Process #1: Control Your Customers
Our mission, which is also the mission of several providers is to become “The Collision Provider of choice in Every Community we Serve.”
Ever customer interaction is an opportunity to deliver a “World Class first Impression.” (What is the time frame to make that first impression?)
On average 15% of your service customers will have an accident every year or in general all drivers have an accident on average every seven years, (this varies by city and region we do have the specific numbers for your region.) Generally, they are upset and have little or no understanding of the repair process. What do they say, “I am here for an estimate?” An estimate will get them no closer to their solution but only more confused. How many people have walked into your shops with 3 or 4 estimates and what do they say, “I need an Estimate.” No one has taken the time to answer the questions they really have.
- They want to tell someone how frustrated they are and what happened to them!
- They want to know what their insurance company is really like and what they can expect from them.
- They want to know what types of parts we will use.
- They want to know why use us, about our technicians and what can they expect in a quality repair.
- They want to know when it will be done and how much it will cost them.
- They want to know how they are going to get to work, pick up the kids and get their life back in order.
- If it is a new model year or similar they have additional questions about things they are hearing on commercials and the news about scanning and calibration.
Are we answering all of these questions, are we asking them if they have any other questions, and are we asking them for their business? A whopping 82% of your CSI will be determined in the first 10-15 minutes of interaction with your customer, only 18% of CSI comes from the entire process after the first 15 minutes. Many of us loose in the first 15 minutes.
A “World Class First Impression,” is what we will create with each and every customer we meet. From the moment the customer pulls into our center,
- Do they see a clean parking area, free from litter, with clear easy to read signs?
- Does your staff give a professional greeting for every customer that walks in our door? (They must feel special.)
- Do you have a neat, clean, well-organized lobby and front office?
- Will your staff be empathetic and understanding of the customer’s situation?
- Will all of your customers have a clear understanding of their situation, what they can expect from us and their insurer; and a timetable of the process?
Our goal is to establish in 15 minutes a relationship with our customers that says we understand their situation, we can assist them through this smoothly, that they can expect updates and deadlines to be meet. When they leave, we want them to say these people really know what they were saying, they really appreciated my business and understood my needs and lastly, I really trust them!
These are called “Moments of Truth,” Successful management of these moments is the key to capturing our customers respect and their keys!
All front office personal performs inspections of the front interior and exterior of the facility. You need to insure that their first impression is the impression that you would want.
- Parking, Building entrance, lobby, restrooms.
- CSR has a schedule of the day’s appointments and reviews with the writers, each and every day.
- CSR prints out all customer information, is ready for customers and goes over all information to confirm accuracy.
- CSR or fellow team member stands and greets all customers within 10 seconds of entering the facility. Address customer by name if possible, let the customer speak and be an attentive listener, ask questions so you know exactly what the customer’s needs are.
- Offer the customer a seat if you are busy, refreshments and let them know exactly how long before you will assist them. Let them know you have wifi where the restrooms are, and the kid’s toys etc.
- Review all information with customer fill in all missing information and let the customer have adequate time to fill in the blanks. (We want you to fill in the information for the customer, not have them fill it out! Remember this is another “Moment of Truth,” your ability to show empathy and bond with this customer is huge in our ability to win their trust!
- Immediately inform Service Advisor our customer is ready and fill him in on all information, make sure he addresses them by name and gives them his business card.
- If advisor is busy or unavailable request the assistance of another advisor, we want all customers handled within 5 minutes. Be aware of time and also remember the customer is watching and seeing how we handle ourselves, you could lose the customer before you even turn him over to an advisor, you are an important part of this team and we need you to understand how important you can be!
Service advisor Interaction;
We have several customer interactions, Walk-In, Tow-In, Scheduled appointment.
- Service advisor greets the customer by sir name, gives them a card, shakes their hand and looks them in the eye. This is your opportunity to bond with the customer, they need to know they can trust you, you care, and you are listening. Even though the CSR has filled you in on the situation, a great opportunity to bond is to simply ask your customer “so what happened,” Let them tell you the story, in the story is their concerns, fears, and frustrations. Let them talk and get it all out, do not interrupt them till they are done. Become a “Responsive listener looking them in the eye!”
