Shop Life

The Secret to Providing Stellar Customer Service

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A few years ago, Chloe Brewer worked at a hair salon. Each day was anguish, as she toiled in a job that simply wasn’t an ideal fit. 

Then, she heard of a job opening for a customer service representative at a nearby body shop. It sounded like a challenging role—a fact that left the Anchorage, Alaska resident instantly re-energized. 

“I was fresh out of high school, so I was like ‘Wow, something with a routine—a 9-to-5 job,” notes Brewer, currently a student at the University of Alaska-Anchorage. “So, I decided to give it a try. Little did I know that I’d fall in love with it.” 

These days, Brewer is thriving in a customer service role that could end up becoming her career. Tim Moore, Brewer’s co-worker at MSO Able Body Shop’s midtown location, praises her eagerness to go above and beyond for customers. 

“Chloe shows that there are youth today who want to learn and do a great job,” says Moore, an estimator. 

To hear Brewer tell it, there are three relatively simple steps that allow shops’ front-office employees to keep customers happy. Those steps include the following: 

Show compassion. 

Early in her tenure with Able Body Shop, Brewer was taught to take a moment, during each initial customer interaction, to ask clients a question about their personal life. Then, she was encouraged to mention that piece of information during follow-up communication. 

That’s why, for example, the young CSR often asks customers if they have any exciting plans for the upcoming weekend.

“It’s just to distract them a little while doing the side work,” she notes. “And then, when they come in next time, you can be like ‘How was that soccer game?’ It just makes them feel more welcomed, and that you care, and that they’re more than a dollar sign to you. Because a lot of people come in here and they’re like ‘Okay, they’re going to try and get me and my insurance company for as much as they can.’” 

Educate exhaustively. 

Brewer makes it a point to never stop educating clients. First, she explains that her employer is  typically a preferred provider for many customers’ insurance company. And, she eventually makes it a point to provide customers with as much hand-holding, so to speak, as they might require when filling out authorization forms. 

“Same with delivering vehicles,” the CSR says. “I’m always looking at them, with eye contact. I put an ‘X’ next to everything they need to sign and explain that, ‘When you sign on this line, that means you’re saying that you’re okay with this and this.’ Same thing with the final bill—I go over what everything means, and ask if they need more time to read everything.” 

It’s important for CSRs to remind themselves to not rush through customer interactions, she adds. 

Communicate consistently. 

A final way in which Brewer offers exemplary customer service is by frequently updating clients about the repair process. She emails, text messages, and calls clients, keeping them abreast of each key step in the repair process. 

“I’m the one who schedules all the jobs,” she explains, and “when I update customers with a phone call I tell them I’m calling them to inform them about the repair. Because our customer service survey asks ‘Were you informed on the repair?’” 

It’s important to remember, Brewer concludes, that CSRs are tasked with the overall purpose of leaving customers comfortable with the repair work that their employer is undertaking.

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