Hammer & Dolly, a joint production of Thomas Greco Publishing and the Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association, has graciously allowed us to reprint excerpts of…
The seemingly routine, no-brainer act of handing a car back to an owner can be optimized for better customer satisfaction, General Motors advises in the latest GM Repair Insights, offering seven ways collision repairers can improve “arguably the most overlooked part of a repair.”
You’ve got to look at it from the customer’s perspective, the OEM explains in the magazine. “To motorists, it’s a critical juncture in their relationship with the shop,” a GM Repair Insights Dec. 7 post states.
One of the main elements of GM’s seven suggestions involves preparing for the delivery ahead of the handover, according to GM Repair Insights. This includes both the shop and customer knowing what each party needs to do that day, according to a Missouri collision repairer quoted in the magazine.
When Casey Lund, manager of Warrensburg Collision in Warrensburg, MO, was reorganizing his business, he discovered one key touch occurs the day before delivery, when the shop needs to contact the customer to finalize paperwork and tie up any loose ends.
“A lot of times, insurers would hand over the repair check to customers who didn’t know to show up with it,” he says. “Other times the paperwork wasn’t ready so we had staff scrambling to find the right forms.” The confusion created delays, further sapping the business’s efficiency and creating some unhappy customers.
Today, the shop is organized. Paperwork is ready and waiting and customers are informed of any steps they need to take.
To this, we’d add that repairers don’t necessarily need to deliver this information verbally. If the customer would prefer an email or text message, accommodate that. A written communique also would seem to improve the odds that the customer wouldn’t forget a crucial step — like bringing the check!
GM Repair Insights also reports that Lund avoids chaotic situations like all customers showing up “at once, around the same time, at the end of the work day” by scheduling 30-minute blocks for deliveries.
The same advice would seem to apply to drop-offs, providing not only a more organized intake process but a method for shops to better control scheduling and cycle times from the start. Collision Advice’s Mike Anderson offered similar scheduling advice in an April CIECAst, noting that being smart about a workflow can also open up capacity — and therefore more opportunity for revenue.
Tom McGee of Spanesi also described similar delivery concepts in a SEMA talk, earlier noting that easiest ways to screw up CSI were blowing the delivery date and poor communication, he said.
During his presentation at SCRS’ Repairer Driven Education series, McGee recounted thoughtless shop behavior like calling him at 4:58 p.m. to pick up a car — at a shop that closed at 5 p.m. He was handed a stack of estimates and a key and not walked out to the car.
He also remembered the classy behavior of a shop owner in Texas, who left each customer a bottle of cold water in the cup holder to enjoy during the drive home in the Texas heat. (And you could probably print a shop logo on the bottle for an extra layer of branding.)
Find out more advice from the OEM and Lund — including how Lund’s staff treats a delivery as an opportunity to “resell the job” — in the GM Repair Insights issue.
GM Repair Insights, Dec. 7, 2016
Mike Anderson and Frank LaViola via CIECA, April 18, 2016
Featured image: The car delivery process deserves care and consideration as well, General Motors advised in a December GM Repair Insights post. (gpointstudio/iStock)