March 12 2012

Turning an Unhappy Customer into an Advocate: The Business Case for Customer Recovery

Tom Feeney, Safelite® President and CEO

Poor customer service may be a company’s worst nightmare. Unhappy customers are likely to tell just about everyone they know when they’ve had a bad experience. Those complaints may forever tarnish a company’s brand. This is truer than ever thanks to the ease of publicly sharing complaints through the Internet and social media.

According to the 2010 American Express Global Customer Service Barometer:
• 81 percent of Americans have decided to never do business with a company again because of poor customer service
• 52 percent of consumers expect something in return after a poor customer service experience, beyond resolving the problem
• 70 percent want an apology or some form of reimbursement

A negative service experience doesn’t only affect that customer, but potential referrals. In the same study:
• 48 percent of consumers report always or often using an online posting or blog to get others' opinions about a company's customer service reputation
• 57 percent are looking for warnings saying they put greater credence in negative reviews on blogs and social networking sites than on positive ones

At Safelite AutoGlass®, the national leader in vehicle glass repair and replacement serving more than 4 million customers annually, we created a department specifically to address this portion of customers – the Executive Services team, which won the American Business “Stevie” 2010 Customer Service Department of the Year Award. In just one year, the company has been able to resolve the majority of service issues, making a strong case for such a team.

Recognizing the Problem

To track customer satisfaction, Safelite® uses the popular Net Promoter Score (NPS) method. Developed by Bain & Co., NPS answers the ultimate question: How likely is it that you would recommend this company to a friend or colleague? Subtract your percentage of detractors (those that have a negative opinion) from your percentage of promoters (those that love you) and you get your NPS.

In 2008, analysis of the NPS survey uncovered valuable data impacting the company’s reputation. As can be expected, customers who had encountered a service issue after a repair or replacement rated the company very low in the NPS survey.

In response, Safelite® undertook a large study to address how to better meet the needs of this important customer group. The company reviewed existing research on customer satisfaction, conducted informal interviews about perceptions of Safelite® service and reviewed world-class service companies to learn about their best practices.

As a result, the company reconfigured its existing customer service team, turning it into the Executive Services Department.

The new and improved Executive Services Department doesn’t wait for customers to call them to complain. Rather, they proactively seek to correct potential service issues by flagging customers who gave the company a high Net Promoter Score but added a negative comment or those who mentioned a service issue in the survey.

Step #1: Identify the Right Personnel

Not every personality is a good fit for the job of a customer advocate handling service issues. There must be a strong level of emotional intelligence to empathize with the customer. Therefore, we looked closely at the capabilities of our existing team and moved them around as needed.

What was left was an elite team of customer service veterans with an average of four years of service. They are promoted from the ranks of other customer service departments after showing an aptitude for consistently delighting customers with more challenging service issues.

Step #2: Empower Employees

The Executive Services team members undergo specialized training that involves learning about various vehicle damage scenarios, company culture of insurance partners, and advanced conflict-resolution strategies. These customer advocates are also given greater decision-making authority in order to fully own and resolve a customer issue.

Here’s an example: After a windshield has been replaced, the customer calls and reports their paint has been scratched. Instead of interrogating the customer to prove the damage may have been there before the replacement, the Executive Services team member automatically provides the customer with a solution: reimbursing paint work in this scenario. The representative does not have to seek approval from the manager.

This ensures a timely resolution that demonstrates the company’s commitment to the best in service. It also shows that the company is listening to its customers, a trait that will encourage the customer to give the company a second chance.

Step #3: Measure Progress

Importantly, it doesn’t end there. Upon the resolution of a service issue, customers are automatically sent a new NPS survey to evaluate their experience with this team. These scores are evaluated on a monthly basis as the team works to ensure these once dissatisfied customers become delighted promoters of the Safelite® brand.

Because of this commitment to provide unsurpassed levels of service to this group of customers, the Executive Services department drove its NPS scores up by 28 percentage points in one year – an increase in customer satisfaction resulting in a value of over $11 million to the company.

Make It Work For You

The Safelite AutoGlass® Executive Services team illustrates some valuable business processes anyone can deploy:

• Develop a way to monitor customer satisfaction so as to recognize when there are issues
• Create a highly specialized team trained to respond to unhappy customers
• Hire and train this team to advocate on behalf of the customer
• Empower them to make executive decisions to resolve issues
• Circle back to the customer to ensure the issue was resolved properly

The Executive Services Department demonstrates the lengths to which Safelite® will go to ensure customer satisfaction. The company strives to exceed customers’ expectations, build long-lasting relationships and delight those they serve every time.

