Auto glass companies say they have encountered challenges with some of the changes that have been implemented recently through the Safelite Solutions Network. Brian O’Mara, senior vice president, Safelite Solutions, talked to AGRR magazine editorial director Tara Taffera about why they were implemented.
AGRR: I am sure you have seen our story that users are having a hard time with some of the changes with billing through the Safelite Solutions Network. Can you go over some of those and outline for our readers why those were implemented?
O’Mara: I would like to do that as some of the information out there is based on wrong assumptions. Our staff hasn’t changed—the same people assigned to operations are still there, and doing all the things they have done in the past. We have identified opportunities to improve our service to the industry. Sometimes you have to take an inward look and ask: can I do it better? The answer was yes, we can provide a better level of service.
Your readers made reference to changes at sgcnetwork.com. If it is not performing for them as it has in the past than then yes that is an opportunity for them to let us know. But the intention of the new and improved SGC Network was to provide more features and functionality to the glass shops so they could conduct business at their convenience rather than ours.
For one, in the last 60 days we expanded our hours of operation to the contact center. The hours were 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST, and we simply didn’t believe that was good enough service because it forced them to conduct business under a limited window of time. And those hours are not when they want to do their admin work: they want to be out serving customers. So now those hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. What that does, when you look at the different time zones, is it creates a broader opportunity for them to contact us. We weren’t sure what the calling patterns would be. So some of those issues around average speed of answer is because we are trying to understand the calling patterns under the new hours. As we can see that behavior, the intention is to answer the average call in 30 seconds or less.
The last change [and not final] one we implemented was that we installed interactive voice technology which allows the glass shops to do things like request a resend of a referral number or work order so they don’t have to wait to speak to a live person. So our intention is to improve service. Sometimes you take a step back to take multiple steps ahead. But I feel good about why we are doing it and the benefit it will have to the industry.
AGRR: Why was the decision made to implement changes?
O’Mara: Some of these issues is what drove us to make changes in the first place. We were getting feedback that there were shops who thoughts we could provide a higher level of service so based on that we started implementing change.
AGRR: Prior to seeing our story in glassBYTEs where we talked to auto glass shops about issues they were having with the network, what was the feedback you had received?
It was a little bit of a mix. I know there some bugs that we identified. We tried to communicate thoroughly and comprehensively that a change in network application was coming. Unfortunately everyone waited until last the last minute to sign up for the new website instead of transitioning when we gave them months’ notice. So that little bit of stampede caused some of these inconveniences. We believe in keeping our ear to the ground. We have had some glass shops visit us and we have talked to them where we are going and how to get there and we feel like we have a solid plan for the future.