IGA Teams Up with AAGA to Offer 24/7 Scheduling Capabilities
Members of the Independent Glass Association (IGA) can now utilize the services of the American Auto Glass Alliance (AAGA), which provides a 24/7 call center for independent shops, at reduced rates.
"Basically, shops that become members [of the AAGA] at their choosing can forward their phones to us anytime, 24/7, once they've signed up," says Stuart Weatherman, president of the AAGA. (Weatherman also owns his own auto glass business, Diamond Auto Glass in Phoenix, and has been working on designing and perfecting the service for the last two years.)
Those who sign up with AAGA receive a username and password, via which they can log in to what AAGA calls a personalized "dashboard" to customize how their own calls are answered, when/how jobs should be scheduled, etc. "When a call comes in for that particular glass shop, the dashboard pops up with that client's information," Weatherman says.
But, it's more than an answering service.
"We're an extension of the auto glass shop," he adds, noting that the dashboard also provides instructions on how jobs should be scheduled. Likewise, all calls are recorded, and members who use the service can review all calls via the aforementioned online dashboard.
"You don't just have the ability to personalize our customer service agents, but you also have the ability to critique them," Weatherman says. "We want to make this bullet-proof, so that our glass shop clients trust us and know that we're doing the job right … We want to make this a profit center for independent glass shops."
Shops pay a monthly fee for the service, and then a fee per scheduled job. The benefits outweigh the costs, though, Weatherman says.
"This is going to save [shops] money. It's going to give [them] more jobs and is going to give access to more jobs, and it will hopefully reduce [their] front-office costs," he adds.
The AAGA also is equipped to conduct three-way calls with networks to schedule jobs as necessary.
IGA director of operations Patrick Smith says several IGA board members have tried the service themselves, leading the association to choose to form a direct relationship with the AAGA.
"They found it to be an outstanding addition to their business, and therefore directed that an affinity program be created," Smith says, who adds that he expects this to help independent shop members be more competitive with larger chains. "Plus, the CSRs on the other end of the phone know and understand the auto glass business."
"We feel that this new service, by extending a shop's hours of operation, will increase the number of sales closed by participants, thereby increasing a shop's revenue. It's Business 101," he says.
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