Mike Anderson

mike anderson autobody newsMike Anderson is the president and owner of Collision Advice, a consulting company for the auto body/collision repair industry. For nearly 25 years, he was the owner of Wagonwork Collision Center, an OEM-certified, full-service auto body repair facility in Alexandria, VA.

Wednesday, 07 April 2021 16:20

From the Desk of Mike Anderson: Have We Handcuffed Employees from Providing Extraordinary Customer Service?

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...customers will answer the three or four basic CSI questions positively. We’ve found ways to keep them informed, to ensure their vehicle is returned on time, etc.


That’s part of how CSI has made us better as an industry. And of course those things are, and will continue to be, very important elements to our business. But as we’ve crafted our customer service around just those things, I think we may have handcuffed our team, limiting how much they think outside the box in terms of providing exceptional, memorable service.


That’s why I think the additional power of open-ended online customer reviews will open new opportunities for your business to set itself apart.


What does that memorable or magical customer experience look like? I’ll be honest: I don’t know.


In talking about this with my good friend Ray Chew at CCC Information Services, he told me he thinks it has to start from that first point of contact, when we first get that assignment or referral. From that point on, we need to be looking for opportunities to wow that customer, to turn what they might perceive as a bad situation into a great experience.


An example: How often have we had a customer call to say they left their sunglasses or phone charger in their car when they dropped it at the shop? Once you locate the item in the car, do you just tell them how late you are open if they want to pick it up---or does someone offer to drop it off at their home or work? It’s a little thing, but a kind, convenient gesture customers may well mention as part of a five-star online review.


I can point to something similar in my own life recently. I had groceries delivered to my home, and in trying to pick up more of the bags than I should have, I managed to drop one, cracking open a watermelon and most of a dozen eggs---the equivalent of “one-time-use parts” in the world of groceries.


About 20 minutes later, there was a knock at my door. There was the young grocery delivery guy with another watermelon and carton of eggs for me. He wasn’t the person responsible for the busted groceries. He didn’t even work for the grocery store; he was a subcontractor who did this on his own. You better believe that turned an otherwise mundane transaction into a memorable experience to share in an online review.


That’s the sort of thing your employees need to be empowered to do. It will be key to helping your business thrive as online reviews expand the customer experience beyond the basic building blocks of CSI.


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