In 2013, engineers Josh Melick and Assaf Arkin founded Broadly, a company that facilitates businesses’ success online through Facebook, Yelp, Google and NextDoor, while living in Oakland, CA.
According to Broadly’s website, after years of watching his father’s roofing business struggle to find an effective, simple and affordable solution to market itself, Melick recognized a need in the local business community. He and Arkin set out to find an impactful way for businesses to engage with today’s consumers and thus, Broadly was born.
Autobody News recently sat down with Melick to find out how his company is helping auto body shops all over the country grow organically online and bring more business through the door.
Q: If the majority of the work comes from the insurance companies, why should shops care about their online presence and online feedback?
A: In the collision repair industry ... the consumer writes the check, either to the insurer or the shop itself ... in the end, the customer makes the ultimate decision.
In today's modern world, more and more consumers like to look online, and they want to know that their cars are being fixed properly. They have the family mini-van, for example, and they want to make sure that it's repaired perfectly after an accident before they put the kids back in it. That's where word-of-mouth comes in. Word-of-mouth is always present---there is nothing new about that---but what has changed in our modern world is how we access it and where we go to find it.
It's not just people talking to people anymore. Although I might talk to my neighbor, they're more likely looking on NextDoor or Facebook to see where their friends had their cars repaired. I might use my cell phone to search using Google to find shops near me or by my office. This is the modern world we live in, so shops have to care about it in a way they didn’t before.