Collision Vision Podcast: Stand Out in Marketing & Recruiting with Diane Benting

Benting, president of BodyShopJobs, had tips for shops to attract and retain both customers and quality employees.


Host Cole Standberg's guest on this episode of The Collision Vision podcast is knowledgeable and experienced in two hot topics within the collision repair industry: marketing and recruiting. Diane Benting is a long-time member of the collision repair industry, working in various marketing roles at a prominent regional paint jobber before becoming president of BodyShopJobs, a job board for the collision repair industry.

Episode Overview

Benting spoke about the significance of capitalizing on complimentary marketing resources to boost a shop's visibility. A critical step is to claim your business on Google Business, a cost-free yet powerful tool, as it's often the first place people look for services. Establishing a presence on social media platforms such as Facebook, Yelp and Instagram is also vital. Encouraging past customers to leave reviews can greatly enhance a shop's online reputation, requiring little more than time and dedication.

After laying the groundwork, it's advisable to create a website, which can be done via user-friendly platforms like Weebly or Wix, or through professional services. A web presence becomes a launchpad for diving into SEO, Google Analytics, and paid advertising, all of which can further raise a shop's profile.

Benting and Strandberg discussed that, even during peak business periods, marketing should remain a priority. In competitive markets, such as Houston, where body shops abound, it's crucial to stand out. Positive reviews and active community involvement are key differentiators in attracting clientele and setting your shop apart.

The shortage of technicians is a significant concern, but organizations like Collision Careers and TechForce are making headway in promoting the industry and drawing in new talent. Locally, connecting with high schools and offering introductory classes can ignite interest in the collision repair profession. It's about highlighting the diversity of roles, from painting to customer service, and identifying individuals who are genuinely enthusiastic about the industry.

To draw in seasoned technicians, it's imperative to offer benefits and amenities that meet their needs. Flexibility is important, such as accommodating family emergencies, which can cultivate loyalty and positive referrals. Empathy and understanding in the workplace can significantly enhance a shop's standing in the industry.

Fostering a workplace where employees feel appreciated is essential for retention. Celebrating milestones, arranging special events, and giving surprise bonuses are just some methods to demonstrate gratitude. Considering the high cost of replacing a skilled technician, investing in the happiness of your team is a wise business decision.

Despite the challenges faced by the collision repair industry, adopting astute marketing strategies and nurturing a supportive work environment can lead to prosperity. By using free marketing tools, engaging with the community, and treating employees with respect, shops can distinguish themselves in a saturated market and attract the talent necessary for success.

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