Improve Your Customer Experience: Part 2

Abby Wilson / Collision Repair Newsletter /

In Part One of our three part customer experience series, we shared best practices surrounding the first contact shops have with their customers.  Now, we’ll be moving on to best practices during the scheduling and work in process stage.  Stay tuned for our third, and final, post that will share tips on vehicle pick-up.

After the first interaction with your customer you will have successfully built a solid foundation for your customer’s experience with your shop and defined the best method for communicating repair updates with that customer to keep them informed during this “part 2” of the customer journey.  Two key aspects for glowing recommendations during this stage are keeping the customer informed and delivering the vehicle on time.

Delivering the vehicle on time

All of your customers will ask when their vehicle will be ready for pick up.  Coaching your staff on the appropriate steps to take before answering this question is vital.  Before offering a promise date, fully disassemble the vehicle (never use the words tear down), check for hidden damage and order parts.

The CCC TRUE Parts Network offers your staff access to a live inventory of all part types while they are writing the estimate.  This moves the parts decision upstream to improve parts accuracy resulting in lower supplements, shorter cycle time and reduced file administration.

Example

Your customer’s car is drivable, so you inform them they will receive a text message (their preferred communication method) by 10 a.m. that day to confirm their vehicle pick-up date. Best practice here is to allow half day contingency in your repair plan. Remember the promise date is based on real world conditions at your shop at the current time.

Keeping the customer informed

CCC’s customer experience platform, UpdatePlus, will send status messages automatically to your customers on the progress of the repair, allowing you to effortlessly keep your customers informed while you focus on providing quality repairs.

Your customers may reply to these updates, so it is imperative that you shop monitor the replies.   This will allow your team to proactively measure customer sentiment while the vehicle is in the repair process and engage the customer immediately if a negative sentiment is expressed. There is an expectation of a speedy reply when a customer sends a text message. Your staff’s attention and timely replies to the customer will likely result in higher CSI returns and best in class CSI scores.

Example

Your shop is looking for the vehicle’s wheel lock key. The customer has selected text for status messages. Instead of calling the customer, leaving a message and waiting to hear back, you send a custom text message requesting the wheel lock key location. You’re pleased by the timely response.

If there is an unexpected delay in the completion of the vehicle, only then would you pick the phone and call your customer before inputting the promise date change into CCC ONE. This same rule applies if the vehicle is completed early.  We’ve observed millennial consumers have expressed higher negativity to early completions when compared to baby boomers.

Our last article in this Consumer Service Index series will cover best practices when the customer arrives to pick up their vehicle.