Capture & Closure – Bookends of the Customer Experience
by Mark Fincher
Vice President of Market Solutions
We’ve written in this space before about the importance of the customer experience and how the empathy you show towards your customer will drive how they feel about their repair. So how do you infuse empathy in repair experience to create a five-star review and lifelong customer. Let’s look at the beginning and the end of the repair process and how empathy plays a role in winning and maintaining customers.
Drive Your Capture Rate
In your line of work, customers only come to you after they’ve had an accident. You’re not part of their plans, instead you’re an unplanned expense with an unknown timeline. A traumatic experience of an accident, coupled with the unknown of when they’ll get their car back, underscores the importance empathy plays in reducing friction and creating a rewarding experience for the customer. Here are five tips to create a winning experience and relationship:
- Make it easy for customers to request a service. Make online appointments and requests for digital estimates available on your website or Carwise profile. About 1/3 of consumers search for goods and services outside of normal business hours; make this available when it’s convenient for THEM.
- Be responsive. When customers request a digital estimate, responding quickly has a direct impact on your shop’s capture rate. Best-in-class shops turn estimates around about 8 hours faster than their competitors.
- Follow up directly. The January edition of CCC Trends tells us that digital & mobile experiences are now table stakes, but that consumers are looking for human interaction at just the right time. Once that appointment is made or estimate is provided back to the customer, a well-timed phone call can help to solidify the relationship and earn the repair business.
- Explain, explain, explain. Most of your customers will not understand the intricacies of a quarter panel replacement or why a seemingly simple fender bender can cost a few thousand dollars to fix. Use cccone.com to write the estimate at the vehicle with them, and take a few minutes to go through the steps you take to get them back on the road. Explain why diagnostics and calibrations are critical to determine any impact on the ADAS features designed to keep them safe.
The Importance of Closure
Once you’ve secured the job, the blueprinting, parts ordering, vehicle workflow, repair procedures, etc. are up to you. But when it’s time to return the keys to your customers, here are some tips to close out a great experience.
- Explain, explain, explain. Walk the customer through what your team did to return the vehicle to pre-accident condition. Highlight anything that was different than your previous explanation, especially if it was not visible to the naked eye. That will help your customer feel cared for and reinforce the value that YOUR shop has provided.
- Post-Repair Survey. Many insurance carriers use scores from customer satisfaction surveys to determine where to send assignments. And while there is value in the data that surveys provide, the comments and qualitative feedback received can help you see what your shop does well and where you could benefit from additional training.
- Thank them. It sounds simple, right? It’s likely that you thanked the customer when they left your shop with their vehicle. But if they took the time to complete a survey, a well-timed phone call (remember what we said about human interaction at just the right time) to simply say “thank you” will go a long way.
Then do it all again. And again. And again. The empathy you and your team demonstrate can have a big impact on your capture rate. And a successful closure of the repair process can drive higher customer satisfaction scores, inspire trust, and enhance your shop’s reputation.