thoughts from the shop
by David A. Casey
As they used to say in the Wendy’s hamburger commercial: Where’s the beef? Or in the case of METRYX, my question is: What’s the beef? I can’t help but be a little bewildered about the stink raised over the registry service. A lot of repairers and technicians are upset about the business information that is required to be submitted for a company’s listing in the data base. The data that LYNX Services wants seems pretty reasonable to me and is mostly made up of information that is readily available anyway.
One of the points of contention is about providing your vehicle VIN. In reality, you are giving up information that anyone in your parking lot could have. The VIN is in plain site of everyone who views your vehicle, your insurance card or your vehicle registration. Not really confidential when you think about it.
The other big point of contention involves providing the last four digits of your social security number. In doing so, you are giving up information that is already on file in hundreds of places. Anyone who buys on e-bay or any other credit card transaction is giving up more confidential, and potentially dangerous, information than the last four digits of a social security number.
As far as giving LYNX the zip codes of the area that we will service, our hours and services offered and our credentials of professionalism in the glass business, these are facts that we all want available to position our business in the best light with the broadest service.
I see all the above information as being pertinent to LYNX’s operation of giving the highest quality service to its customers and having the ability to hold each participant accountable. Keep in mind that if there is ever a problem with the service or the behavior of the repairer or technician, this information will be important to LYNX and to you. If I were sending technicians to people’s homes, I would want to have this data on file also. If there are problems, it’s easy to identify their source. Just as important, I would want to be easily identified as a technician who didn’t cause a problem.
Everyone in the glass business has asked for a measuring stick to be used by LYNX in choosing the vendor for a particular glass job. It makes sense to me. Making a choice by measuring talent, experience and capability is how we make our choices in purchasing every day. It certainly makes more sense to the customer than a blind rotation or one based on lowest price only.
Now if these paragraphs make it seem like I am a proponent of METRYX or a spokesman for LYNX, I am not. I am a spokesman for common sense in marketing, giving the customers some kind of criteria to make their best choice and recognizing value that goes beyond just the lowest price.
After describing my reasons why METRYX doesn’t look like a bad thing, I am still waiting to see if it is going to become a good thing. I know hundreds of repairers who have registered with METRYX, listed the requested information and have seen no change whatsoever in the volume or geography of their LYNX dispatches.
If LYNX wants full participation in this program it is going to have to show all parties involved that it works and that there is a valid reason to have it. Customers should get the benefit of this added information to help them make their choices. Companies should move up on the rotation list because of the information they have provided. Insurance companies should enjoy more successful repairs and replacements because the highest quality technicians are the ones doing the work. If it doesn’t work out this way, then the whole deal is a waste of everyone’s time and energy.
Since I think that the concept is basically good and gives us all a chance to differentiate ourselves from others, I will continue to promote the registration with METRYX by all SuperGlass franchisees. If the program doesn’t make a difference, then I will continue to promote the methods that we have in place now which is to create our own volume of business through advertising and self promotion and using the insurance reform laws to capture, and keep, our repair volume with insurance customers. No one needs LYNX to hand over work on a silver platter to enjoy plenty of insurance work in the repair business.
Since my organization is repair-only, I should be able to track our repair volume, compare with previous periods when there was no METRYX, and show whether it made a difference or not. Also, since we operate in 43 states, I should be able to show any regional differences as well.
Dave Casey is president of SuperGlass Windshield Repair Inc. in Orlando, Fla.
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