Mike Anderson

mike anderson autobody newsMike Anderson is the president and owner of Collision Advice, a consulting company for the auto body/collision repair industry. For nearly 25 years, he was the owner of Wagonwork Collision Center, an OEM-certified, full-service auto body repair facility in Alexandria, VA.

Thursday, 08 September 2022 15:42

From the Desk of Mike Anderson: Your Auto Body Shop Needs to Provide Consumers ‘Social Proof’ You’re Their Best Choice

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State Farm over the years has added information about customer reviews and OEM certifications to its shop locator. State Farm over the years has added information about customer reviews and OEM certifications to its shop locator.


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When I was in Chicago recently, I had an opportunity to go to lunch with Nick Schoolcraft and Tina Biancalana from Phoenix Solutions Group, which offers marketing and strategic solutions for collision repair businesses.

One of the things they shared with me was the term “social proof.” Here’s what that is, and what it should mean to you and your business.


First, a definition. One source says “social proof” is a term coined back in 1984 by author Robert Cialdini in his book, “Influence.”


“This phenomenon is also called ‘informational social influence,’ and essentially it's the idea that people copy the actions of others in an attempt to emulate behavior in certain situations,” the definition states.


But what does that mean in our industry? Let me preface this by saying I in no way am claiming to be an expert on “social proof.” But as I did some research into it, I realized it fits with one of my key messages for this year: Change the way you compete. By understanding social proof, I think you can compete in a new way to gain market share.


That’s because consumers today have a “trust but verify” mentality. So just because an insurance company, automaker or dealership says, “This is a body shop we recommend,” that consumer is still going to seek out “social proof,” evidence that you can be trusted and that the referral to you is a good one.


So what can be used as “social proof”? Certainly, if a customer can see you’re engaged with your customers through social media, that offers them some proof you’re creating customers who feel good about their experience with your business. So "likes," "shares" and comments on your social media feeds is good “social proof.”


Then there’s “stamps,” things like accreditations and certifications. Is it easy for customers to...

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