Read More


The work on my windshield was done professionally and even earlier than my appointement time! My service tech’s name was Phil and my service number was 01833968497. I would use you guys again! God Bless.

Chaplain William Wright, April 09, 2012

The customer is ineded always right. The way you present yourself to your customers can make or break your business. If your customers are not satisfied with YOUR service then you can kiss THEIR service goodbye! If you provide good customer service they will more than likely keep coming back and there’s nothing like having loyal customers.

Mital, June 01, 2012

The work on my windshield was done professionally and timely. Very pleased.

Richard C McCraw, June 19, 2012

For 6/23/12 scheduled and dropped off 3 personal vehicles at Safelite near my home in Bakersfied,Ca. picked them up and all have issues from quote process to quality of finish work. I fell for the HYPERBOLE on line and in the lobby. wow, I can do a better job, NEVER AGAIN !

Nathan C Tucker, June 24, 2012

Mr. Tucker, I’m sorry to hear that. Have you tried our customer advocate team at 800-835-2257 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)? We’d like to try to resolve the issue. Thank you.

Melina, June 25, 2012

I called for an appointment at approximately 5:00 pm today, 20 July 2012, and received such prompt service from Victor in El Paso, TX.  I was going to drive from Northeast El Paso to the shop but Victor arranged for Fred, who was off the clock, to come to my home to repair my windshield instead.  Fred went above and beyond the “normal” customer service and was so courteous, friendly and professional.  And he was in his very nice uniform also.  He completed all the work and provided me with my receipts and warranty before we both got a little Southwest rain on us.  Within 15 minutes Fred completed the job.  Great service by Fred and Victor who went that extra mile.  Thanks ever so much and I will recommend Safelite very highly.  By the way, I rate Fred a 10.  Thanks

L. K. Pennock, July 21, 2012

A safelite tech messed up my windshield wiper arm when installing my windshield. He tried to super glue it back together. It wasn’t discovered until my windshield had to be replaced again. I sent a message through Safelite’s website and was contacted a week later. The executive services team got in touch with me. I was promised a call Saturday 9/9/12 from Tiffany to advise me how to proceed. Not a word since then. Very shoddy customer service. I need my issue fixed so I can have my windshield replaced. Thanks, Safelite, for putting me in this position. I have made sure my friends, family, and colleagues will avoid Safelite from now on

Kristin McMenemy, September 12, 2012

Kristin, I apologize for your experience with us. I’m alerting Executive Services so that they make sure to follow-up on the issue for your.

Melina, September 13, 2012

i want to comment on Mr. Andrew Stokes he was very professional on the job he did on my Altima.

David Kordonski, September 27, 2012

I took my vehicle to another glass place and was told it couldn’t be repaired. my agent sent me to safelite and the tech. said it could be repaired. William Smith took care of my windshield in about 20 min.and it was asuper job. I couldn’t see where the stone had hit it. I was on my way Great job William.

Marlene Stavros, March 26, 2013

mario was tech.good job done by him mario came to house

albert j schick jr., April 09, 2013

Michael Brandon arrived at my home on time, explained the repair process to me during each step. He was truly professional at all times and is proud of his Company and his job. Thank you to my insurance company USAA for selecting Safelite and thanks to Michael for an outstanding repair.

LTC John Allen Albree, USA (Ret), May 16, 2013

Service Team Member: Michael Flowers was Courteous, knowledgeable, and very professional.  I highly recommend this employee as having the back window blown out was stressful event and Safelite handled it with no problems what-so-ever!  Thank You very much!!!!

Stan B Cogdill, May 30, 2013

Waiting on a call back from the executive services team after a botched install.  Will follow up later.

Ben Siburt, June 25, 2013

I’m sorry to hear that, Ben. Have you heard back from our Executive Services team yet? If not, please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and we’ll be happy to help connect you. Thanks!

Melina Metzger, June 26, 2013

I had to wait one and a half hours longer than they told me because of a mix up between person who made appointment and guys who done the work,also not happy at all with the poor quality of the window they put in.when you look through through the rear view mirror everything looks all wavy and distorted…

Robert Scott, August 30, 2013

Hi Robert,

I’m sorry to hear that. It certainly doesn’t live up to our standards. If you email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with more details, we’ll be happy to look into it. Thank you.

