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"I couldn’t find a bad review … Y’all apparently have a great reputation because of all the things that are being said about you online,” said one of Jeremiah Graham’s customers.

After being referred, Graham says the customer did his research online, only to find there wasn’t a single negative review. But to what does he attribute all those great reviews and referrals? His consistently high net promoter score (NPS).

NPS tracks the likeliness that a customer will recommend or refer a family member or friend to your shop. Using a numerical scale, ranging from 0 to 10, the customer is then determined either a promoter or a detractor, depending on the score given. This KPI is used to evaluate overall customer satisfaction of your business.  

Graham, owner of Jeremiah’s CARSTAR Collision and Painting of Oklahoma City, boasts $1.5 million in sales and a consistent NPS of 90 percent or higher, recently hitting 98.1 percent.

Graham discusses how his shop tracks NPS and the ways he ensures a consistent score.

 

We track net promoter score through surveys that we send out to customers through our estimating system, which is UpdatePromise and CCC ONE. It’s a digital survey, typically in an email or a text. It’s seven questions, four of which are a scale of 1 to 10—lowest to highest—and three are “yes” or “no” questions.

  1. to 10: Satisfaction with the quality of the repairs.

  2. 1 to 10: Satisfaction with the service.

  3. Y or N: Was the vehicle ready when promised or was it early?

  4. Y or N: Did the shop keep you informed during the process?

  5. 1 to 10: Satisfaction with the cleanliness of the vehicle.

  6. 1 to 10: How likely would you recommend to a friend or family member?

  7. Y or N: After repairs, was it necessary to return to the shop for “re-work”?

 

The survey is sent out three days after the vehicle leaves the shop. We do not send the survey out to our clients that are businesses, business fleet accounts or dealerships. Their loyalty and continuing to do business with us is a pretty good indicator that they’re happy. We ask the customers nicely to complete the survey and let them know it has a real impact on our business. We are currently ranging between a 40–50 percent survey return rate. Due to some recent personnel changes, we’ve been thrown off, but we plan to do better at getting more surveys.

 

A bonus is split between my front office staff (anyone who has contact with the customer, including myself) based on the scores of the surveys we get back. If they get over a certain amount of surveys back at 95 percent or higher, they get a bonus. If surveys get over another set of numbers, like over 5, 10, 15, 20, etc., that dollar amount increases. I used to do it for the estimator or just for the CSR, but found out that the office manager and everybody can play a part in making sure that customer had a good experience.

 

Everybody in my front office staff looks at our NPS—my front office manager, my CSR. It’s a tool I believe I could definitely use when either negotiating or trying to get more insurance work. I know that’s important to insurance companies. Not all insurance companies care just about how cheap they can get the job done; they want to make sure that we’re keeping their policyholder happy throughout the repair process. If you were an insurance company and you had a handful of shops to choose from, you’d probably want to use the one that’s making customers the happiest.

 

As far as raising and maintaining NPS, communication with the customer and keeping them informed has a lot to do with it. We don’t let them go six or eight days without hearing anything from us. There is constantly something being sent to them, whether it’s a text message, email or even a photograph of the car.

 

Other tactics include the way we try to help them in the beginning as far as setting up the rental car, how we talk to them, how we empathize with them. We make them feel that we’re actually listening to their problems instead of just taking their orders. We’re not order takers here, we are crisis problem solvers.

 

We try to go the extra mile. We put a thank you note in all the cars before they leave that everybody in the office signs. No matter how small the job is, we always hand wash with soap and water and give a good vacuum and interior detail. We offer to stay after hours so customers that work late hours can pick up or drop off without having to leave their car outside all night. We offer to give people rides home or to the rental car company. We’ve even paid for an Uber when we’ve been shorthanded or unable to offer a ride ourselves.  

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