Beyond The Damage Report

by Lyle Van Voorst, I-CAR Instructor

When a potential customer enters a repair facility, they are usually focused on what comes next with having their vehicle repaired. Just like when you go to a doctor’s office, you’re there for a medical concern and not for a social visit. Similarly, a visit to a repair facility can have an emotional effect on the customer. From the receptionist to the estimator, how one approaches the customer is essential. This makes the first impression and level of professionalism so important. The customer’s number one concern is getting their vehicle repaired. The estimator’s number one priority is taking care of the customer.

The first step is to form a connection with the customer. This connection starts with a sincere, pleasant greeting that lets the customer know you are truly glad to see them and continues with empathy and listening. The estimator is the common link between the customer, insurance company, repair facility personnel, and vendors. As an estimator, it’s important to be encouraging and understanding whether communicating verbally, through facial expressions, or with body language.

Including the customer throughout the repair process by educating them and using language they can understand is also important. Those conversations are had through proper knowledge and training of the estimating systems, P-Pages, and OEM repair procedures.

Even taking good quality photos and providing detailed documentation of the required repairs help the customer trust that the vehicle will be repaired correctly. Throughout the repair process, the estimator maintains a good relationship with all parties involved. This helps ensure complete, safe, and quality repairs.

Related I-CAR Courses