What Your Customer Craves
by Allison Salvato, Client Solutions Manager
A few weeks ago, my young 9-year-old son was playing tag with friends at a local park. During a high-speed chase, he tripped and broke his fall with his new phone in his hand. Tears streamed down his face as he tried to tell me what happened. I thought he was hurt but his tears were for the shattered phone.
Once I knew he was okay, the thought of getting a replacement stressed me out as the questions piled up: Did we get insurance? (We did. Phew!) Do I need to go back to where I bought it or can I do it over the phone? How long will it take to get help? Will it be a repair or a replace, and how long will that take? How much will this cost?
Turning a Negative Into a Positive
My anxiety quickly disappeared when I had a phenomenal customer experience right out of the gate. We had a replacement within 24 hours, and I didn’t have to take out a second mortgage to pay for it. That’s great, and that’s what I expected. But what made all the difference is how the customer service representatives approached the situation: with compassion, understanding and thoughtfulness. When I called, the person I spoke with didn’t even ask about the phone at first. He asked about my son. He asked if he was okay and said, “Phones can be replaced, but kids can’t.” That truly set the tone for the rest of my experience. He took the time to explain the process and set proper expectations. AND the company followed through with what he said they were going to do. The entire process was positive, seamless and stress-free. I’ll remember how they made me feel.
Of course, vehicle accidents are much more serious than a kid damaging a phone. But the repair process for both can be filled with anxiety, questions, and stress. Regardless of the industry, consumers crave one thing: a customer experience that makes them feel listened to, understood, and cared for.
Studies have shown that the average person can expect to be in three to four car accidents in their lifetime. No one wants to be a part of that statistic, but it’s a reality and the aftermath of a car accident is unfamiliar, unpredictable and challenging.
It Starts (But Doesn’t End) With Empathy
When a customer walks into your shop, it could be their first time navigating the repair process. They are looking to you, the professional, to make that experience a great one. Show concern and empathy for what they have just been through. Ask if everyone is okay. Engage them in the process to help build rapport and trust. Set proper expectations and explain how things will work. Keep them informed. At the end of the day, your customer wants you to follow through with what you said you were going to do. Provide them with a positive, seamless, and stress-free experience.