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Thursday, 04 June 2020 16:52

Bogi Lateiner Discusses Post Corona Customer Care and Communications

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Bogi Lateiner Bogi Lateiner

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Now that the world has been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic for a couple months, things are slowly starting to reopen, leading people to talk about the new normal and what life will be like post-corona.

Bogi Lateiner, of All Girls Garage, dove into the topic of “Post Corona Customer Care and Communication” during a recent installment of a collaborative series of technical and management classes focused on necessary topics for navigating business operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The series is hosted by the Carquest Technical Institute and Worldpac Training Institute (CTI+WTI.)

 

Charlie Sanville, most commonly known as the Humble Mechanic from YouTube, introduced Lateiner, who began by posing several questions: “How much has changed, will these changes be permanent and, if not, how long will they last?

 

"We’ve all been forced to find ways to carry on with many aspects of our lives, including auto repair," Lateiner said. "Here’s my suggestion: What if corona isn’t really a game changer at all? What if it’s a game elevator? Maybe, the pandemic is giving us a clearer view of what has to change within our world and within our industry and challenging us to change our perception of things.

 

“Very little has changed on a deep and fundamental level,” Lateiner insisted. “But this affords us a unique opportunity to examine what we, as an industry, are doing to care for our teams and our customers. Do we have the things in place that it’ll take to move into the future?

 

"The automotive and collision industries have been in the process of revamping how we serve customers and compete for some time. We don’t know the outcome of COVID-19 since it’s still happening, but this is the time to ask ourselves the hard questions and hopefully come up with new innovations.”

 

Although the outbreak has devastated countless businesses, that is the case with any other major disruption as well, so shop owners should focus on what it means to run a successful shop in a turbulent world, regardless of the current disruption.

 

“How you handle it will determine whether you succeed or not; disruptions are weathered by businesses that are willing to question, adapt and grow,” Lateiner said. “We’ve seen shops go out of business, but other shops are thriving because they are embracing change. If you’re not in a state of growth, you’re in a state of decay. This is a natural process, but right now, it’s moving as an unprecedented rate.”

 

The COVID-19 pandemic is a huge disrupter, but Lateiner believes the bigger issue is not being customer-centric.

 

“Not focusing on your customers will be more detrimental than the pandemic itself. We’re in the business of customer service, and we need to re-evaluate what being ‘of service’ looks like," she said. "The most dangerous phrase you can utter is ‘We’ve always done it this way,’ because the same thinking leads to the same results. If we dig in our heels, we’re not going to survive---being self-righteous isn’t going to serve us, but being customer-focused will.”

 

Lateiner pointed out that customers’ increased concern for cleanliness, desire for digital appointments and tendency to drive fewer miles are all things that have been trending in that direction.

 

“Coronavirus isn’t changing anything---it’s just exacerbating and accelerating things,” she stressed. “How we do things might change, but the why shouldn’t change. If you’re just in business to make money, that’s not going to cut it, but that was never enough.


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