Tuesday, 07 April 2020 12:16

Special Edition April CIECAst Focuses on How Collision Industry is Addressing Challenges Created by the Coronavirus

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CIECA on April 6 hosted a special edition of its monthly CIECAst webinar, “How Our Industry is Addressing Challenges Created by the Coronavirus.”

The webinar featured leaders from a variety of segments in the collision repair industry, including Mike Anderson of Collision Advice, Mitchell International’s Debbie Day, Shan McMillon of Cocoa Auto Salvage, Don Porter from United Recyclers Group (URG) and Dan Risley from CCC.


The CIECAst webinar scheduled for April 21, “The Importance of OEM Certifications,” featuring CARSTAR’s Connor Smith, has been postponed until August.


“CIECA constantly looks for ways to help the collision repair industry approach evolving issues, increase efficiency and meet the needs of its customers,” said Ed Weidmann, CIECA’s executive director. “This broadcast is aimed at addressing the many issues created by these challenging times. We wish you all the best as the world adapts to the unusual circumstances created by the coronavirus.”


Risley, vice president of quality repair and market development for CCC, kicked off the session by sharing information about the current business climate, specifically noting a decline in the number of auto sales and miles driven, leading to fewer potential accidents.


“We are all receiving tons of information every day, and it seems to raise more questions than give us answers. We’re at a crossroads,” Risley said.


Imagining the possibility of emerging from this crisis into a new normal, Risley explained this could be possible because consumers are recalibrating their expenditures, and many are predicting a higher instance of virtual connections in the future. He provided examples, such as no-contact retail purchases and doctor’s appointments by Zoom, to support this hypothesis.


“The first thing everyone needs to do is let their customers, insurers and vendors know that their shop is open for business because not everyone realizes we’re deemed essential," Risley said. "We’re seeing a huge uptick in a contact-free customer experience, increased use of technology, online documentation and payment, curbside estimates and no-contact pickups and drop-offs.”


To ensure the health and safety of staff and customers, Risley recommended staggering work schedules and breaks, providing masks and gloves to employees, maintaining distances, requesting after-hours parts deliveries and offering weekend hours to help working parents who are now doubling as teachers to their children.


He suggested the industry take a more proactive approach to the customer experience by checking on customers. Shops can also capitalize on downtime to update their online profiles, making themselves more easily found by consumers.

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