Friday, April 21, 2017

Work van or work truck painting and repair demand special handling

There's on-going debate over which type of vehicle is best for a contractor or fleet vehicle. Contractor website toolsofthetrade regularly surveys business owners to find out what they're driving. A standard pickup is the vehicle of choice for 40 percent. Standard vans are used by another 18 percent. Thirty-six percent use a trailer, cube van, or a pickup with a service body. River City Auto Body respects that this isn't just your point-A-to-point-B mode of transporting equipment…
…it's a rolling advertisement.

As an ad, the condition of the vehicle says a lot about the condition of the business. Remember the TV sitcom, 'Sanford and Son?' That was one beat-up pickup: Fred, Lamont, Grady, Rollo, and Bubba were some beat-up sketchy characters. That isn't to say a beater truck is always going to be driven by deadbeat contractors, however the service vehicle is often the first – or only – visible advertisement for contractors. Make it count.

Four things to consider:
1) Repair damage immediately. With the amount of miles a typical local business puts on a vehicle, collisions are always a risk. When you have collision damage that's unrepaired, consider how many people see your name next to the dent or scrape every mile it rolls down the road.

2) Elements and acid-rain deteriorate the image. Many times the service vehicle has to be stored outdoors all year due to its size compared to a standard height (or width) garage door. Wisconsin's climate isn't kind to your advertisement.

3) More aluminum is being used today than ever before. Check out the River City Auto Body archive on aluminum frames and body panels. These require specific certification to be repaired and repainted properly.

4) Taller service vans are growing in popularity. Dodge's Ram ProMaster and Ford's Transit are just two of the dozen vehicles on the market specifically for business owners. First, consider these are taller and you will need a repair business with the extra-tall paint bays needed to accommodate the size. (River City Auto Body can accommodate any vehicle, BTW.) Second, some of these vehicles are now coming into their second owners: If you're that second owner, do you want the old business's paint scheme? You'd only be advertising their business, not yours. Even when you peel off the old decals, the climate changed the paint around the old logo. Start fresh. It's your ad.

 Photo by A Ancu, used with permission.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Auto insurance steering isn't us vs. them, it's about you

Earlier in the River City Auto Body article archive, we shared two 'myth-buster' articles on auto insurers steering claim repairs to a shop of the insurer's choosing. They can't require you to go anywhere for your repair: It's your vehicle. Yet they may attempt to sway your decision by suggesting a collision repair shop, and that's legal – mostly.

We work with a lot of insurers. They're an important part of protecting your vehicle investment and your peace of mind. Not to mention your wallet. River City Auto Body recognizes the valuable role your insurer plays in your life, and how they can make or break our business. Insurers work with the same auto repair shops every day. And since you, as a driver, aren't likely to have that much experience with getting collision damage repaired quickly or cost-effectively, you probably appreciate any effort the insurer makes to help you through the crisis.

The suggestions they make are in that spirit: The spirit of helping you. However, the insurance industry is, as a business, committed to cost savings. Those two concepts can be contradictory. To put it another way, the insurer works for its shareholders or policy owners (in the case of a mutual company). River City Auto Body works for you.

Something to consider… A 2016 J.D. Power and Associates study indicates consumers are more apt to shop for a new carrier after they've had a claim, whether they're happy with the claim response or not. So, if the insurer possibly will lose you anyway, what would their incentive be to do anything but cut its repair costs?

That survey indicated you are more likely to stick with them after a claim when you rank highly your experience in these 10 areas:

— Answering all customer questions
— Managing expectations regarding the settlement
— Expressing genuine concern
— Avoiding negotiated settlements
— Providing flexible appraisal appointments
— Returning phone calls
— Sharing information between representatives
— Providing proactive updates
— Ensuring customer is at ease with claims process
— Giving customers a time line and meeting it

Who delivers that level of individualized, face-to-face service, the insurer? Or the shop doing your repair? When River City Auto Body does right by you, we're actually helping the insurer keep customers. Our commitment to your satisfaction with our work is how we ensure referrals and repeat customers.


 Photo by Dmitry Kalinovsky, used with permission.