AutocheX has recently announced the recipients of the acclaimed AutocheX Premier Achiever Award. The award recognizes outstanding customer service in the automotive collision repair industry and celebrates achievement in customer satisfaction scores in the top five percent of participating shops. Fifteen ICBC c.a.r. shop VALET winners were announced and two of them are part of the Quality Assured Collision Services Group: Little Valley Collision and Glass in Ladysmith, BC, and Meadowridge’s Quality Assured Collision of Maple Ridge, BC. I was able to ask both shops a couple of questions and congratulate them on their wins.
First, Little Valley’s Quality Assured has provided Ladysmith, Nanaimo, and Vancouver Island with hard-working and dedicated service since 1980. This is not their first time receiving the AutocheX Premier Achiever Award; they also won in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012! Upon presentation of the 2013 award, I was able to ask owner and manager John Neil a couple of questions about their win:
How do you make customer service a priority in your shop?
We operate with a simple concept to always put our customers first, and we strive to ensure a positive experience for every customer. We work in a business where we must offer a service that usually follows a not-so-pleasant incident like a car accident, so we try extra hard to ensure we make it as easy for the customer as possible. Whether that is driving customers home, arranging rentals, picking up/delivering vehicles, giving helpful advice on claims and repair processes, or simply keeping them more informed about the whole process. We are not afraid to go the extra mile.
What is the most memorable customer experience you’ve witnessed in your shop?
It is very hard to narrow it down to one, but recently we had an elderly woman who had to put a claim in, and to make it easier on her so she didn’t have to travel too far, we picked up a rental car for her, dropped it at her house, and picked her vehicle up for service. To us, it’s a service that we’ve done for other customers in the past, but to her, it made the whole process so much easier and made a big impact on her. When we arrived at her house to return her car she had cookies and chocolates with cards for the employees. It’s definitely a good feeling to know we had turned an unpleasant situation around and we were rewarded deliciously!
Second, Meadowridge Quality Assured Collision is family owned and operated, and has been delivering business for 29 years in the same location in Maple Ridge. They also won the AutocheX Premier Achiever Award in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010, so this marks their fifth win! I got some great information from manager John Beard upon his shop receiving the award:
How do you make your automotive services memorable to the customer?
First of all, I’d like to mention that when a customer chooses to have us repair their vehicle, they’re dealing directly with an owner of the business. My father started Meadowridge Collision around 30 years ago and I’ve been working with him for the last 10 years. Secondly, if we can help our customer in some way that is above and beyond their claim or job, we have no problem doing so. For instance, something as small as polishing a scuff, or reattaching a loose bumper goes a long way.
Where do you try to focus your customer service skills?
We like to focus our skills everywhere, from the front to the back of the shop. All of our employees are long standing, and have been working 10-15 years on average. Our crew from the front office to the repair technicians and painters, as well as our detailers, are great to deal with and understand why we do what we do. If we can help one of our customers by doing something extra for them we happily will do so.
Approximately 60,000 ICBC/c.a.r. shop VALET customers participate in the customer service surveys conducted by AutocheX. They include such parameters as the shop’s ability to keep their customer informed, to provide on-time deliveries and quality repairs, and the customer’s willingness to recommend the shop to family and friends.