In today’s tech savvy, instant gratification and minute a byte information world, people are looking for ways to do things faster and more efficiently than ever. Let’s face it. People’s attention spans have been vastly reduced to less than a New York minute! It’s no less so when someone gets into an accident. People immediately pull out their mobile phones and begin a search for reputable and highly-rated auto body shops on Yelp, Google Places, CertifiedShops.com, and other reputable sites as an additional layer of reference to their insurance company, family and friends recommendations.
While running the day-to-day operations at a busy and highly successful auto body shop in Los Angeles, we often receive calls from people trying to describe the damage on their cars in order to get an estimate over the phone. This is where the process gets clunky. Phone estimates are notoriously difficult to process because what may be described by some people as small damage on a car, may, in reality be much bigger, and the same is true the other way around. After all, a description of damage is subjective, and the person calling is usually under duress. This is where the idea of Damage Review began to take shape! We started asking people to email the shop photos of their cars. We didn’t want to give away our cell number and have people text us photos. But as we received more email requests, we noticed that the photos we received were often too close-up or not accurate in other substantive ways. Often, we couldn’t even figure out the extent of the damage.
Damage Review to the rescue! That is when I decided to develop and invent a seamless method with which to guide people through the process of requesting an estimate in a simple and secure way. I came up with Damage Review photo estimate. Damage Review, a powerful, secure, yet easy-to-use tool for people to request an estimate from auto body shops, right from their mobile devices or computers, is an invaluable marketing and communication tools, creating leads, and, ultimately, increased sales to shops.
How does Damage Review work? Damage Review is a secure system that does not require any download or installation for the shop and not for car owners requesting an estimate. A person will simply click on a Web link from the shop’s Web site or any other online property to start the request.
Damage Review allows people to enter their basic information such as name, phone number, email, followed by details about their damaged car including photos. Once the estimate request is submitted, it sends all the details to the auto body shop. The shop can then quickly write an estimate using estimating platform such as CCC, Mitchell, Audatex based on what is shown in the photos. The body shop is able to quickly follow up and email the estimate to the owner with the caveat that the car must be inspected in-person to ensure accuracy and to set up proper expectations.
In short, Damage Review creates an instant connection between you, the auto body shop, and the prospect or customer that just got into an accident and is dire need to get it repaired. The faster a shop responds, the more likely a person will appreciate that shop’s diligence and responsiveness, and if the estimate is reasonable and accurate, which it will be because of Damage Review, the shop will most likely land the job when the time comes. Today, several shops around the country use Damage Review as an invaluable part of growing their business, in this fast paced and technologically connected industry in the 21 st century.
Additionally, Insurance companies are using and pushing their online photo apps for people to use when filing auto claims. Auto body shops should be no different, and should get ahead of a trend and direction that our industry is already heading towards. I often hear from auto body shop owners that they are worried about people shopping around with a photo estimate tool. The reality is that people already shop around whether they visit a shop in-person and go to the next shop, or submit request for estimates online. Why not capitalize on this trend, capture these important leads and translate them to revenues?
Not using an innovative and effective tool like Damage Review is a missed opportunity that will translate to lost business to another shop that does use a photo estimate tool. Auto body shop owners should not resist technology, rather they should embrace technology that can help spur leads and increase their revenues. Don’t let your shop be left behind. Give Damage Review a chance to help you grow your business.
Eyal Dunkel has had 12 successful years in the automotive collision industry as an I-CAR Gold certified estimator and as the General Manager of Crown Coachworks Auto Body & Paint, a top-rated, family-owned certified shops that was established in 1968 by Eyal’s father, Jacob Dunkel. Under his stewardship, the business has increased in revenues by 30% percent. Eyal is the founder of Fancy Auto, a technology service provider for the automotive industry based in Los Angeles, California and the maker of:
- CertifiedShops.com is the only site that identifies and recognizes the best auto body shops and auto mechanics making it easy for consumers to repair their cars at the top-tier shops.
- Damage Review is a powerful, secure, yet easy-to-use tool for people to request an estimate from your shop, right from their mobile devices or computers. Damage Review is customized specifically for each auto body shop without any software installation or maintenance.
- CheckInSheet.com is quickest and most professional way to check-in customers cars.