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The Automotive Service Association of Arizona (ASA-AZ) has released a letter to collision repair shops emphasizing the importance of participating in the State Farm repair facility survey whether they do business with State Farm or not.
Until a few years ago, a State Farm representative went from shop to shop once a year to make sure the surveys were completed. Since then, State Farm has gone to an Internet-based survey that shops can update whenever they like. While the Internet is much more efficient, ASA-AZ says, it only works if everybody understands and participates. When shops don’t keep their rates updated in the survey, the current prevailing rate may not be accurately reflected.
With the letter, ASA-AZ included some common misconceptions regarding the survey and also a simple set of instructions for using it online. This misconceptions listed are:
- Only Select Service Shops should fill out the survey. This is not true. All collision repair shops are invited to participate.
- Any shop that lists a rate higher than the current prevailing pricing cannot perform State Farm repairs. Also false. Although the rates you list on the survey may not always match the current prevailing rate for your area, you can still repair State Farm vehicles at the current approved rates.
- The survey is time consuming and difficult. False. In fact, after you complete it the first time, you’ll find that it’s faster than the old paper form.
- State Farm wants each shop to fill out the survey once per year. False. You should fill out the survey whenever certain conditions change within your facility. This could be the number of technicians and/or work stalls or if the cost of doing business has changed. State Farm monitors these changes as they occur and then applies them to the formula used for determining prevailing rates.
- Submitting lower rates in the survey will result in performing more State Farm work. Wrong. State Farm’s policy is that the vehicle owner chooses the repair shop, not State Farm. The survey is not used as a bidding process but rather a way to establish market prevailing rates.
- All shops need to fill out the survey at approximately the same time. Absolutely not! Only shops that may need to update the survey to accurately reflect their cost of doing business or for shops that may have never filled out the on line survey at all.
Instructions for filling out the survey online are as follows:
You must first have your shop specific State Farm ID number. All shops have already been assigned a number. If you don’t know what yours is, contact your local estimatics team manager. It takes less than five minutes to complete the survey.
- Go to www.b2b.statefarm.com.
- Click on drop down arrow next to Select a Business Type.
- Select Auto Repair Facilities.
- Select Auto Repair Facility Survey on the right side of the page.
- After reading the two statements, click on the square box to the left of each disclaimer.
- Select Agree or Disagree.
- Select Repair Facility Survey Online.
- Enter your Repairer ID and click on Continue.
- Fill out survey. The questions are easy and self explanatory.
- Click on submit.
- Print a copy for your records.
Survey results are weighted by the number of technicians or work bays, whichever is less, so it’s important to reflect these accurately. Technicians are defined as anyone who works on the car (i.e. all body, mechanical, paint technicians and helpers not detailers).
Although using the online questionnaire is the most popular way to complete the survey, you can also complete it by phone. Call your local estimatics team manager.
For more information on ASA-AZ, visit www.asaaz.org.