I saw a T-shirt the other day on Facebook that struck me as so true. It was worn by a collision repair technician who was grinning from ear to ear and pointing at the big white letters that formed the words on the shirt: “Auto Body Technician — I Solve Problems You Don’t Know You Have In Ways You Can’t Understand.” Classic. And so true.
The auto body industry and its issues are a mystery to many people. And rightly so. They probably have enough to deal with in their lives, and when they suffer damage to their cars, they probably just want it fixed as fast as possible without having to hear a lecture on how auto body repair works. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t educate consumers; it’s a critical piece to today’s collision industry. We probably just should not get too into the weeds with them.
The same goes for a lot of industries. I doubt most people want to know how plumbing works or listen to the gross details on why pipes get clogged; they just want the problem to go away. Heck, many people don’t understand what I do. When I tell them, they say, “Oh, is that like Auto Trader?” No. When I go to cocktail parties and find out what people do, I often ask them to explain because I am truly interested … to a point. I was just at an airport sitting at a bar next to someone who said they were a data analyst, with particular expertise in healthcare. After asking what that entailed, I thought, wow, you learn something new every day.
Of course, collision is a little different. We have some interesting dynamics that go on during the claims process that other industries don’t have. We have the insurance element. We’re dealing with peoples’ second largest investment, and also their safety and their families’ safety. It is our obligation to educate them, whether they want to hear it or not.
There is some wizardry behind collision technicians’ repair methods; for all some customers know, techs wave a magic wand and poof, the car is fixed. But they really have no idea: “I solve problems you don’t know you have in ways you can’t understand.” Can I add: “Or appreciate”?
BTW: the tech in the photo is Juan Carlos Gasga Perez of Hendrick Collision Center in Cary, N.C. Thanks, Juan!