The amazing thing about technology is how quickly it can transform the way we live, work, and think. No one encounters this phenomenon more than Certified Collision Repair Providers. One question that many body shops are asking, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, is whether their standard of practice has changed, for good. Specifically, does the massive increase in shops relying on remote photo estimates or drop-off and delivery practices mean that virtual additions are now the gold standard? We spoke to several industry leaders about their perspective on these new, yet widespread, changes.
As essential businesses, Certified Collision Repair Providers were among the first to adapt to virtual tools during the pandemic.
Certified Collision Repair Providers within the Assured Performance Network have always stayed up-to-date with technology— from following manufacturer protocols, to improved tools and techniques. While in-person customer service has often been seen as a strength within each community, demand for virtual services changed overnight when states switched to “Stay at Home” orders. Body Shops had to create a working system that met customer demand. Now, even as states begin to reopen and loosen restrictions, Certified Collision Repair Providers continue to look for improvements to how they operate. These positive changes include using platforms such as the Assured Performance Certified Repair Option (CRO), BodyShop Booster, or photo estimate platforms like CCC Engage.
Ryan Taylor, CEO of BodyShop Booster, (www.bodyshopbooster.com) is one leader helping Certified Collision Repair Providers have easy access to the technology they’re now relying on. “COVID-19 changed our world forever and shops have had to adapt, to remain successful. The post COVID-customer wants to be dealt with virtually and shops must have the tools to communicate with that customer.”
According to Ryan, “Shops woke up overnight and realized that they need the ability to deal with customers virtually. The faster body shops respond to a customer, the more likely they are to be the collision shop that customer chooses. We all know an accident is a traumatic event… and people expect 24/7 communication from body shops, just as they have with their insurance companies.”
While that paradigm can sound dire to those of us adjusting from in-person services to virtual communication, Scott Biggs, the CEO of Assured Performance, views new technology as a positive customer service addition.
“Collision repair using virtual services is done at the speed of life, the way people want it to be. Offering pick-up and drop-off services has changed the act of coordinating collision repair from a major catastrophe to a relatively minor inconvenience. It allows shops to show their partnership with their customers and the insurance companies.”
Patrick Porter, Regional Director at Assured Performance, is a former body shop owner and manager who also regards the convenience of digital service or pick-up and delivery options as a great addition, “The theory that everyone has to go to a body shop to drop off their vehicle has now been proven to be a fallacy. We have shown customers a better way, where they can have their car picked-up and delivered. They trust the repair as Certified Collision Repair Providers can now produce a Certificate for each documented repair.”
How are shops (virtually) selling their services to customers, if each customer is contacting 3-4 shops at a time?
Another aspect for shops to consider is the marketing and sales aspect of their virtual communication. Ryan Taylor feels that virtual estimates must be part of an overall sales experience, “Unlike other programs, BodyShop Booster has an extensive amount of communication tools— including A.I. software that will answer phone calls and text customers around the clock. We have the ability to get towing services sent straight to the scene of an accident, along with virtual photo estimates and scheduling in-person estimates. There’s no way for a human to have that constant availability.”
How have your customers reacted to your business offering Certified Repairs through the Certified Repair Option (CRO). What about your use of virtual tools or drop-off and delivery services? Do you plan to continuing offering these tools in the longterm? Let us know about any changes to how your body shop operates or unique developments you’d like to see featured in our blog! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org