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September/October  2004

Field of Vision
    from the editor

The Real World
by Brigid O'Leary

“Hi Honey, I’m home.” I got a welcome-home hug from my fiancé and he asks me how my day went. I said it went well and he replies: “Good. I’m glad.” Then there’s a pause, followed by “I need you to put your job to work.” My left eyebrow arches and my right eyebrow furrows (if one can furrow without the other).

“What happened to the truck?”

The truck is our brand new (OK, six-month-old) pick-up. 

“It got hit with a rock on the way home today. It’s not bad. It didn’t go all the way through the windshield,” he said.

I almost laughed. Instead I tell him I didn’t think it would have and ask how big the impact point is and what type of break it is. Of course he doesn’t know; he doesn’t know about windshields. He sells seasonal novelty items. Turns out it’s a combination break about the size of a dime. 

The next day I ask around the office and chose to call the company that has replaced many windshields of Key Communications’ employees.

Now, I did have some reservations about calling this company. About a week prior to my need for repair, one of my coworkers had needed a replacement. The appointment was scheduled for a time when the coworker was to be out of town on a business trip, and the replacement was done in our parking lot on Wednesday morning. My coworker returned Saturday night, and on Monday morning asked our publisher, Deb Levy, and me to look at the car. the urethane had not cured and the clips were broken. Of course, the company returned to fix the job and ended up completely replacing the windshield again.

So, why did I choose to go to a company that had just performed a less-than-stellar job for one of my friends?
Because I knew I could trust them. The company is one that has been working with the Key Communi-cations’ employees for some time and has proven to be trustworthy. When the tech was repairing my windshield, he let me watch and ask questions, explaining to me what he was doing during each step of the process and what it would do to the windshield. He earned my trust.

Trust is very important to cultivate with customers, whether you perform repairs or replacements. Yes, one tech could complete a job that diminishes the trust of the customer (such as that of my coworker), but if the company corrects the problem to the best of its ability and does so quickly, maybe it won’t lose the customer’s trust completely. Trust is a three-way intersection. You have to teach your techs to do the job correctly. They have to trust you to make it clear how you expect the job done each and every time, and to make sure they can handle the job when sent out alone. The customer has to trust both of you, to do the job and do it right. Are you fostering a company built on trust? If not, why not, and what can you do to change it? 

P.S. The National Auto Glass Conference is fast approaching and I’m working the AGRR booth #503. If you’re attending please stop by and say “hi.” 


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