This never happens to you because you own an auto glass shop. It happens to me all the time because I don’t.
My network of family, friends and acquaintances know I am heavily involved and vested in the glass industry, so they often ask me who to go to when they need a mirror, or want new doors or … break a windshield. When your friends need auto glass, they go to you, but when mine do, they call and ask for a recommendation.
I always say the same thing. I ask the zip code where the work will be done and direct them to go to safewindshields.org to find the AGSC-Registered Member Company nearest to them. “I have a lot of confidence in any AGSC member,” I say. “I would happily refer you to any company on safewindshields.org.”
It’s gratifying to report that every single person I have ever referred this way has been pleased with their installation and has given glowing praise to the company representatives they dealt with—CSRs, installers, managers—every referral has been a stellar customer experience. I would expect nothing less from an AGSC Registered Member Company.
But I have also heard another comment consistently over the past few years. Most of the time my friends mention it to me; if they don’t I ask. “What’s that safety group you work with?” my friend Kathy asked after having the sidelite on her Jeep replaced. “The Auto Glass Safety Council,” I replied, with a bit of pride in my voice. “Yeah, that’s it,” said Kathy. “Funny thing, though, the shop never mentioned it.”
Sadly, I hear that all the time. In fact, I kept track this year. Of the 13 auto glass referrals I have provided to AGSC Registered Member Companies only one—1 out of 13—ever brought their membership in the AGSC up to their potential customers.
This got me to thinking about all the opportunities to promote your connection to safety … in your company literature, on your shop signs, on your stationery and website, in your ads, etc. Do you proudly display your membership? What about your CSR scripts? Do you explain what your AGSC Registration means? Do you take advantage of the AGSC brochures and other marketing items? AGSC provides these at cost, and in some cases subsidizes them so you can have them available at reasonable prices.
One glass shop owner I know bragged to me a bit that he had a phenomenal close rate using a script he developed. So I asked to hear it. His CSR begins by explaining why his company is different and what AGSC Registration means. They end by saying, “So even if you don’t decide to choose us, please, please use a company listed on safewindshields.org. These companies care about safety.”
Let me give you another example I will never ever forget. An executive I knew from a major auto insurance company broke her windshield. She called me to ask for a recommendation and I took the opportunity to educate her about AGSC and the Registered Member Company program. I was anxious with anticipation, thinking that once she had a great experience, we might be able ask her assistance in educating others in her company.
She called me with rave reviews when the job was completed. “But,” she said, “I kept looking for something—anything telling me I was at an AGSC Company—a brochure, a mention, a sign, something. There was nothing.”
And then she went in for the kill: “So if it wasn’t even important enough to the glass company to mention it, why should it be important to anyone else?”
I was depressed for a few days over this and I hope it’s no longer true.
Promoting your AGSC Registration should be one part of your marketing plan and branding. It helps distinguish your company in many positive ways and reaps a myriad of benefits. I hope every AGSC Registered Member Company proudly promotes its membership. Out of many, one.