It was approximately five years ago when the merits of ‘Chinese’ glass were being publicly debated. Local glass manufacturers threw all they had at the argument that the quality of this significantly cheaper variable was substandard and unsafe. Fast-forward to 2016 and alternative glass is now the default product that most national insurers prefer to use, primarily due to the significant cost per claim savings that can be realised, without compromising on product quality.
Like any commodity however, glass is subject to the associated ‘race to the bottom’ pricing structures, creating a knock-on effect of lowering barriers to entry for the market as a whole. And whilst healthy market competition makes good economic sense, what we have also seen is an alarming increase in unscrupulous business practices, poor service and questionable workmanship, which has tarred the reputation of the industry.
Today’s customer is more empowered than ever, with South Africa now recording 23 million smartphone users and over half (56%) of all internet traffic being derived from a mobile device (Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Buyers, 2015). The sheer magnitude of this digital disruption means that customers now have a choice of who, what, where, when and how they select their service provider. At My Glass we believe that this new generation of customer is not only expecting suppliers to place them at the centre of the transaction, but they also display little appetite for interacting with brands that have a poor ethical standing.
Insurers who are serious about creating loyalty amongst their younger generation of customers, would do well to consider efficiency measures beyond just the cost of the claim, especially when it comes to glass. Let’s face it, the average windscreen replacement is not usually anticipated nor considered an enjoyable experience. In fact, the cause of the claim usually involves distressing circumstances. It is for this reason that the My Glass network is focused on a model that extends beyond cost efficiency but also emphasises customer service excellence with empathy and ethical business practice playing a critical role in delivering the experience.