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1 Simple Step to Raise your CSI Score

—January 25, 2016
1 Simple Step to Raise your CSI Score

In a collision repair shop, the customer service experience you deliver is just as important as the parts you use or the top-notch technicians you employ.

This blog post will provide you with a simple method for managing customer expectations and customer experience in order to help you raise your CSI (Customer Satisfaction Index) score.

“When will my car be ready?”

By the sheer nature of collision repair, most customers walk through your doors already frustrated and hoping for a fast, simple solution to whatever may be going on with their vehicle.

They’ve usually got two questions for you, and they’re not always easy to answer. You probably know them well: “What will the repair cost?” followed by “when will it be ready?”

In our desire to make customers happy from the start, many of us are quick to promise the fast results we want to provide.

Yet each promise we make seals a commitment and sets an expectation - one that you and your team don’t yet know if you can follow through on.

Here’s why: until you’ve completed the teardown, you aren’t really sure what you are facing. The number of hours required to complete the job is impossible to guess if you haven’t seen the extent of the damage yet.

This is only the first variable on the table. There are other possibilities that can and do happen: the parts you need may not be in stock or won’t be available right away, or there could be a hold-up in getting the insurance claim processed. Any of these situations, plus other unexpected occurrences like a technician being out sick, or a huge influx of jobs, can push out the delivery date significantly.  

While all of these situations are entirely out of your control, they could end up reflecting badly on you and your shop — leading to a lower CSI (Customer Satisfaction Index) score, and ultimately affecting everything from your insurance carrier relationships to your online Yelp reviews.

Not to mention the unnecessary stress on you and your employees.

Managing Customer Expectations

At a recent talk dubbed “Mike and Friends” in St. Louis, Missouri, Mike Anderson, respected industry speaker and owner of offered some sage advice that’s hard to ignore:

"Stop giving your customers a delivery date when they drop off the car. Stop it!”

He goes on to explain exactly how to handle it instead.

“If you want to improve your CSI scores, tell your customers this:

After we do a complete tear down, find all the damage, determine parts availability, and get insurance authorization we will text or call you to let you know when the car will be ready.

Then whenever you call the customer, use the words ‘keeping you informed’. Every time you call with an update tell them: I'm calling you to ‘keep you informed…’

When the survey asks if they were kept informed about service, the terminology is the same and you will get a high score.”

It’s a simple science that can change everything. 

By leaving an open line of communication, you are refusing to set your customers up for disappointment. In that sense, you are looking out for both your interest and theirs. 

Communication is Key

As explained in a recent article on customer service, communication is the key to keeping customers happy. By telling them what to expect and being transparent about the situation, you’ll naturally gain their trust and be more likely to one day gain their loyalty.

An open line of communication builds trust, while a broken promise does just the opposite.

So help yourself and your customers by keeping communication open, and as Mike tell us, “keeping them informed”. This approach will make for more loyal customers, better reviews, and happier employees. That’s a win for everyone.

Tools like Mitchell RepairCenterCustomer Engagement Tools can help you create a great customer experience that will help raise your CSI (Customer Satisfaction Index) score.

With Mitchell RepairCenter™ Customer Engagement tools, you can quickly view CSI data to determine where problems are arising and address them head-on. You’ll also have a snapshot of where your strengths lie, and how you can make simple improvements that will reflect your commitment to an excellent collision repair experience.

Start making a difference your CSI score today. Ask us about what Mitchell’s RepairCenter Customer Engagement Tools can do for your auto body shop.

  1. Heitzman, Adam. "Customer Service Means Managing Expectations." Inc., March 31, 2015. Web

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