Q: What sets your business apart from others?
A: The main thing is that we are a non-DRP shop. We focus our efforts on marketing and don’t expect insurance companies to do favors for us. We don’t hate or despise them. They pay us a lot of money and keep us in business, but we don’t work for them. We work directly for our customers.
As part of this, we really focus on customers’ needs. A couple of years ago, I started looking at other shops and reading their reviews to determine common customer complaints. Why would they leave a bad review? Obviously, if the car wasn’t repaired correctly, but why else?
One thing that caught my attention is that people said they never knew what was happening with their vehicles. Nobody communicated with them regularly. I thought that was an easy one to tackle. We can stand out from the crowd by over communicating. Now, we update our customers twice a week to let them know what’s being done on their vehicles. This is unheard of in the industry because it’s time-consuming, but we have done it for a long time. We have positive reviews from customers saying the shop always made them aware of what was happening even if they didn’t like the news.
Q: Why did you decide to join 1Collision?
A: I was involved with a company called Management Success for about 12 years, which has since changed its name to Drive. It was the best thing I could have done to wrap my head around running a business.
I believe in having a mentor or coach, but it’s even better if you can find one specific to your industry. They are going to know the ins and outs a lot more. Last year, I felt like I had gone as far as I could with Drive. I learned about 1Collision and decided to explore the possibility of joining the organization. I liked that 1Collision sends people to the shop to help train the technicians. That has been very beneficial. Since joining in 2021, being part of 1Collision has helped us overcome some obstacles.
Kelly Cooper has been a ton of help. He came to the facility for a few days and helped us overcome our blueprinting issues. We still have some fine-tuning to do, but he really changed our perspective. Kelly helped us understand the importance of nailing everything down on the first estimate and starting on the right foot, rather than playing catch up all the time. That was huge.
Joyce Schuenke also came out and helped us with some office issues, which we appreciated.
Q: What other business groups are you involved with?
A: Locally, I’m part of a Business Networking International (BNI) group. I’m also the past president of the Tacoma Business Connection, which is another networking group, and the president of the Northwest Auto Care Alliance (NWACA) in Pierce County, which used to be part of the Automotive Service Association (ASA).