What’s Important to Your Customers?

A Data-Driven Look at What Makes Them Tick

By Nick St. Denis

Money talks—but only to a certain extent

A recent study by AGRR magazine, parent company Key Media & Research (KMR), revealed that, while price is initially of most importance to an auto glass replacement customer, other customer service-related elements come to the forefront of their experience once the job is (or isn’t) completed.

KMR analyzed customer experience review data over a 10-month span from sister company Glass.com, an intermediary that connects businesses with local customers looking for auto glass replacement services. The study consisted of in-formation from more than 300 anonymous Glass.com customer service reviews of shops throughout the U. S.

The Starting Point

In the study, KMR found that nearly 70 percent of customers seeking an auto glass replacement say they chose a particular shop due to price. In addition, customers generally don’t have a preference on the type of glass used.

Additionally, the ability of a replacement shop to come to the customer was important.

Punctuality is Key

While price is a key driver in customers’ choice, their satisfaction with the business largely depends on whether the technician arrives on time and completes the job within the proposed timeframe.

Seventy-three percent of auto glass customers in the survey say their selected shop was able to complete the work at the scheduled appointment time. Of that 73 percent, over 99 percent say that they would recommend the business to others. Of the other 27 percent, just 9 per-cent would recommend the shop. (This also includes customers that were never contacted at all by the shop after their initial inquiry.)

About That Time

One thing is certain: customers greatly value their time, according to the open-ended comments section of the customer experience data. The few negative-graded re-views (those receiving one or two of five stars and/or a “poor” rating) include comments in which the customers say they ultimately canceled and contacted another shop.

Even so, customers also prove to be lenient if the shop or technician maintain a good line of communication. Many review comments say that if there was a slight change or delay in meeting the appointment time, the business called ahead.

Courtesy & Professionalism

In analyzing consistencies within the positive reviews, commonly repeated terms used to describe technicians are “pleasant,” “courteous,” “polite” and “respectful.” Also, a major factor among positive reviews is efficiency. Many positive customer experiences involve the technician doing the work in a timely manner while being thorough and clean.

Another finding that was telling among the hundreds of comments is that the most glowing reviews involved the customer referring to the technician by name. Many of the highest-rated customer experiences saw the technician leave a strong impression, with customers saying he or she made the experience enjoyable, that the technician was funny, and in some cases noting personal anecdotes about the technician. One example: “[Name redacted] arrived within 15 minutes of the phone call. He’s friendly and very knowledgeable of his craft. He is also a youth pastor; his ministry is lucky to have him. His service was awesome—highly recommended!”

An Industry Comparison

Overall reviews in the study were very positive, with an average rating of four out of five stars and 66.5 percent of reviews coming in at five stars.

For comparison, consumer-to-business resource Yelp says 46 percent of the reviews consumers give local businesses are five stars, according to the Wall Street Journal. Online product ratings average about 4.3 stars, reports PowerReviews.

So by those measures, the auto glass industry is right on par with other industries.

Nick St. Denis is the director of research for KMR.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

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