A two-hour session on calibration almost wasn’t enough time for attendees to ask questions of their peers who were all part of an expert panel held earlier this month at Auto Glass Week 2019 in Indianapolis.
Moderated by AGRR editorial director Tara Taffera, panelists included: Jon Burra, owner, Windshield Calibration Center; Bill Purtell, operations manager, All Star Glass; Bob Scharaga, president, All Star Glass; Josh Bradley, owner, Clear Choice Auto Glass; Jon Dickerman, Diagnostic Quality Assurance Coordinator, Sullivan Tire; and George Weller, vice president, City Auto Glass.
When asked the one thing shop owners should know when contemplating entering the calibration market, the panelists were clear: proceed with caution.
“You can’t cut corners to do it faster. If you miss one step, it’s wrong,” said Burra.
“If you think it’s easy money, it’s not,” added Weller. “If you don’t do it right we will point at you and look at you with disgust.”
A point shared that many companies may not think about is the training that needs to be done for customer service representatives.
The customer phone call has gone from 4 minutes to 40 minutes,” said Scharaga. “We had to add a lot more CSRs.”
“The CSRs need a lot of training,” added Purtell.
“Some people say they are doing a calibration but they are really just doing a scan,” said Scharaga. “It’s not the same.”
Attendees lined up on both sides of the stage to ask questions of the panelists and the questions ran the gamut. Here are some of the highlights:
Question: Knowing what you know now, what questions would you ask when searching for a tool provider?
“I would ask them about the coverage they provide, the support they offer,” said Bradley.
Question: What are the best forms of training for customer service representatives?
“They need to go to a work area and see it being done,” said Scharaga.
Question: Do I need to set up a separate company to perform calibrations?
“We started a separate company,” said Weller. “We wanted to be able to market to body shops.”
“I started a separate company immediately,” said Bradley.
Additionally, Penny Ouellette from Orion Registrar Inc., the third-party firm that administers the AGSC’s audit program, and technician Jason Olejniczak with Glass America, an AGSC Registered Member Company, led a mock audit. Olejniczak installed a windshield while Ouellette completed the mock audit.