Auto Glass Week Attendees Take Home Business,
Legal and Customer Service Tips
September 21, 2012
by Megan Headley, email@example.com
this morning's Auto Glass Week seminars, attendees were treated
to come concrete tips to take home on running their businesses more
Chris Umble, vice president of strategic initiatives for LYNX Services,
rolled out a number of strategies for addressing the common business
of customer service in this morning's session on "Meeting the
Expectations of Insurance Customers and Consumers."
"Customer service, at the end of the day, is the thing we all
have in common as we go about our duties in the auto glass ecosystem,"
Umble said. What's more, he added, "At the end of the day,
customer service says everything about the business."
He defined "excellent" customer service as "the ability
of an organization to constantly and consistently exceed the customer's
As Umble elaborated, "You can only meet expectations if you
give the customer what they ask for. You can only exceed expectations
if you give them something more ...If you wait until they ask you
for the 'next generation' [product], where did they get that idea?
Maybe from your competitors."
Umble added that he believes excellence in customer service is a
function of change management, and the fine balance of change and
consistency which seem to be opposing if equally critical components
of customer service.
He pointed out that the AGRSS Standard is following the path to
exceeding the "customer's" expectations. "Taking
the practices and turning it into a standard is an innovation. What
comes next is the training ... Out of that drives consistency,"
Umble said. "The validation step is what's going to drive consistency.
As a result of that, differentiation will be the end product."
What's more, Umble added, even during yesterday's Auto
Glass Safety Council Standards Committee Meeting, chair Bob
Beranek was pointing out that at the next meeting, the group would
promptly begin work no the next standard update - continuing to
Umble also said auto glass techs have told him that standard compliance
- or consistency - is helping to save money via fewer callbacks.
Umble finished by offering a few recommendations to industry leaders
in the audience for ensuring that their businesses are all seen
for their strengths. He advised that attendees take advantage of
this week's meeting of industry leaders to create a strategy to
overcome perceived obstacles. He advised that each attendee enroll,
adopt and promote industry best practices through AGRSS and ROLAGS
standards. He encouraged attendees to welcome accountability, because
validation by a third-party makes all that time and effort you've
put into certification "worthwhile." Finally, he encouraged
his listeners to embrace change change faster and more productively
by going after the change that the customer wants and talking to
colleagues here at the event about how to move the industry forward.
Later, Chuck Lloyd and Debra Nelson of Livgard & Lloyd succeeded
in their goal of providing an hour's worth of business and legal
tips sure to help auto glass businesses protect themselves.
The first idea was useful for the entire audience. Lloyd advised
taking notes on all of the ideas being presented here at Auto Glass
Week, but committing to implementing at least three of them after
Other tips included:
- You need to put financial controls in place no matter how trustworthy
you think your employees are," Nelson said. Even the best
of employees sometimes make bad decisions, she said.
- Lloyd implored listeners to explore Google, from free listings
on Google Places to Google Plus business pages, to Google scholar's
option for searching patents and legal documents. "It's amazing
what's out there for free," Lloyd pointed out.
- Collect what you are owed, Lloyd stressed. "If you have
a short play problem, you have to first admit that you have a
problem," he said. "There are tools that are available
to you - go to glassBYTEs.com ... and search for Alpine
- Nelson advised keeping one calendar for work and for home. "It's
all equally important ... have it in one place so you can take
care of everything in equal priority," she said.
- Lloyd asked the audience how many times they've been told the
customer has full glass coverage, only to find out that's not
true. You need to document your calls in some way because it's
the person who made the mistake - not you - who bears the responsibility,
- Nelson suggested partnering with local police or fire department
for a day of carseat safety, advertising that service and also
getting out your name and positioning yourself as a community
leader. "You want to make time for marketing, every single
day," Nelson said, adding, "It can be so much simpler
than we think." She suggested finding ways to make business
and life intersect, like sponsoring a local baseball team or donating
to a yearbook. On top of that, you want to be creative in your
marketing to stay memorable.
- They had a number of tips for streamlining email and technology
but also advised investing in technology, such as tablets. "You
can use an iPad, iPhone, tablet, to get a customer to sign on
the spot ... and you've got the assignment done right there,"
Lloyd said. "One of the things I think you need to do on
a reglar business is review your supplier relationships. Are the
people you work with looking for ways to advance your business
...?" Lloyd asked.
- "Make sure you have a written warranty for your work,"
Lloyd said. "I'm saying 'stand behind your work but make
sure you have a written warranty that says exactly what that means.'"
The pair left the audience with this last tip: "So much of
what we do in life and in business is try to avoid losing. You're
much better off if you go out and try to win. It's the number-one
thing you can do to help your business," Lloyd said.
Auto Glass Week continues in Louisville, Ky., through Saturday,
September 22, with more educational seminars, the opening of the
Exhibition/Extravaganza and the Pilkington Clear Advantage Auto
Glass Technician Olympics and the Walt Gorman Memorial Windshield
Repair Olympics. Stay tuned to glassBYTEs.com for updates
straight from the show.
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