Melina Metzger, August 30, 2013

Work order #01844_331015
Safelite is the best!  I wish more companies would treat their customers the way you do, meaning the rep in your contact center and the serviceman, Larry.  He was here when schedules and did a fantastic job in 45 min.  I will highly recommend Safelite Auto Glass.

Jeri Foster ., August 30, 2013

Safelite was here on time and was very nice. Jon did a fast job and had to replace the antana too. I would tell my friends about this company. Fantastic job Jonathan Cox, Hope my friends get you.

Ashley Work, September 13, 2013

The Safelite rep. Rocky Combs did an impressive job, was here on time explain was he was doing and the why. Very personable and professional, the job was excellent . I’m impressed.

Francisco Rodriguez, September 26, 2013

Safelite (Prince) was just here to repair the ding in my windshield.  He was very professional.  He cleaned all my windows!  Great service and FAST!  Thanks, Safelite.

Mary Trusty, October 02, 2013

The Safelite rep (Prince) did a great job, was very nice and was very professional, great service.  Thank you

C. Grossner, October 08, 2013

The job was done very professionally and time was good. He also had a very good customer attitude. Thank you liberty mutual.

carlton burr, October 21, 2013

We just had a replacement windshield put in by Stan. The windshield looks great, he was polite, professional, friendly and did a wonderful job. You are blessed to have an employee like him.  We are very happy with Safelite and would use them again.

William Burk , October 29, 2013

The service we received was excellent! Zack Phillips was very nice, efficient, and did a great job.

Brenda Matthews, January 01, 2014

I had wonderful service!  They confirmed when they would be here and Dustin the technician was fantastic I am a returning customer!

Vicki, February 04, 2014

Just had my windshield fixed by Evan Reyna. What great service and what a great technician Evan is.

Michael, February 19, 2014

I just had my new windshield installed and it looks great. The service I received by both Andy who scheduled my install to Michael Brandon who installed it…....was the best….. I will tell all my friends about Safelite. Thanks again.

LORRAINE MORRISSEY, February 22, 2014

I called on Friday 2/28 and was scheduled for Monday 3/3. My technician was Barry and my customer service number was 411898. Barry handled the repair with great care and made me feel as if I were the most important customer Safelite had. I will quickly refer Safelite to my family and friends. Although I hope to never have a damaged windshield again, if I do, my hope is that Barry will be on the job.

Randy Burns, March 03, 2014

I had to have my windshield replaced and the young man named Matt Elliott(technician for SafeLite) made it a very good experience. He was very polite and courteous and his overall knowledge made him a pleasure to deal with.

Tommy Richardson, March 04, 2014

Jerry Cooper did a wonderful job installing my windshield. Very pleased. Thank you.

Michael Edwards, March 19, 2014

There service was wonderful . Our technician was william Acosta thank u

Elizabeth, March 22, 2014

I want to thank you mason , for being so helpful fast and curtious for explaining your step by step process to me you was very pilite and respectful .and I want you to know that I will recommend safelite auto glass to anyone very perfesional .

PEGGY M SPOON, April 09, 2014

Very seldom am I impressed by service people and customer service in general anymore. Boy, was I in for a good surprise.  The service man, Bernardo Gonzalez,  called ahead of time as i requested and he arrived as he indicated.  Once here he was efficient, knowledgeable, and courteous.  He answered all my questions as he worked and cleared up several things concerning loud road noise coming through the windshield.  Great job and great company. This was truly a feel good experience.  Thank you very much.

Edward Covert, April 16, 2014

Just had my windshield replaced.The tech was Jerry Sharp and was friendly and curtious. He did a wonderful job.

Pamela Barker, April 28, 2014

Very pleased with both the quality of workmanship and the courtesy of your technician, Jimmy Lam. Can highly recommend your company.

WALLACE JOHNSON, April 28, 2014, April 28, 2014

did an excellent job

Marilee Parsley, May 02, 2014

Roy Magness was on time and did a great job on my car. His I.D. # is 0693-238. He also cleaned the rest of the windows.

Steve Blanton, May 14, 2014

Wanted to compliment Safelite Auto Glass in Fayetteville, AR. Made an appt. on 5/16/14 and they had an opening @ 4:00 that day. Was greeted by Bryan Acuff, who took my information and explained in detail, what they would do to repair a “ding” from a rock that hit my windshield. He said it would take around a half hour, so I sit in the waiting area, which had a TV, magazines and coffee, which was a pleasant wait, that made the time go by fast. Larry, the repair tech. introduced himself, escorted me outside, showed me his repair and explained to me what he did.  Fayetteville’s Safelite is a business you should contact for repairs, with such an expert team of employees, who are courteous, friendly and knowledgeable in what they do! Thank you Bryan and Larry.

