SEMA 2019

New Photo Estimate Tool from CCC

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LAS VEGAS, Nov. 7, 2019



Anna: Hi, everybody! Coming to you live from SEMA. I an Anna Zeck, editor of FenderBender, and we are here at the CCC Information Services booth today. I'm with Mark Fincher, vice president of Market Solutions at CCC, and they launched a photo estimate tool this week. So we're going to talk a little bit about that and how that can help shops, as well. Thank you so much for being here, Mark.

Mark: Thanks for having me.

Anna: So, we were talking earlier off camera that photo estimates can be a little bit misunderstood, and that they have a couple of different purposes: one, the insurance side and also a lead generation tool. So can you talk about the differences and what CCC’s will do?

Mark: Yes. The insurers use photo estimating to help facilitate the claims process, really automate that first notice of loss, proof for the consumer to make it an easier and more convenient, transparent experience for the consumer. On the repair facility side, what we've built with our Engage package and the photo estimate feature, it's really designed for lead generation for repair facilities. It's not meant to be a full comprehensive estimate of all the damage done to the vehicle. It's really designed to allow that modern consumer to have that convenience in a transparent experience with a collision repair facility, because all of us are more busy than we've ever been before. I don't want to go visit a shop... The typical use case for this is going to be I just backed into a pole or hit my garage, maybe a shopping cart hit my car. Should I file a claim or not? I think that's the most common use case we're seeing so far. There have been some larger accident damage coming through, but it's typically going to be that kind of customer pay job. And this gives repair facilities a way to be able to connect to the consumer the way they want to be connected to, potentially after hours, more convenient, self-service. That's what we all as modern consumers are looking for today in our experiences with companies.

Anna: Yeah, definitely. So take us to the customer experience. How does that work for them? What is their experience with the tool?

Mark: Sure, so a couple of ways they can connect: A repair facility can have the Engage online estimate feature enabled on, which we got about 5 million unique visitors a year on looking for collision repair facilities in their area. They can also use what we call a plug-in from Car Wise and put it on there own website, so when a consumer ends up on their site, they can offer the option to get an online estimate. When the consumer clicks from either place, from Car Wise or from their own website...or actually the repair facility can text a link to the consumer to start the process that they call in via phone. Once the consumer starts the process on their mobile phone, we walk them through a series of questions, very simple, gathering some basic information: first, last name, points of impact on the damage. And then we walk them through taking photos of the vehicle. We have wire frames to kind of help guide them to line up the vehicle, so they could get some good photos back for the shop that they can use. Once their done and they submit that to the repair facility it comes right into CCC1. It's not an email or separate from the system. They can see the photos. They can write the estimate, hit a button, and it sends it right back to the customer via email or text, whatever they said it's their preference. They can see the full PDF of the estimate from the shop, and from there, they can click “book appointment” and it will show the available appointments, kind of like Open Table where it will show available appointments at the repair facility. And they can book that appointment and schedule to go right in for their repair of their vehicle or to get more information about their estimate.

Anna: So, from a shop perspective what are really the keys to leveraging the tool like this? Is it about speed that you need to get in touch with the customer quickly?

Mark: Yes.

Anna: How do you make the most of it?

Mark: That is a great question, and that is what I've been out there talking about. It is really important that if you're going to create this experience for the consumer, you need to have processes in place to facilitate that. And consumers, they expect fast responses from their customers. There's a lot of different studies out there; some say 8 minutes. I've seen two to four hours. It depends on what the industry is as to what the expectation is, but they do expect, we all expect, a quick response from a company. And so it's going to be important for repair facilities to respond quickly. We actually, when that comes into CCC1, we throw a little red light in the top corner of all the clients to show them you have an online customer waiting to get an estimate back, so we can alert them, and that way the customer can get responded to in a timely fashion. But I think that is the most important part of all, is to be timely back and then follow up afterwards, because the consumer make get busy, to follow up 24 hours later. Walk through the estimate with them. If they haven't already scheduled to come in, make sure that we’re facilitating that because repair facilities get very busy, and there's so many that don't take the time to follow up with their customers. And the ones that do have a much higher probability of capturing that work, so it's important to do the follow-up afterwards, as well.

Anna: Got it. So we were talking before we started filming that obviously photo estimates traditionally haven’t been super popular in the collision repair industry among repairers themselves, or I shouldn't say super popular. But it's been with some controversy. Is this something that CCC sees as a growing opportunity for shops to utilize them in this type of way?

Mark: Yeah, for sure. I think we have to remember what the use case is here. The use case is lead generation. Let's don't think about this as a complete damage evaluation. It is important, it's the second thing I should have mentioned, it's important for the shop make sure they communicate clearly with the customer that this is based off your photos and that there probably will be additional damage when you come in, but this is an estimate based on what I can see from the photos. This is a marketing tool for repair facilities. It's not meant to be a comprehensive blueprinting tool to identify all the damage on the repair. So I think that's the distinction that repairs need to understand and make, that they're not settling a claim or predicting what the final repair cost is going to be from this but more so giving the customer information to get them into the shop to then really do the full, thorough damage evaluation.

Anna: Got it. Why is now the right time for CCC to launch a product like this? What do you see as the need or the gap?

Mark: Yeah, this is an extension. We launched our Engage platform a few years ago, and Engage, that functionality was designed to help draw more customers to a repair facility, so it's, just as I said, meant to engage the customer. So that started out with the ability to book appointments, so consumers from Carwise or from the shop’s website, could book an appointment directly in. When they got to the shop, we have lobby functionality that allows them to have a kiosk in their lobby to be able to create this continued digital experience. And so this is just an extension of that, to be able to do what we call “shift left,” we're bringing more functionality earlier in the consumer experience, so they have this completely digital automated experience with a repair facility, which again is all of us as modern consumers are coming more and more to expect from the experiences we’re having from other online companies or service industries, for that matter, how they're really starting to communicate with us in new and more digital lighter touch ways, this gets repair facilities the option the ability to do the same

Anna: Thank you so much for being here, and thank you, everyone. Talk to you later.

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