We asked the newest, hottest artificial intelligence (AI) tool – ChatGPT – to come up with a list of 5 topics that would be relevant and helpful for consumers who require the services of a collision center. The software’s reply was instantaneous and pretty spot-on. Before we get into the five points that the AI engine thought you, the consumer, should know; we thought it important to let you know what ChatGPT is (and isn’t).
ChatGPT is a computer program that was designed to have conversations with people. Think of it as something like a robot that is capable of very detailed two-way communication. It is part of an emerging technology known as “Generative AI”. Such systems fall under the broad umbrella category of machine learning. What this means in simple terms is that the software is not only able to reply to your input – but it is also able to quite handily turn your prompts into previously uncreated content.
Generative AI can create art, written content, music, computer code, new product designs, and much more. And yet, with all of its abilities… it also has limitations. As a tool, it’s remarkable. And it’s not going anywhere. We are living through the most innovative technical revolution since the birth of the Internet. Wise are the people who learn how to use this technology appropriately.
So, the instruction (called a “prompt”) that we asked ChatGPT was this: “Write a list of 5 topics that would be relevant and helpful for consumers who require the services of a collision center.”
With less than a second of “think time”, the artificial intelligence started to output the following:
1. Understanding the collision repair process: This can include information on what to expect when taking a vehicle to a collision center, what kinds of repairs can be made, and how long the process typically takes.
This is one of the fundamentals here at Nylund’s Collision Center. We have always believed that an educated consumer makes better decisions, and is less likely to be taken advantage of. And while some of the questions (like how long will it take to repair my car) have no definitive answers, the question does offer an opportunity to explain the process behind the scenes.
2. Working with insurance companies: If a consumer’s vehicle has been damaged in an accident, they will likely need to work with their insurance company to recover the cost of repairs. Understanding how to navigate this process and what to look out for can be helpful.
Also a great topic, and ripe for clearing up misconceptions and outright deceptions.
3. Choosing a reputable collision center: Consumers should know what to look for when choosing a collision center, such as the qualifications and experience of the technicians, the quality of the repairs, and the level of customer service.
This is one of the most important topics that we try to communicate to our audience. The pressure the insurance industry puts on their insured to take their vehicles to shops with partnership agreements is intense. Knowing the questions to ask of any body shop owner or manager is critical to ensuring a proper repair even before it starts.
4. Keeping a record of repairs: Consumers should be encouraged to keep a record of all repairs made to their vehicle, including the date, cost, and type of repair. This can be useful if there are any issues with the repairs down the line.
We hammer this point at every opportunity. One of the most important things you can do is ask for every copy of the estimate and all supplements added to it along the way. Look for items that are labeled aftermarket or salvaged parts. Such items will decrease the value of your vehicle, and quite possibly put your safety in jeopardy.
5. Understanding the importance of original parts: Many collision centers use aftermarket or imitation parts for repairs, but consumers should be informed about the benefits of using original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, such as better fit and finish and greater reliability.
Yes, This. Always. We are huge advocates for the use of ONLY OEM parts in your vehicle’s repair. No one knows your car better than the manufacturer. There are many reasons to take such a position, but perhaps none are as important as your safety and that of your loved ones. We encourage you to never compromise safety in the name of saving a few dollars. It’s just not worth it.
Overall, we are impressed with ChatGPT’s ability to process our prompts and deliver helpful answers. But keep in mind, as we have already mentioned… not everything it puts out is 100% accurate or up to date. The limitations of this technology are real, and you would be wise to always check its output with a skilled professional.
A couple of expert resources that you may find valuable are the Colorado Dept. of Insurance, and the Society of Collision Repair Specialists’ Consumer Tips. These folks can answer any questions you might have when it comes to insurance company behaviors or what you need to know about collision repair. And as always, you may contact us directly with any questions you might have as well.
Updated 06/21/2023: This article was cited by Repairer Driven News in an article that discusses Mercedes Benz adding Chat GPT to their in-vehicle MBUX Voice Assistant.