Volume 12, Issue 3 - May/June 2010

Field of Vision
from the editor

“Thanks So Much”
by Penny Stacey

On page 26 of this issue, you’ll find something we’ve never before included in AGRR magazine—real-life transcripts of calls between customers and auto glass shops, along with calls involving glass shops, customers and insurers. Readers provided these calls (devoid of identifying information) to AGRR magazine and I had the “pleasure” of transcribing them. The purpose of reprinting them is to share some of the possible steering tactics that you might encounter when working with third-party administrators.

I recognize one man’s “educational conversation” is another man’s steer, but I caught something else as I listened to the calls. The auto glass shops involved all had trained their CSRs—and in two cases, likely their technician/CSRs—to provide excellent customer service.

I heard phrases like “thanks so much” and “I really appreciate it” repeatedly. Some might say this is over-the-top or that this takes too much extra time, but I disagree. Even though the situations in which the customers were involved were not the greatest (one of them was frustrated because the TPA had called her questioning the price of the installation, and two were advised their coverage couldn’t be verified), you can tell from the tone of the customer on the other end that he/she finds it hard to become frustrated with the shop.

I don’t know about you, but in the fast-paced world in which we live, I get really irritated when I have to spend countless minutes (that sometimes turns into hours) on the phone for something simple. But, if I do, I’m much less frustrated when the person with whom I’m speaking is polite,
appreciative and engaged in the
conversation.

Each issue, when I make the calls for our “Price Points” department, I’m always a bit surprised by some of the responses I get. Many answer the phone “Hello?” and I have to ask if I’ve actually called an auto glass shop or have the wrong number; many tell me they are busy with a replacement (and in those cases I know it is tough—when you’re a one-man show answering phones and doing the work); and others might repeat the vehicle back to me like I’ve bothered them immensely.

If you’ve ever met me, you know I’m a pretty friendly person (unless someone is rude to me over the phone), so I feel pretty confident I haven’t caused this response.

But when I am an actual consumer, chances are, if price, quality, etc., are pretty similar between two companies, I’m going to choose the one that was nice to me over the phone (or in person, depending on the case).
As always, I’m sure if you’re reading this magazine, you care about your business and treat your customers (and potential customers) with respect and courtesy. So, I’d like to hear your tips for training CSRs or for handling phone calls. Please e-mail me at pstacey@glass.com. Thanks so much for reading.

P.S. If you’re at the upcoming Spring Auto Glass Show™, please be sure to stop by booth #28 and say hello.



Penny Stacey is the editor of AGRR magazine. 

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