The CSI or “customer service index” relates to the shops performance based on surveys taken from actual customers of that particular shop and are given a performance rating based on the data collected.

There is sort of a scorecard that is used, Usually the customer will get a survey in the mail or they will receive a call and will be asked a series of questions in regards to their experience with the shop where their vehicle was repaired.

Typically the higher the score the better the rating / review, 0 to 100 or 1 through 10 with 10 or 100 being a perfect score.
Sounds like a good idea right?
Let me explain why you should not base your decision of which shop you choose based solely on the CSI.

Among theĀ  questions asked there are a couple that are not always answered correctly, you see people have a tendency to hear what they want to hear, I am not pointing fingers or blaming anyone, it’s just the nature of the beast.

The two questions that create the most controversy are as follows.
* Was a completion date given?
* Was the completion date met?, or where the repairs completed on time?

As noted earlier, people tend to hear what they want to hear, so the first completion date given will usually be the date the customer refers too.
Even though I always explain this is a “tentative completion date”,see “how long will it take to fix my car” post.

Once the vehicle enters the shop and is disassembled “torn down” the repairs listed on the “preliminary estimate” are gone over and any additional damage documented and a supplement is created.
Any additional damage obviously adds to the repair time.

Due to the “hear what I want to hear” syndrome, when people are asked if their vehicle repairs were completed on time they usually refer back to the tentative completion date and not the new date created based on any additional damage found, and the usual response is “no my repairs were not completed on time” when in fact the repairs were completed on time.

Not in the survey are questions like,
* Do you own a vehicle that was difficult to get parts for?
* Did the shop have to wait for any special or uncommon parts?
* Did the shop have to wait for any sort of approvals? either from you or the Insurance company?

There are many reasons a completion date may not be met, and even if the actual date was met some people will still answer no to this question and regardless of reason it all falls on the shoulders of the repair shop when it comes time to put the blame on someone.

Autowatch, View your vehicle repairs online.
This again is a good idea in theory but what the consumer does not know is this idea is nothing more than a marketing tool for the insurance companies.

The two main reasons people will purchase automobile insurance is because they have to by law, or they want to protect their investment, the later should look a little deeper than if they can look at pictures while their vehicle repairs are being performed, any reputable shop will take photos anyway and would be happy to email them to the customer or post them to an online photo album for viewing.

A couple other things consumers do not know are for years Insurance companies have been dictating to the repair shops repair procedures, regulating repair costs for particular procedures, and if the shop happens to be a preferred shop for an insurance company that offers a product like Autowatch to it’s customers the shop must adhere to the guidelines or be kicked off the program.

Keep in mind the shop also gets no reimbursement for snapping photos and uploading them every day for the insurance company, if your quick the shop can snap the required photos and upload them for online viewing in around 10 minutes, If you have a large shop with a heavy work load it could take even longer.

At 10 minutes a day times around 260 work days per year that comes out to 43.3 hours per year, that’s over one week of someones labor for free.

Now your saying, oh well, that doesn’t effect me.
But what you don’t know is any shop on this program is instructed by the insurance company never to post a photo online that would indicate in any way, shape or form there is a delay from the insurance company.

The most common images you will see that are used to cover up a dropped ball from the insurance company would be “waiting for parts” or “were sorry, you’re vehicle is at the sublet shop for repairs”

Also be aware the posted completion date may not be accurate, shops will often put an extended date on Autowatch to ad a cushion just in case the job takes an extra day or two to complete and avoid a red flag by the insurance company.

Now I don’t want you to assume this is a daily occurrence, it’s not.
But every now and again there will be a hiccup in the repair procedure and whether it is the shops fault or not the shop takes the fall.

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