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State Farm Changes Shop Locator to List Top Performers First
Jason Stahl
10/12/2011

State Farm has changed its repair facility locator on its consumer website to now rank Select Service shops based on performance scores as determined by State Farm in the geographic region the customer selects.

State Farm emphasized that the scores will not be visible to customers and that every shop in the area the customer selects will be listed, regardless of score. However, the shops that will be listed at the top will be those with the best performance scores.

For example, if a customer is trying to find a Select Service shop within 15 miles of a certain zip code, they will see a list of all Select Service shops in that area. The shop with the best score in the area will be listed first, the shop with the second best score will be listed second, and so forth. State Farm said it's possible the customer would have to advance a page to see the bottom-ranked Select Service shops if the search area is large enough, but again, all Select Service shops in the area specified by the customer will be shown.

This is just one of several enhanced features of the repair facility locator that accompanied a redesign of both Statefarm.com and State Farm's B2B site for shops. Before the upgrade, consumers had to enter a complete address to find a Select Service shop. Now, they can simply enter a zip code or city. The system defaults at 15 miles, but they can contract their search or expand it up to a 50-mile radius.

"We're not going to list the highest performing shop that's 100 miles away," said George Avery, claims consultant for State Farm. "We're still using what's convenient to the customer."

Asked if it would be possible that the score a shop has would not match the score State Farm has, Avery said no.

"It's all pulled from the same source," he said. "It's the same data feed the repair facility uses. My guess is that the day the shops get their update, they may go to the locator to see where they fall in the list. But there's no way they won't match because it's all part of the same system."

The new repair facility locator is not active yet, but Avery said it's just a matter of time before a few last-minute items are ironed out.

As far as the state of the Select Service program, Avery said State Farm's capacity issues still exist.

"We've evaluated what our capacity needs are based on the needs of our customers and asked local management to use some tools we have to determine how many Select Service shops they need in their given markets," he said. "We're always interested in dealing with high performers. Some repairers have improved, and if they have, we encourage them to contact local management and share some key KPIs to give them a sense of how they're doing business. And then if there is a capacity need, local management will approach them. Most local management has an ongoing dialogue with many repairers in their neighborhood because, just because you're not on Select Service, doesn't mean you're not good. So don't be offended if there are no openings."

As far as the electronic parts ordering system that State Farm is exploring, Avery says they continue to explore that concept as they feel it's in the best interests of their customers and repairers.

"We want to be very transparent that we're gathering information and visiting people and getting their input to help us build an application," said Avery. "We think it will help everyone." 


More information:

State Farm Unveils New Performance Tool for Select Service Shops

State Farm Revisiting Electronic Parts Ordering



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