The glass replacement is complete, and the insured is viewing the car in a whole new way. The damage on the glass is gone, but now they notice the gouge in the hood. Was that there before?
No business is thrilled about comebacks, re-dos, or warranty claims. We all would much rather get it perfect the first time, but we all know it is not always possible. But, a great way to increase customer satisfaction and reduce warranties overall is to simply be properly prepared. By being proactive, a shop can eliminate the majority of misunderstandings that can occur during a glass replacement and can avoid most fraudulent warranty issues. By properly training its team members, warranties can become non-issues and alleviate any lingering doubts that could end up putting all parties in a no-win situation.
A technician can many times be faced with difficult decisions at the job site. How or even whether to proceed with the installation becomes a valid question. HSG’s warranty department wants to help by offering some suggestions:
1. IF YOUR SHOP DOESN’T ALREADY HAVE A PRE-INSPECTION DOCUMENT, DRAFT ONE. There is no magic form that works for everyone, but there are many examples online. The most important thing to remember is to adopt a two copy system. The insured should sign the inspection form and receive an exact copy of the document. The carbon copy validates the document’s authenticity and dispels any accusations of alterations made after the damage was reported. While completing and obtaining the customer’s signature on the inspection form, it is imperative that the technician clearly explain the process. If the insured isn’t available to sign the pre-inspection document, the tech should still fill it out and leave a copy with the vehicle. One of HSG’s goals is to work with our affiliates to enhance communication and implement modern solutions-there are certainly more high-tech ways to document damages.
2. “A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS.” Most technicians have some form of camera in their pockets. Time-stamped pictures with the broken glass in the background, like the ones above can easily be taken with or without the insured present and can confirm in a second that no work has been performed and the damages are pre-existing.
3. CALL HSG BEFORE STARTING P#715-830-6060. If there is any question entering, starting or completing an installation, bring it to our attention first and let us know there may be a potential problem. NOTHING IS OUT OF BOUNDS in terms of what is reported, when it is reported, and what the insurance company may be able to approve. The time to address the concern should always be now, because we all know that now is when the insured wants a resolution. The more time that elapses, the more frustration, anger and resentment build, becoming an obstacle for an amicable resolution. Remember that a good faith gesture can be misinterpreted as an admission of guilt.
4. POST INSTALL FOLLOW UP CALL/SURVEY. The shop can follow up in 2-3 business days after the install to confirm the urethane has cured, the seal and trim is good, and that everything is completed to their satisfaction. This can confirm any number of issues, some that may be solved with a simple explanation, some that may require something more detailed. Either way, the issue is known and can be solved before the insured decides to notify their insurance provider.
5. LISTEN AND EMPATHIZE (DON’T TALK) ONCE AN ISSUE IS REPORTED. When a possible warranty issue does arise, HSG’s warranty team is working for all parties. The customer may have a valid issue, but may not be the best at explaining the situation. Having done the work, the original shop is the best qualified to handle the situation. When the initial conference call is connected, avoid promising any specific action on that first call, especially since the issue usually hasn’t been physically confirmed by a glass professional. We suggest using open-ended statements such as ‘Let’s work together to resolve the issue’ or ‘I will have our best technician work with you to find a solution.’ The HSG warranty representative has done their best, in what may be an uphill struggle, to conference a frustrated insured back to the shop so that facts can be determined and solutions can be explored. Too many times, the shop feeds off the frustration, gets defensive and points the finger back at the insured. When this occurs, they run the risk of losing the chance to see the vehicle again. Remember: the same right of choice that brought the customer to your shop is the one that allows them to request another shop to handle the warranty repairs.
As technology continues to mobilize, look for HSG to secure a cyber-space to send these photos and eventually provide a forum with helpful ideas, stories, installation hints, and vehicle-specific issues.