CSN Conference puts customer service in focus

PPG Canada’s Norman Angrove was the keynote speaker on the third day of the 12th annual CSN Conference.  

By Melissa Hayes

Toronto, Ontario — September 20, 2014 — In the world of business, sometimes you have to take a page from the book of George Costanza, and do the opposite. At least that was the message on day three of the 2014 CSN Conference, featuring keynote speaker, PPG Canada’s Norman Angrove. 

With a focus on the future, and how shop owners need to step up their game and rethink SOPs in terms of marketing and overall customer service experience to cater to the newer generations, the National Business Development and Business Solutions Manager says you can’t rely on what worked yesterday to hold true today.

“Past success guarantees nothing when the rules change, we have to understand and embrace that,” says Angrove. “Marketing strategies, the way we attract customers, the way we retain customers, have changed unbelievably.

“The way we connect with customers is absolutely a brand new game. Now, what does that mean? Well for the people who haven’t figured it out, it’s creating opportunities, and what it does provide is value innovation.”
Angrove says the bar has been raised, and generations Y and Z are expecting much more from service providers across the board, and compare those services, albeit unrelated, to one another. Referencing the successful business models of Disney, FedEx and Wal-Mart, he says the difference between providing mediocre and world-class customer service lies in the ability to adapt faster than the competition.  
“They’ll take that leap of faith, they’ll go that extra mile, they accept that status quo isn’t just what it is, and they clearly think outside of the box,” he says, adding, “Getting to world-class, there is no elevator just to get to the top. You’ve got to climb the stairs.”
He says that climb starts with strong leadership, and taking the initiative to sit down with your team, to identify all customer service touchpoints—your front office, internet strategy, ads, the way people answer phones, the way they dress, the backrooms, production areas—and how to go about implementing improvements to make your business stand out “in a world of sameness.”
“Basic is run of the mill, basic is what people expect when dealing with you . . . if you really want to have world-class experience, you’ve got to get . . .  the wow factor, which is something totally unexpected,” he says. “This wow factor provides a world-class atmosphere, and people talk about your business, about the experience.”
Noting that while everyone procrastinates, Angrove says owners need to change the way they do so by tackling larger objectives first, and shelving smaller ones for later. 
He says by putting customer service front and centre, and utilizing new technologies and marketing strategies, you’ll be well ahead of the curve.  
“This industry is very, very competitive and we have to take control of it, to take the customers where we want to go.”
The 12th annual CSN Conference was held at the Westin Prince Toronto Hotel.
For more information on CSN Collision Centres, please visit csninc.ca.

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