Improve Your Customer Experience: Part 1

Abby Wilson / Collision Repair Newsletter /

When looking for ways to boost your shop’s consumer service index (CSI), it makes sense to break it out by the three main communication touch points you have with your customers: first contact, scheduling and work in process, and vehicle pick-up.  As the first of our three-part blog series, we will start by reviewing best practices surrounding the first contact you have with customers to begin their customer experience journey with your shop.  In the coming months, we will cover the other two touch points.

CSI begins with the very first phone call your shop makes on a DRP assignment, or as the consumer is in your parking lot about to pull in to your shop.  In either case, it’s important to remember that the consumer has just experienced a traumatic event, and your shop should respond empathetically.  These consumers are putting their trust in your shop to repair their vehicle, so it’s vital that your employees showcase their expertise during this first interaction, on every aspect from the safe repair of their vehicle to all associated activities, such as rental cars.

The best consumer experience occurs when a consumer is empowered and invested in the process. Use CCC ONE Touch (included in your CCC subscription) to engage your consumers in the appraisal process to avoid common misunderstandings, e.g. prior damage, and to allow more face time with consumers to answer questions and again prove your shop’s collision repair expertise.

Gaining trust also requires that you set appropriate expectations up front with your customers regarding repair time and when they can expect to hear from you moving forward.  At this time, you should identify their preferred method of communication with which they will be receiving these updates (text, e-mail, call).  Once determined, it is vital that you use this method of communication in your interactions with these customers. The exception to this would be a change in the vehicle completion date, this should always be first a phone call, followed by a status update. Improve your customers experience by closely monitoring customer responses to these communications to provide appropriate replies in a timely manner.

The goal of the first interaction with a customer is to show empathy, expertise, and set expectations to ultimately build trust.  A great first interaction will build a solid foundation for each customers’ journey with your shop and lead you on your way to the best customer experience and, subsequently, best in class CSI scores.