John Yoswick

John YoswickJohn Yoswick is a freelance automotive writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the collision industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com).

He can be contacted at john@crashnetwork.com 

Monday, 27 June 2016 12:16

Retro News: July 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011

Written by


15 years ago in the collision repair industry (July 2001)

By eliminating vehicle owners’ contact with shops, Progressive’s “Concierge” program may reduce the hassle for car owners, but it also eliminates any long-term marketing benefit for the repairers. Shops that pare of “Concierge” now truly have Progressive as their customer, not the vehicle owner. If Progressive is satisfied with the quality and the cost, the shops will continue to receive referrals.

The vast majority of vehicle owners who opt for the “Concierge” program will not know which repair facility fixed their vehicle. Will they care? Progressive obviously believes not. The insurer holds that the higher level of hassle-free service far outweighs vehicle owners’ concerns regarding who actually performs the repairs. If vehicle owners really want to know who repaired their cars, Progressive will tell them, but Progressive prefers to handle the entire process, to serve as the facilitator.

In talking with shops participating in the “Concierge” test program, most have state little concern regarding the loss of customer contact and are highly satisfied with the program. Keeping their repair facilities filled is their most important concern. But this attitude is strikingly short-sighted. Ever shops with numerous direct repair program relationships and outstanding insurance company relationships keep a firm eye on individual vehicle owner satisfaction and communication for the long-term benefit for their businesses.

Those who love Progressive generally cite the local claims manager as the reason. If this local insurance representative is reassigned, with the repairer be able to maintain their relationship with Progressive? Will they want to? If not, they could lose the “Concierge” referrals with no opportunity to secure a repeat customers from their prior work.

– from an editorial by Russell Thrall, at that time the editor of Auto Body Repair News (ABRN).