- These are your moments of truth which establish trust, and give them the understanding that you understand their situation and that you can get them through this.
- Walk to the vehicle with the customer; walk alongside them continually establishing your bond of caring and understanding their situation. Remember in their eye’s you are the expert, you are the “Doctor,” that will fix their car. They want a diagnosis form you, they want you to really understand the situation. How many times you have had customers come into the shop with minor repairs but not sure what the damage was or if it was safe to drive. They expect you to crawl and look under the car, what do you see etc. Someone that is willing to lie on their back get dirty and inspect the hidden damage will win the job every time!
- Look for additional damage, customer courtesies etc. many times simple things will win the job, hood blends with chips that can easily be repaired for free, bumpers with minor un-related damage that can be fixed when you do the insurance repair. All of these types of things show the customers you care about their car and want to help them where ever you can. At the same time there are always opportunities to up sell for additional profits.
- Explain the repair process and explain exactly what will happen and what they can expect from you.
- For a walk-in customer explain our normal process.
- Vehicle scheduled for inspection additional time taken then to review damage and if necessary, do some minor dis-assembly to determine all parts that may be needed for the repair.
- Once they decide that they would want us to do their repairs this next step may be necessary.
- We will not do this on every customer that walks in for an estimate, only jobs that we know we have captured.
- Explain to the customer when if we process vehicles this way, they move through our shop much more quickly.
- Review their insurance company or the liable insurance company’s procedures. Provide an estimate if necessary, understand we may need to do X-ray estimating at a later date.
- Ask for the business, drop today if vehicle is unsafe to drive or customer does not want to drive damaged vehicle, otherwise schedule an appointment for when parts and car can arrive JIT. Make sure you have addressed all of their questions or concerns that may arise, if you do not do this, they may not make the decision to do business with us. Offer a ride to work or home or set up the rental immediately show them how you handle it all seamlessly. If rental agency has no drivers or is not on site will you take customer to rental agency, do not make customer wait in your waiting room for 20 minutes.
- We will do pickup and delivery if convenient, for many elderlies this is helpful.
- Pre-order parts if required, create RO only if we know we have the job, and set up drop appointment.
- If customer is dropping vehicle, ask them when can we contact them to give them the final estimate after disassembly and diagnosis? Explain why we will not give completion date till disassembly and parts availability have been confirmed, do not deviate from this!
- Place follow up call at the prearranged time you have agreed on. Do not forget, put in your outlook. Document all contact and information in your management system.
- Make sure we have updated the preferred method of contact, frequency, and again explain when how and why we will not give them the delivery date till we complete our process.
If this is a scheduled appointment what was the previous conversation we had with the customer.
Usually on DRP assignments, repeat customers or strong referrals the conversation goes like this:
- Mr, Miss Smith we have an assignment from your insurer to repair your vehicle of you should choose our shop.
- We are approved by your insurance and offer Lifetime warranty from us and your insurer on the repairs we perform.
- We hope no one was seriously injured in your loss, and we are her to help you get through this tough and unexpected situation.
- What we like to do is have you come in for an inspection of your vehicle to determine the best approach for the repair.
- Is it safe to drive or we can arrange for a tow,
- When you come in we will review all of your coverages, explain what your insurance company pays for, what type of parts, rental situation and answer all of your questions.
- While we are going over all of the particulars with you, we will review the damage to your vehicle, determine all parts that will be necessary, make sure the car is safe to drive and then we can together determine the best course of action to repair your vehicle.
- Many times, it is ordering some parts, schedule the car in when the parts will arrive and then the vehicle moves very smoothly through the facility.
- We can have you come in at your convenience, when would you like to schedule an appointment?
How do we measure our success?
- Are we using a net Promoter score? Top 20% are at 86% plus.
- What is our cycle time? Top 20% are at 7 days or less, goal 5 days
- What is our assignment to capture rate and what is our estimate to capture rate. Top 20% assignment to capture is 80% or better, and estimate to RO is 75% or better.
- We also need not only measures this by facility but also broken down by individual writers. With this information we can determine who we will work with first.