How Having the Right Partner is Paramount.
Updated: Nov 26, 2020
Being a partner is not a party…
Looking back on my two previous posts there has been a theme, customer service, paired with incompetency. (see: There is no ‘salvaging’ this claims experience and CSI... Customer Service Incompetency) Now before we go any further, for those of you that are uncertain of the direction of these two prior blog posts, I want to make it clear that they are not a dig, or slander, at Insurance providers, this is an unbiased blog about the actual experiences of Customer Service within our industry of collision repair. Both partners hold an equitable amount of responsibility in these unfortunate situations that have transpired, providing some fine examples of epic fails.
Clear? … good. Let us begin. Today I am going to touch on the concept of ‘partner’. A partner has many different meanings in our world, relationships are formed with the premise of partnering, such as a spouse or significant other, commonly referred to as “my partner”, or perhaps in the gaming, or ‘sportsing’ world, we may have a tennis partner or golfing partner. These areas are not of my concern, I am going to focus on the inferred context within the industry as ‘our partners’. To point out the actual meaning as per Miriam Websters and Dictionary Dot Com, I have taken the liberty of sharing this with you:
1 A person Who shares or is associated with another in some action or endeavour, sharer, associate.
2 (Law) A person associated with another or others as a principle or a contributor of capital in a business or a joint venture, usually sharing its risks and profits.
3 Definition of partnership
2a: a legal relation existing between two or more persons contractually associated as joint principals in a business
b: the persons joined together in a partnership
3: a relationship resembling a legal partnership and usually involving close cooperation between parties having specified and joint rights and responsibilities
As you see, there is a level of shared understanding and commitment from both parties in order to achieve a partnership. So why the focus on this term and its inference? Well, I am going to share with you a continuation of the results related to my blog on There is no Salvaging this Claims Experience. I was speaking with my past student last week to hear of the results of their situation. After a brief consultation with me; and my company providing some supporting documentation to validate their position, it would turn out that a settlement has been reached. Now before you are consumed by the level of elation that is no doubt consuming your inner feelings, let us take a look at what residual effect this has. The situation evolved from a simple not-at-fault claim in a parking lot. Very minor damage to a well kept yet older vehicle. From the initial estimate that was slightly over the algorithm provided ACV, the client was willing to work towards compromising on the repairs in an effort to save the vehicle. This would have involved some out-side of the box thinking and communicating. Now where the partner term comes into play, if the insurer and shop ‘partnered up’ and discussed the possibilities of repair and working with the client, the outcome would have been efficient and quick, however, one partner that decides to not involve another partner leads to a failed outcome. So, as it turns out, a month later a settlement is reached (somewhat out of the blue) and the client is awarded a settlement that is 160% higher than the original offer. Sounds great, doesn’t it. Well yes and no. Think about this for a moment, had the ‘partners’ discussed the situation there would have been a benefit for all involved, lower payout, happy client, shop with a little contribution to overhead, win-win-win for all. Now we have a somewhat serviced client (paid off?), a partner that lost revenue, and a partner that incurred excess in cost and process by paying out more and dealing with salvage.
To my point, when something is referred to as ‘partner’ it needs to be used in the true sense of the word, not as some politically correct term to justify the related actions of a party towards a situation that involves other parties. If there is truly a partnership in this process, they would all look out for each other, not just themselves. Also; they would seek the help of their partner when something is going sideways. The bombardment of terms and their usage as dictated by our hypersensitive society has left me with a thought, in my opinion, and you are entitled to my opinion, if you are a partner in the true sense of the word, then you need to act according to the inferred definition as it is, not through the act of self-serving lip service and ignorance. Everyone lost on this claim, and I am sure there are many others in the same situation. Working together as true partners could go a long way.
There is a lot of birdie num-num for everyone.
Peter Sellers The Party 1968
Dictionary dot com