This month, we “ASK MIKE” to tell us more about the exciting new series of “Consumer Tip” videos that he is producing with Danny Gredinberg of the Database Enhancement Gateway (DEG) for the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS). We at Hammer & Dolly hope you find the following exchange useful, and we encourage you to reach out to us if you have a question for Mike on this or any industry-related matter that he can answer in a future issue.
Hammer & Dolly: You’ve worked with SCRS for quite a while now in producing videos for the industry, but what led to this new direction in creating content that’s more vehicle-owner-facing with the debut of the “Consumer Tips” series?
Mike Anderson: Unfortunately, we’re living in a world today where some insurers want to reimburse shops for safe and proper repairs, but other insurers make that a challenge. These days, we’re seeing more customers pay out of pocket to get their vehicles repaired. So, it all begins with building a relationship with that customer and educating them. Ryan Taylor from BodyShop Booster said that people are more afraid of making the wrong decision than they are of spending money. It’s not just about customer service; it’s about the customer experience. Part of that customer experience is getting an educated and informed vehicle owner. That is why SCRS asked me if I would be willing to do some consumer tips. I said, ‘Absolutely!’ I think we’ve probably received more emails, compliments and kind posts on social media for the ‘Consumer Tip’ videos than for the ‘Quick Tip’ ones we’ve done for shops! People are really excited about this. We recently went to I-CAR’s new facility in Chicago and shot a bunch of these videos. People really should subscribe to the SCRS YouTube channel by going to youtube.com/SCRSCollision or using the QR code in this article.
H&D: The first “Consumer Tip” video was on estimates versus repair plans. Why was that topic a great one to lead with?
MA: We really want to educate customers that a repair is not about price. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably isn’t true. We’re working to educate consumers that price isn’t as important as their families’ safety.
H&D: What are some of the other topics that we can expect to see as this series moves forward?
MA: OEM versus aftermarket parts and why it’s important to have a diagnostic scan are just a couple we have coming up. We’ll also be explaining some things on ADAS. We have a lot of great things coming up, so people really need to subscribe to the SCRS YouTube channel to make sure they get all the videos and share them with their customers.
H&D: You ran body shops in the past, and you’re working with shops all over the country now through Collision Advice. What are some of the biggest misconceptions that consumers have that you experienced all the way back when you were a shop owner that still persist today?
MA: Danny and I have done seminars for WMABA and at the NORTHEAST® Automotive Services Show regarding vehicle owner’s manuals. These manuals are critical. For example, almost all owner’s manuals state that you need to check the seatbelts. A lot of times, shops aren’t doing that. They need to perform these safety inspections and also discuss what it says in the owner’s manual with the customer so that they understand why it needs to be done. Obviously, the differences between OEM and aftermarket parts is another important conversation to have with the vehicle owner.
H&D: You’ve collaborated with SCRS for years. What do you think SCRS brings to the industry that makes you want to work with them so frequently?
MA: They’re the biggest voice in this industry. They are the association to belong to. They have shops’ best interests at heart; they are a voice that reaches out to insurers without shops having to worry about repercussions. The value of any association – whether it’s WMABA or SCRS – is that they can reach out on your behalf when there’s an issue. SCRS’ benefits are also amazing. Look at what they’ve done with healthcare and 401(ks). Members are saving thousands and thousands a month through some of SCRS’ benefits! When they came out with the DEG, I thought, ‘What can they do to top this?’ Then, they came out with the health benefits program and the 401(k) plan. They also do these videos for consumers and the industry. SCRS is just on it. There’s nobody in the industry who provides more value to shops than SCRS.
Want more? Check out the December 2022 issue of Hammer & Dolly!