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      02-08-2017, 11:48 AM   #1
DRoZ
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Collision/ Auto body Services Advise

Hey Guys, so before I dive into this post, I want to start by saying the reason for asking the following questions is not to try and promote my company, or advertise, but more to gain some insight and advise from others enthusiasts like myself. I will not be posting my company name or info to make it clear this is more for advise and insight.

So to start, I currently have an Auto body shop and work on a wide variety of vehicles. We do everything from major hits to the light refinish work. We even have a hand wash and detailing segment of our company to help maintain or customers cars. We have an extremely clean facility and our product is definitely on the higher end with well trained techs and the use of only new OEM parts. Because our product is a little more expensive, our typical customer uses their insurance to have repairs done.

Being a younger guy, one thing I want to start focusing on his how to reach more people and what a typical customer might be looking for when choosing an Auto Body Shop.

So My Question is fairly simple, how do most of you choose your Auto Body Shop? Is there certain things that you want to see or know about the shop your choosing? Is there something about a shop that would be a deal breaker? And if you have had a bad experience, what was it that made it bad?

I truly appreciate the insight and help. I believeto grow as a company it is very important to stop and take note about what your customer want, and provide that to them.
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      02-08-2017, 11:52 AM   #2
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"Quality of Job". I have taken my cars to the same body shop for the past 13 years and they come out looking like the 1st day I bought it.
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      02-08-2017, 11:57 AM   #3
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^^this!! Also, make sure you use top quality paint products. In case of insurance claims, be "customer friendly" when it comes to repairs ir "special requests" on modded cars... if you get my drift.
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      02-08-2017, 12:04 PM   #4
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^^ Definitely, trying to actually incorporate more of the customization into our shop. Thinking about trying to become a vendor for some of the performance, and wheel companies
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      02-08-2017, 12:07 PM   #5
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^^^^^^ What he said and more. When I hit a deer with my X1 three years ago, the first stop I made was to my dealer. (BMW, Porsche and MB) They don't have a body shop on site. They gave me the name of their exclusive shop that they use. I talked with three SA's at the dealership about their history and then picked out four names randomly of owners that had used their services from the dealership records. Called those four owners and heard nothing but stellar comments. Learned the shop is certified by BMW, VW, and others, for body repair and paint. Visited the shop and talked with one of their appraisers advising him of my high requirement of the finished product. Bottom line, the work was STELLAR! Two new doors and one fender from BMW and paint work beyond compare.

So, like said above, quality of work, history of quality and reputation. If something isn't right about the repair, it shouldn't be the customer that finds the issue, it should be one of your employees.
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      02-08-2017, 04:13 PM   #6
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You've already hit the big one for me - the use of OEM parts (and advocacy on the customer's behalf for this). It has been a while, but during my last repair I was told that many insurance companies (including mine at the time) were requiring aftermarket, unless there were demonstrable fit issues. The shop was up front about this - saying they had to try them, but when the typical fit issues arose, they would advocate for me and get the right parts. They lived up to this - bumper cover was about a half inch small, and they pushed to get the real OEM. Hoping that they finally got the message industry-wide, that it is cheaper in the long run to stick with good parts.

Having examples of your work, and references for past customers is also a big plus - wouldn't consider a full repaint or major job w/o seeing past work.

For marketing, it may help to have some on-hand examples of the wrong way to do it, or the cheapo approach. I've had enough experience that I can draw on, so I appreciate the time and skill needed to get a really good result. Many younger owners are coming up in an era where the overall message is "if we certified it as good enough, it is". Most anybody can paint a panel to the '10-foot level', but when it isn't well matched, full of orange peel, and then starts to flake off after 18months, they can readily see the diff.
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      02-08-2017, 04:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRoZ View Post
Being a younger guy, one thing I want to start focusing on his how to reach more people
OP, is your shop in Westchester County? My former indy (former as I've moved down to Miami) is in Beacon, NY (Dutchess County) and most of his clients are in Westchester. His shop specializes in German cars and even Italians. You can swing by his shop and maybe sell yourself? If interested PM me and I'll give you his contact info.
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      02-09-2017, 09:39 PM   #8
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most "new" customers that come to my shop found us thru google. My father has built up over 19 years of clientele, never DRP. Sometimes we are slow, but that is the way it goes if you choose to run off word of mouth. Insurance cheaps out on everything, it makes your blood boil honestly.

end rant.
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      02-10-2017, 03:16 AM   #9
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      02-10-2017, 10:11 AM   #10
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* Quality of work
* Confirmed references
* Approved by BMW (would be nice)
* Member of a trade organisation
* Talk the talk, Walk the walk,
* Car must come back properly valet'ed
* Iron clad w'tee
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      02-10-2017, 10:13 AM   #11
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Have to be UBER customer focused / friendly, more than ANYONE else.

oh and be on the BBB listing
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      02-10-2017, 10:13 AM   #12
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Understood things go wrong, but ability to fix things FULLY to customer satisfaction is paramount
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      Yesterday, 06:40 PM   #13
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F30lolz yes shop is in lower Westchester. Is the shop you're talking about J&B?

TrevorM3 Id rather leave the collision industry then become a DRP. I could also spend hours going off on the bs that the companies do with those programs and using that as a way to justify a non agreed price with a shop thats actually trying to do a factory spec repair.

Maynard thats a great idea! I find that when explaining to customer what an improper repair is they sometimes dont really understand it. By having something to show them, that was fixed improperly, they can then see the difference

I also always welcome customer to walk threw my facility and see how we preform our repairs. I like them to see that cars are being repaired in a clean environment and that were not just throwing plastic all over the cars but instead changing panels and full stripping cars down for proper refinishing. But I think having some examples like you speak of would be a great visual aid to help explain what we differently.
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      Yesterday, 07:37 PM   #14
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Fortunately I haven't needed a body shop often (and hope it stays that way).

The last time I needed one I had an Audi and looked for Audi-certified body shops. Dealers know who they are and they are listed on the Audi USA site. I presume the same is true for BMW and other manufacturers as well. There aren't many to choose from in any particular location, but I would always opt to use a manufacturer-authorized / certified shop so if that would be my first filter. If there were more than one I'd try to find references to pick between them.
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