The Empathy Factor

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Satisfying traumatized collision clients is the most critical part of quality customer care.

When you meet and greet your collision customers, you have to sympathize with them, hold onto your big smile and avoid phrases like “welcome back” or “see you again.” It’s a common courtesy to first ask about your customer’s health and wellbeing after the accident.

Providing extra attention and expressing sympathy by sharing feelings, as well as respecting their emotions with empathy, is much appreciated by anxious customers and creates the rapport you need in achieving a positive outcome when working to resolve their concerns.

Being a customer service provider in the automotive industry requires many different talents, such as a positive attitude, patience, effective communication, active listening skills and a keen sense of discretion.

Truly caring

Ultimately, the bottom line of your collision business depends on the service providers and appraisers working on the front line. Those that truly care about their customers tend to be part of businesses that are far more lucrative than those that don’t.

When you’re dealing with angry and difficult customers, you have to act as a benevolent referee and sometimes you need to be both the judge and jury. Often, you don’t have the luxury of making a wrong verdict given the impact it could have on your collision business.

Once you’ve empathized with the customer, you can then proceed to fix their damaged vehicle back to pre-accident condition. If you simply solve the problem without making an effort to soothe their irritation, they probably won’t be fully satisfied.

When someone is upset or very angry, they are not able to think clearly or reasonably well. As service providers, expressing empathy to any upset customer absorbs the emotion, allowing the agitated customer to think more logically.

Once customers realize that you are on their side, they will be more willing to work with you to fix the problem, or will allow you the time to resolve the issue.

Empathy can actually make the interaction with the emotional customer develop faster, with improved results, and allow you to connect with your customer, establish rapport and create a sense of teamwork between both parties.

Cross marketing opportunities

When it comes to collision repair it is extremely important to put customer safety first. At our facility we perform initial appraisals with state of- the-art equipment and processes to create estimates. We also pay close attention and identify a list of parts that are worn-out or unsafe due to age and mileage even if they are unrelated with the collision claim. After a final quality assurance of collision repairs, providing safety check reports and recommendations and escorting customers to the service operation on site is also a key process. If a customer’s vehicle is already in the service database, we can check service history and recommend preventive maintenance based on mileage suggested. Interestingly, the majority of customers do appreciate the extra inspection and service.

If we find multiple stone chips or rust spots we also recommend customers to consider protection film following repairs. Our parts department plays a pivotal role to supply such protective accessories and other OEM collision repair parts.

If the vehicle is declared a total loss it can also be a good opportunity for the sales team to welcome those distressed customers by offering special prices and programs on new or used vehicles.

By connecting and coordinating your collision operation with supporting departments to satisfy customer needs, it’s a win-win for business success.

Categories : Collision


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