Trudy Bradley, May 17, 2014

very professional lady for answering the phone.  My technician was very nice and very professional too. His number is 1667.724.

patricia curcio, May 29, 2014

The repairman was on time , Worked fast and did a great job. Very professional .

steve brooks, July 23, 2014

The windshield repair was scheduled promptly and completed on time.  Barry did a great job.

John Kinard, August 21, 2014

My windshield was fixed the day I made the claim. Zack Phillips repaired it and explained what he was going to do before the repair.  It is nice that Safelite will send the technician to where I am for the repairs.

Darlene Holmes, September 15, 2014

Robert arrived on time and completed the installation in record time, even after having to move my car for a Park Springs member to reach his parking space easily.  Good job and thank you!

Burrelle S. Meeks, September 16, 2014

My rear view mirror fell and someone at the tire place
suggested I try Safelite. My mom and I waited maybe 15 minutes and the guy came out and had the mirror put back on so fast. Very impressed. Offered to pay, but he said no. I will be going back!

Charlotte Train, September 18, 2014

I had to have my windshield repaired on 9/15/14 and I wanted to say Thank-you to Jeanie Bryan for turning a negative situation into a positive expirence. She was a happy & very nice person. Thank you also for vaccuming my car smile

Ms Dallas Mattay, September 23, 2014

I am extremely pleased with 1.  Your efficient website allowing me to schedule the repair date and time, also the system where you contacted my insurance Co.and their subsequent confirmation of a no charge repair to my windshield.  2. The great service man, Patrick Sanchez ID # 1841-255. The work was done on W/O 01841_869464.  Patrick was   very polite and most engaging, well dressed and groomed.  He is truly an asset to your company.
Thank you
Cal Smith

Calvin Smith, October 06, 2014

Myron replaced our windshield in our van and we were very pleased with the results. He was extremely courteous and professional and we could not have been happier.

K Turner, October 24, 2014

Jason,    Did a fine job in changing to windshield on my Ford Taurus.  Good man to have on the job, very polite and courteous.  THANKS

William Gardner, November 04, 2014

The work on my windshield was done at my fathers house since I work.  The technician Mr. Barry Johnson was excellent.  He arrived early and went right to work.  Please thank him for all the good work he did.  He was very informative to our warranty and future needs if necessary.  I also would like to thank him for his service in the military.  Thanks for our freedoms.  Respectfully, Katie Kohut

Katherine Kohut, December 05, 2014

I had a wonderful, thoughtful and caring technician who worked on my side window on 01/06/15, work order #01817_701986. His name is Carl.  He did a great job on my car. He went over and beyond his duty. I just cannot say enough great things to say about him.  If everyone in this world were as nice as Carl, it would be a much better place.  Thank you again Carl and Thank you Safelite for having such a wonderful employee.  I have and always will recommend Safelite to everyone.  Thank you, Christina Hermick

Christina Hermick, January 18, 2015

tech david miller braving extreme cold conditions installed my rear window/this mam is an asset to your company

jerry kuhns, January 30, 2015

Moving here from Michigan I had damage from the harsh conditions. Barry did an excellent job and left my auto glass looking fantastic! I would recommend him for any repair needed in the future.

Chanell O'Rourke, February 10, 2015

Zack Phillips, Repair Specialist was extremely professional, knowledgeable and very courteous.  I LIKE those qualities in an employee/team member.  Zack repaired the crack in my windshield and I was extremely pleased with the outcome.
Thank you, Zack.

Clarice Kirkland, February 22, 2015

    zack( tech).he did great job knowledgeabale about the job he is doing.

donnie harris, February 27, 2015

Tech Zach Gonzales did a very nice job taking care of the chip on my windshield on March 2nd.  Order # 910902.  Great young man to have with your company

John Cline, March 04, 2015

I wanted to thank the Tech Tracy Brooks on and outstanding job on replacing my front window. He was very clean and neat. It didn’t take him no time on completing the job. Outstanding job!

Charlie Askew, March 07, 2015

Just to let know what a great job Mr. Fred Salas has done on our cars.  This is his second time he has worked on our cars.  Kudos to you for having him there.

