Editor's Notes: What Makes You Stand Out?
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Editor’s Notes: What Makes You Stand Out?

With business harder and harder to come by these days, you really need to find something unique to make you stand out…and make you unforgettable.

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Jason Stahl has 28 years of experience as an editor, and has been editor of BodyShop Business for the past 16 years. He currently is a gold pin member of the Collision Industry Conference. Jason, who hails from Cleveland, Ohio, earned a bachelor of arts degree in English from John Carroll University and started his career in journalism at a weekly newspaper, doing everything from delivering newspapers to selling advertising space to writing articles.

A consultant at a meeting I was at one time went around the room and asked the body shop owners and managers in attendance what made their shops stand out. He asked them to write it down on index cards and then collected the cards and read them. About 90 percent of them said the same things: outstanding customer service and quality repairs.

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This does not make you stand out, he said. Why? Because every shop claims they have five-star service and quality. You need something different, he said, something that will ensure that your customer will not forget about you even seven years after their first visit.

Examples? He talked about a service station/lube place where the employees literally run out to customers’ cars when they pull in. And by run, I mean they book it! Unusual, yes, but an experience that will stay with the customer.

What if your body shop looked like a diner from the 50s? Do you think people would remember you? Do you think people might just stop by to check it out even if they weren’t in a wreck? Do you think people would talk about you all over town? Ever since A-1 Auto’s CARSTAR Collision made themselves over into a 50s wonder world, that is exactly what has happened to them (see pg. 32).

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What about the shop that has office furniture made out of old cars? My point is, with business harder and harder to come by these days, you really need to find something unique to make you stand out…and make you unforgettable.

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