Halloween night was more trick then treat for my adult daughter. She had stopped by my home to say hello and complain about how poorly her car was running. She had an event to attend several miles away and I was just staying home to greet the costumed neighborhood kids; I offered her my car so her travels would be a bit more comfortable.
Much later that evening, I received a phone call from the same daughter who was in a panic. Someone had just hit her with their truck along the driver's side of the car. I asked if she was ok, yes, she was and then asked if she wanted me to come to the scene, yes, she did. She was very upset though physically ok. The other driver, trying to merge too quickly into her lane, instead merged into her, virtually broad-side sweeping the car and pushing her up on the curb.
The damage was moderate and yes, the driver did try to pin fault on her, no luck, the damage spoke for itself. The car was drivable but would require repair soon, as the windows could not be used, door handle was ready to fall off, and the driver side mirror was damaged. I called my auto insurance, immediately, with a half hour of the accident.
By Monday, I received two calls from the insurance and an appointment scheduled on Tuesday for an adjuster to take a look at the car and give me an estimate. Tuesday afternoon, forty minutes after meeting the adjuster, I was in a rental car continuing throughout my day. The adjuster was organized and extremely efficient but most of all he was all about customer service. The car rental went even more smoothly with the agent helping me transfer items from my car to the rental and details of the agreement at my finger tips. It was the most amazing customer service experience of my life.
It has been at least twelve years since my last experience dealing with an auto accident and insurance. The efficiency, I know, comes from the speed of computers and the ease of internet communications but the excellent customer service came from people who cared about people. It doesn't matter how quickly you do your job, if you don't care for whom you are doing it. A smile, a lilt in the voice, and a genuine desire to be helpful still ranks higher and goes a lot further than an emailed report.