Qualifying the Customer

Over the years, the public has become much better educated about windshield repair.  They have a better understanding of the process and expected results than they did 30 years ago.  In fact, many customers will already have had a break repaired in the past.  However, there are still enough people out there, either unfamiliar with glass repair, or that have unrealistic expectations of what you can achieve for them.  Therefor, it is up to you to not only qualify the break to make sure that it is repairable, but also to qualify the customer to make sure they are a good candidate for repair.  Let's go over a few points to help with this.  These will allow you to keep customer education in mind at all times.  In the end, even if your repair is functional, safe and legal, if it does not meet their aesthetic expectations, you can miss out on a 5-star review, recommendations and revenue. 

1.  Don't do a repair for a picky customer just to make a quick buck.  Your long term reputation is much more valuable.

2.  Just because it is repairable does not mean the customer wants it.  A person with a brand new BMW that shines like the sun may come in with a break on the driver's side that is a little crunchy.  If the customer has never had a repair done and thinks you will make it look like it came off the showroom floor, ask what his comprehensive deductible is.  If it is $0, he or she will probably want a new windshield.  If it is $1000, you can begin to educate the customer on the cost savings and clarity expectations.  Couple this with assurances of safety and legality and you will most likely have a happy customer.

3.  Develop a standard educational talk that covers all repair aspects and expectations, then adapt it to each individual case.

4.  Cost savings is a big part of our business, but not everything.  If a farmer comes in with an old pickup truck and there is a huge combination break right in his main line of vision, don't take the quick money.  Even if he says that he will be fine with it.  State laws are all different.  Also, there is still much ambiguity about liability/negligence in cases such as this.  Just tell him that, you don't feel it would be safe and you don't want any customer to drive with work that you deem unsatisfactory.  He will understand.

5.  OK.  Now for the good stuff.  As long as you talk to each customer beforehand, you will find that you can also take some chances.  In fact, with our system and good techniques, you may find that some repairs that you think will have very little chance of filling properly will actually leave you, and the customer, pleasantly surprised!  A big, nasty, half-dollar sized combo break in the passenger lower corner is a great chance to test your skills and the power of our system.  Our retail side has done stunning work on hundreds of breaks over the years that our competition wouldn't even attempt.  In the end, we made money, increased market share and became the "go to" repair shop in the area!  

6.  In the end, be smart, be safe, be honest and GO FOR IT!