach. Content is regularly added and is only available to Newmar owners and certified technicians. To access Newgle, a customer need only visit the website at newgle.newmarcorp.com to register.