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Running a profitable collision repair department


Ever wonder how many of the vehicles you sell will get into an accident?
Probably lots of them. You’d like your customers to come back to you. Sure, you’d like to open a body shop, but there are the zoning bylaws, the costs of buying land, building and outfitting and staffing the shop.

Assured Automotive has a suggestion – a virtual body shop.
 
“We create a collision repair department for the dealer. We put a staff member in the dealership – an Assured employee who is a dealership employee in the customer’s mind – they wear the dealer’s uniform, carry the dealership’s business cards,” says Assured president Tony Canade.

“We create a repair department for the dealer without the headaches.”

He goes on to list the benefits: parts sales; customer satisfaction and retention; increased profits.

“When the customer delivers the vehicle to the dealership, we transport the vehicle to one of our facilities and bring it back when it’s ready. Our service advisor tells the customer that. If the customer has any questions, they call the service advisor.”

Now, you are probably wondering who will do the marketing. Who will make your customers aware that they can turn to you when their vehicle needs collision repairs?

Canade has the answer: Assured, of course.

“We develop the programs to make the customer aware of the repair facility. We piggyback on the customer retention programs the dealer has – CRM monthly notices, etc. We do the education at point of sale and monthly, the same way the dealer does for the service department.”   

For example, when the dealer sends out an e-flyer announcing a rust proofing special, tagging along will be a reminder noting if the customer needs some body work done, the dealership can do it for them. Planting the seed in the customer’s mind, he calls it.

In business for almost 20 years, Assured says it has 21 collision repair facilities and 13 dealer service centres in the GTA, Hamilton, Kitchener, Oakville and Burlington.

What about that underperforming body shop of yours?

Assured says it will buy it or manage it for you.

He argues that one of the reasons dealers can’t run profitable body shops is because dealers have traditionally struggled when dealing with insurance companies.

Canade says his company is on the referral list of all major insurance companies. So that if your customer is in a fender bender and turns to your dealership, there will be no problem.

But what happens when your customer wants to use your service, but Assured is not on a particular insurance company’s list?    

“If the customer takes the vehicle to the dealership, our service advisor will explain to the insurance company what’s going on. If we get to the point where the customer brings the vehicle to the dealer, we are almost guaranteed to do the repair work.”

For more information, contact John Rodrigues, Assured marketing manager/dealer relations 416-568-2994 (cell) or jrodrigues@ assuredauto.ca or visit www.assuredauto.ca.