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Frank Terlep

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Can you describe Summit’s new offerings for collision shops?

It’s an end-to-end solution to help shops increase their sales, improve retention of customers, as well as deliver services to customers via Web, social and mobile.

How important is it for shops to maintain an end-to-end Web presence?

There are important statistics. When you think about it, almost 90 percent of consumer do a search for local products and services before acting on it. So, you have to be online. Also, we know that 50 percent of consumers say they have a smartphone—and that’s going to be 75 percent by 2016. Then, you also take that 67 percent of our population is on social media.

So, you take those three statistics, and, combined, if you’re going to sell or market a product or service to the consumer, you have to be there. The reason we built what we built is that a shop will have an email system, they’ll have Facebook—but they’ll go to all these disparate systems. They can instead come to a company like us and have all these systems in place and not have to worry about going outside the industry.

What are the biggest challenge shops face in developing a Web presence?

There are several, actually. Many of them don’t understand the importance of a website. I always tell people that their website is their online lobby, and they should treat it that way. That’s number one.

Number two, they don’t understand the benefits of things like email, text messaging and social media. What we’ve found out is that you have to educate them on what it is and what it does for a business, and once it’s understood, that light goes on that, ‘Ah, this can really help.’

There’s just a lack of understanding in what it is and what it can do for you.

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