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
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
"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
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."