Field of Vision
from the editor
by Penny Stacey
Does anyone else remember the Little Caesars Pizza commercials from the
1980s? In the commercial, a Boy Scout leader shows up at Little Caesars
and asks for one pizza, and the Little Caesars salesperson yells out,
“pizza, pizza.” The Boy Scout leader (or whatever customer was featured
in each segment, of which there were several) says, “Well, if I’m getting
two pizzas, I’m paying for two pizzas.” The salesperson explains that
they have a “pizza pizza” deal and for every pizza you pay for, you get
twice the amount. The argument goes on until the leader has agreed to
get a massive amount of “pizza-pizzas.”
Well, I couldn’t help but recall this commercial when I was doing interviews
for the mobile article on page
32. You’ll see that Alan Maupin of Rite-Way Auto Glass in Louisville,
Ky., told me that he thinks the auto glass industry has become a “pizza-type”
industry. “Customers think they can call you and you’ll be there in 30
minutes,” he said.
And he’s right, unfortunately. In today’s world, customers are impatient
and don’t want to wait for anything. I have to admit, I’m always a little
surprised when I’m making calls for the “Price Points” department (see
page 20) and a customer
service representative asks if they can call me back with a price. Even
I find myself being a little impatient.
Recently a popular topic on our online forum has been a similar one related
to distributors. At least one industry supplier has decided its representatives
will no longer look prices up for shops.
With time struggles even occurring within the industry’s supply chain,
unfortunately it seems it’s only going to get worse. If you read the interview
with Auto Windscreens’ managing director Nigel Davies on page
42, you’ll see that he calls auto glass “a distress purchase”—and
finds that, though the company has released an innovative mobile phone
app for requesting auto glass repair and replacement, most customers simply
make the call—because they are in a hurry.
Another interviewee for the mobile article told me he often texts customers
because they’re in such a hurry that they can’t be bothered to answer
the phone. Meanwhile, insurers are placing new demands on the industry,
too—as you’ll see in the article about Allstate’s new dealer glass policy
on page 18.
Sadly, it seems the pressure on an already-tough industry is only growing—and
I don’t think any of us is sure if and when it will end. But there is
hope. An industry event is coming up that will hopefully address many
of these questions—and give you a chance to talk directly with one another
about how to handle customer issues, insurer challenges and more. You
can read all about this event, Auto Glass Week™, on page
21 of this issue, where we’ve included a full guide to the week, September
15-17 in Memphis, Tenn.
I look forward to seeing you there, and hearing about your own daily issues
and struggles—and learning tips from our innovative speaker line-up about
how to work through these. See you in September.
P.S. Is anyone else craving Little Caesars?
Penny Stacey is the editor of AGRR magazine.
© Copyright 2011 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.