How to Get a Reasonable and Customary Markup

As part of the "What Worked for Me" series of sessions at the Independent Glass Association meeting last week in Orlando, Fla., Scott Harkey, Windshield Glass, explained how he uses 'reasonable and customary markup' as a tool for billing. He cited three things a glass shop needs to get its full billing rate.

1. Compile a list of the names of vice presidents of claims at the insurance companies who are responsible for auto glass. (You will probably have to contact them.)

2. Know what the reasonable and customary markup is for the various insurance companies. ("This lets you know when you are not getting an insurance company's reasonable and customary markup.")

3. Be sure you have caller ID and conference call.

Caller ID comes in handy when the call comes in, because you know if it is close enough for you to entice the customer to come into the shop and whether or not you would make any money traveling to this client for a mobile installation.

"You need conference call so that when the customer calls the third party administrator you are aware of the conversation to keep the job from being moved out of your shop."

He also said that a very effective technique for getting a claim handled quickly on those conference calls is to announce at the beginning, "This call may be monitored for quality assurance purposes."

Harkey said, "All we're asking is to be treated fairly."

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