May/June  2001

Expert Advice
pros who know

Like New

by Dave Shores


While attending the Spring Auto Glass Expo™ in Las Vegas in February, I overheard repair technicians talking about how to overcome their customers’ expectations that the windshield repair should be invisible when finished. It seems that the customers thought a repair would make the windshield “just like new.” 

However, most of us know that the only glass that looks new is new. 
As I listened to them, it made me think back to things I heard when I was just starting in this industry. One comment that still sticks with me is this: “I can still see it.” I remember why the customer made that comment, and why I deserved it—I had failed to set their expectations before the repair. 

I learned early on that you must set the customers’ expectations about what the repair will look like when it is completed. I always try to get the customer to go out to their car with me when I inspect the break. During that inspection, I determine how sensitive the break is and if there is any water or contamination in it. 

During this process, I ask the customer how old the break is and if there were any other information they would like to share regarding the damage. I want them to feel comfortable with me as the person that is going to repair their windshield. 

Based on my findings and what they tell me, I set their expectations by saying, “I can repair this break and I will restore the strength of the windshield. I will also restore the optical clarity of the damaged area to about 80 percent. It won’t be invisible.” 

The customer is usually looking at the break and envisioning what an 80 percent improvement is going to look like. If it is an older, contaminated break, you may want to back the optical clarity percentage off to 50 percent. 

I can’t stress enough that you need to under promise so that you can over deliver. When the customer inspects the work, you always want to hear: “Where is it?” or “It looks better that I envisioned.” 

If you are hearing comments like these, you have been doing a good job of setting your customer’s expectations. Remember that the fastest way to create satisfied customers is to teach them what the features of your service are and how that service will benefit them. 

 wpeD.jpg (2679 bytes) Dave Shores is the marketing director for Glas-Weld Systems Inc., and serves on the board of directors for the National Windshield Repair Association.


© Copyright Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.