Is the Customer Connected Throughout the Repair?

May 5, 2020
With a car nowadays costing over $35,000 on average and being the second-most expensive household item, it's vital for repair shops to "digitize the customer journey."

May 1, 2020—Many repairers have turned to offering more digital solutions to the customer throughout the repair experience. And, with vehicle complexity growing including vehicles entering the market with more ADAS features, repairers will face demands on resources, according to the 2020 CCC Crash Course Report.

Today, ADAPT dives further into CCC's, the provider of cloud, mobile, telematics, hyperscale technologies and apps for the automotive, insurance and collision repair industries', report on how the ability to be transparent with the customer throughout the repair can lead to higher levels of customer satisfaction.

Previously, ADAPT looked into the report and the role telematics plays in the auto insurance industry. 

Repairs can be a reason that vehicle owners defect from a brand. Research has shown 50 percent of OE customers who disposed of their vehicle within 18 months of an accident did so for repair-related reasons (27 percent for damage suffered in the repair and 21 percent for quality of the repair).

That means, the repair process in its entirety is critical to creating a customer that is not only loyal to their car's brand, but loyal to the shop that fixed their vehicle to OE standards.

Delivering on a customer's expectations is what matters, according to the report. Today, especially with the evolving current coronavirus crisis, a repair needs to be simplified and made easier for the customer. If a shop is proactive in communicating with the customer at the beginning of the repair, and unexpected damage occurs after the repair is over, that communication can help strengthen a customer's positive response to the shop.

The consumer experience needs to be informed of what is damaged, how it will be repaired and why that is important at this stage of the repair.

While the CCC company and its 25th annual trends report focuses on content for the collision repairer, even repair shops can take away tips on how to incorporate digital processes to make the repair easier for the consumer.

Digitizing at the Repair Shop Level

For 90 percent of repairs, the vehicle is the primary vehicle in the household, 75 percent are owned (not leased), and 70 percent of consumers are using a shop for the first time, according to the CCC report.

A body shop can take steps to make the customer experience's hands-off in more ways than just in the initial estimate through options to provide photo-estimating.

  1. Collect and analyze customer feedback and integrate processes to close the gaps on failed engagements. Take time to help an inexperienced customer understand the process. Repair shops can use programs to prompt drivers to capture photos and facts from the accident scene. These can help them digitally and easily notify their insurer, and find collision repair shops.
  2. Be proactive and timely in communicating with the customer. Inform the customer on when the car will be repaired and update the customer on whether the repair is on track. Use intelligent texting and notifications to inform the customer about the repair status, payment and repair reviews.
  3. Better manage the experience of customers who have to come back for repairs. Unexpected digital work with complex vehicles, including diagnostic scans, might be unavoidable. Include alerts or reminders for estimators and technicians to keep the customer informed throughout the repair instead of the end in case this occurs.

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