At the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) last month, a brief announcement was made that the OE Roundtable launched a site called crashrepairinfo.com. It was so brief, in fact, that some attendees may have missed it if they were outside the room grabbing more coffee or answering a phone call. Brief, but significant.
Crashrepairinfo.com is yet another tool you can steer your customers to so that they can become educated on the sophistication of modern-day vehicles, the technology and skill it takes to repair those vehicles, and what to look for in a body shop that can handle such repairs. It also explains their rights, how insurance works, the difference between OE, aftermarket and salvage parts, and definitions of various collision industry terminology.
I think we all believe that consumers are becoming more educated on the ins and outs of the brand-new vehicles they buy, but it’s every body shop’s responsibility to pound this information home to each and every customer that crosses their threshold. I think it was Sy Syms of the Men’s Warehouse who said, “An educated consumer is our best customer.” That could very well apply to our industry, too, right?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve explained to a friend who just bought a car or got in an accident the complexities of their vehicle and the importance of taking it to a qualified shop. At the end of my spiel, they invariably say the same thing: “Wow! I never knew that! I had no idea!”
The creation of crashrepairinfo.com is also encouraging from the standpoint that it shows that OEs are starting to recognize the importance of making sure their vehicles are repaired safely and correctly after they roll out of the dealership. I feel that they will do more and more of this, and while they will also help promote this information, body shops must also recognize the critical role they play in spreading the word.