This secret strategy will save your business while saving you money

November 11, 2021

Perception is reality. We hear that phrase all the time, but what does it really mean? And how can you use it to grow your body shop business? 

Years ago I was visiting a friend’s collision center. Walking through the front door I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful it was. Pristinely clean, rows of glass offices, everything looked brand new -- it was exactly how I would picture a cutting edge body shop.  Then, my friend took me to the back shop. It was like stepping back into 1970. Everything was old and dirty. The paint booth even had a dent in it like someone had backed into it! When I asked him why this part of the shop looked so terrible compared to the front, my friend said something that has stuck with me:

“Ryan, perception is reality. Customers never come back here. All they ever see is the front office, so that is where I invested money into making it look great.”

That made sense, but what he said next was game changing. He told me that next they were looking at their website and digital presence.  These days, a lot more customers are dealing with body shops virtually. For many, their perception of the business is built totally online. 

I took that concept and ran with it when I worked with this one MSO out in Texas. They had always worked closely with an insurance company that would pump work their direction. They hardly ever touched the customer directly and clients rarely visited them in their undesirable industrial park location. When the insurance company changed models, this MSO lost 100% of their business overnight. 

They panicked. They had never had to work directly with customers, so how were they going to convince them to come way out of their way to their locations? We ended up solving this problem by moving their presence online and creating a contactless, VIP model. They were in an area with a lot of medical centers, so we set up a digital program for doctors and nurses -- people with more money than time -- that was all about convenience. Estimates would be done totally remotely, and then the body shop provided a “concierge service” where they would drop off a rental car directly to the hospital or medical centre and pick up the damaged vehicle. They also provided this service to business executives in the area. The experience looks and feels incredible (and even allows them to charge a premium) but what it was really doing was solving the problem of their unfortunate shop location and saving their business. 

My challenge to you this week is to look for ways to upgrade your digital presence. Perception is powerful, and for a relatively low investment to your website and virtual services, you can give your entire business a facelift. 

Hope you found this helpful -- Keep crushing it!


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