Shop Life Columnists

First-Hand Impressions

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As editor of FenderBender I’ve had the privilege now of being inside many body shops. It’s a part of the job I enjoy and am always very appreciative of the hospitality of shop owners taking some time to show me around. But there was one body shop I very much did not want to enter: The one I needed. 

Yes it’s true, after a life blissfully free of accidents my luck ran out earlier this fall. There’s a certain cosmic irony in me only being in a car accident after becoming editor of a collision repair magazine, but I digress. It didn’t really matter in that moment what I did or did not know about the industry, I was just like any of your regular customers needing some help. 

The most important thing was the nobody was hurt. Secondary to that I was also fortunate to have an insurance company that was helpful and courteous. And then I found a shop that was friendly, communicative, and best of all, did quality work.  

We talk a lot in FenderBender in the abstract, about what to do if this/or that. But I got to see it in action. Customers who need a body shop have been through what is a jarring and truly unnerving experience. Simply someone who answers the phone with the sound of a smile and gives you the confidence that they’ll take care of it can feel like the greatest thing in the world. 

Your editor’s personal drama aside, there is plenty in this month’s issue to help keep you running those helpful, reliable businesses. This month’s feature story (p. XX) is all about tech and tools, and how owners today stay on the cutting edge. There’s also tips on how to make sure your shop is getting every dime owed to it (p. XX) and how shop managers can fill a crucial role for both employees and customers (p. XX).  


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