BMW April 2022

How can body shops better use the digital communications tools at their disposal to help them stay connected with consumers and increase operating efficiencies?

Getting agreement on a repair assessment from both a customer and their insurer can be a difficult, lengthy and costly process, and something that has become even more challenging because of the Covid-19 pandemic we are all experiencing. As a result, more businesses as using personalised video to help streamline body shop processes and communicate with customers and work providers more effectively.

Video production rates increased by more than 12% in July compared with July 2019, workshop and body shop platforms focused on contactless communications to rebuild relationships with their customers. “This has meant that personalised videos for everything from sales to maintenance and repair are more in demand than ever, and we’ve seen that with the recent growth in customer interaction.” Watch rates for videos is also up by 21% compared to a year ago.

With a growth in demand following a backlog of work created during the initial lockdown, compounded by reduced staff numbers and social distancing requirements, many body shop teams are facing increasing pressure on their resources. Add in the current economic turbulence and the need to adhere to ever-changing risk assessments and new regulations, and it is clear that many businesses face an extremely challenging few months ahead.

It is in times like this that digital tools can make all the difference. Digital services provide body shop professionals to provide an accurate repair and condition of assessment of each vehicle quickly and efficiently, for both insurers and customers. Supported by texts or emails, this helps keep a clear line of communication throughout the job means body shops can quickly approve work between all parties, allowing the vehicle to spend less time in the repair process.

The ability to swiftly record detailed documentation of damage and repairs also means the number of erroneous damage claims from customers can be dramatically reduced, minimising wasted time and reducing further administration and remedial costs. On top of this, using digital apps and platforms can help identify non claim- related work, giving body shops the option to upsell retail repairs at the same time as the accident damage, providing a much-needed boost to the bottom line.

Being able to openly communicate with absolute transparency is crucial, when the face-to-face relationship that can help build trust isn’t an available option. The use of personalised video, when combined with brand awareness, ongoing communication, consistent messaging and added customer reassurance, can help alleviate a stressful situation for owners when having to send their damaged car off for repairs.

Looking ahead with the threat of more lockdowns and restrictions in the future, businesses need to be connected digitally with their customers. We can help body shop operators improve the customer experience through more relevant communication, increase operational efficiency, revenues and profitability during these difficult and challenging times.