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Survey Notes New Processes to Use During Pandemic 

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Necessity is the mother of invention. 

And the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated some creativity from business owners like those that run collision repair facilities. 

"We needed to make sure our customers still felt comfortable using our facility," said Andrew Batenhorst, the body shop manager at Pacific BMW in Glendale, Calif. "... We provided them reassurance that our facility has been disinfected daily. [And] we made sure to reinforce our online presence as much as possible, after business hours included. 

"We also offer a free, upgraded detail package to first responders and frontline workers to thank them for their service."  

In order to gauge all of the extra, creative measures shops have taken throughout America during the pandemic, FenderBender recently asked shop operators in a survey what new processes they've implemented lately. Here's a look at the most common answers from the 152 shop operators who recently responded to the magazine's survey. 

For many shops, the "new normal" during the COVID-19 crisis has included implementing the following new processes

  • increased cleaning of vehicle interiors 
  • utilizing plastic covers for steering wheels and shifters 
  • closed lobby area 
  • utilized "sneeze shields" 
  • touchless vehicle dropoffs 
  • using partitions to separate employee work areas
  • increased usage of protective equipment 

Additionally, here's some of the new services that repair facilities have started offering during the COVID-19 crisis: 

  • photo estimates 
  • text to pay
  • bedliner work 
  • detailing
  • PDR
  • wheels, tire and tint
  • vehicle disinfecting 
  • pick-up and delivery 
  • touchless service 
  • zero-percent financing 
  • free use of shuttle service 
  • ozone treatment to kill virus and bacteria 

Shop owners also stepped up to do their part to give back. Some went so far as to offer to grocery shop or fill vehicles up with gas for their customers that did not feel safe. Other shops gave away hospital-grade disinfectant.

Many shops focused on community outreach and reached out to local businesses and purchased meals for their team to support them, or bought meals for medical workers. 

In Batenhorst's experience, a little bit of extra effort goes a long way for customers during trying times. 

"Given how everyone was affected by" the pandemic, the shop manager noted, "our team's emotional stability and eagerness to help our customers is a crucial component of earning a customer's trust and confidence." 

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