Annie Moncada, March 11, 2015

My windshield was repaired on 3/17/15 by Anthony Gallegos—-just to let you know that he did a great job.  Can’t hardly see where the damage was; and was very happy that he vacuumed the interior of my vehicle and cleaned my windows as well.  Thank you, Anthony & Safelite

Patricia Zapien, March 19, 2015

I was so very pleased with the repair to my windshield and the technician was very courteous and did an excellent job.

Horace Pennington, March 30, 2015

Thank You Safelite and Jason as i was very pleased with Jasons degree of experience and level of service and friendliness during this replacement service.He went out of his way to make sure i clearly knew and understood everything during this high-quality installation and service.THANK YOU again JASON for your kind and friendly service. Mr Walling

Donald Walling Order#882796, April 09, 2015

Great job, Safelite!! Quick and very professional!!! Will definately use you again and recommend you to friends and family!!!

Cindy, April 21, 2015

Mike was very friendly and courteous . He made me feel great about using Safelite. He did a great job!

Paul Grubbs Mckinney Tx sat 6-13-15, June 13, 2015

Safelite did a very good and quick job on my windshield.  W/O for this job was 310772 service tech 01813-103

Denise Taylor, June 24, 2015

The technician that did our repair was an outstandingt technician.  He was very courteous and very knowledgeable.  His name is Even Reyna.  Thanks Even, job well done.  Carrie Haley Mansfield .  July 28, 2015

Carrie Haley, July 28, 2015

Robert McAlister was prompt, courteous, professional, and did an excellent repair job.  A great representative to the Safelite company.  Thanks!

Sanford Swope, August 10, 2015

Israel did a great job considering it was over 110 degrees in the shade; very professional.  Called just before noon and he was here before 4, great service!!!

Henry Hunt, August 14, 2015

Christopher Cormier was on time, professional and did a great job fixing the chip in the windshield.  I would want to have him fix any windshield problem I had.  Thank you!

Stephen Whitney, August 14, 2015

What a great experience. I have a 87 vette that required a new windshield. Great tech Bob Hosta id # 1863-293 he knows what he was doing from the start.Very particular in his work . Great representative for your company.
Thank you Bob.

Charles Calderaro, August 16, 2015

Robert McAlister did an outstanding, professional job on my 2015 Mazda.  He arrived as scheduled and repaired 2 chips in my windshield.  You are well represented with techs like Robert.

Dave Noble, August 17, 2015

Chris DeMark replaced the windshield on my 2014 Subaru Forester.  He did an excellent job, truly a professional job.  He was courteous and was early arriving to fix my vehicle.  I’ve had an Altima that Safelite also fixed for me.  I trust you all and surely recommend you to all my teacher friends and IBM retirees.  Job well done.  Thank you.

Carmen Torreblanca, August 29, 2015

Jonathan C. was at my residence on October 27,2015. He was very professional, arrived at a great time, the job was done in very professional manner, I am very pleased. I will recommend your company.

Vivian Smith, October 27, 2015

Theron West fixed two chips in my windshield.  He called and let me know his anticipated arrival time followed by an email confirmation. Nice not having to waste your whole day wondering if your service tech will be there. He was friendly, professional, explained what he was doing and did a great job. Highly recommend Safelite.

Cheryl B, January 06, 2016

I am having a horrible time with Safelite. In 2008 my windshield cracked from being hit by a flying object. I contacted my Geico Ins. and they contacted Safelite. Safelite contacted a local Auto-glass place and sent them out. Apparently, they did not install the windshield correctly and the frame around my window rusted and caused a new crack. Safelite Executive Services sent the same installer to my house to look at the crack and said that was exactly what happened. He had the original work order from 5/23/2008 from Safelite - work order # 249267. I have contacted Safelite numerous times and am always deferred to the “Waiting for the manager to review and see if this person was contracted or independent.” Why is that my problem? Safelite should take responsibility. This happened on 1/25/16, and it is now 2/10/16. How long do I have to wait for this? I finally called and asked to speak with the Manager of Executive Services, Charlie Whithearst, but have not yet received a call back.

Ian Selsky, February 10, 2016

Great service from Robert McAlister. Sent an email confirmation early in the morning and called later to advise me what time he would arrive at my house, Robert also had a great personality.

Orlando Navarro, March 07, 2016

David was my service tech and he did a great job.  He might be the most professional person to work on my car.  He was prompt, courteous and very detail oriented.  I would recommend David and Safelite again.

Steve Korn, May 24, 2016

our service on our windshield was excelent, Timothy called ahead of time, he was very informative on our car which we didnt know. very friendly and a great knowledgeable person of his work. Great smile.

PATRICIA A GATTEN, February 09, 2017

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