They Might Not Deliver… But We Will!
Here at Nylund’s Collision Center, we have a simple rule: If it’s not perfect, it’s not leaving. This position has created an interesting dichotomy within the ranks of those who do business with us. On one hand, we have an incredibly loyal, and vocal following of overwhelmingly satisfied customers who are quick to share, refer and otherwise communicate their positive experience to all those they know.
On the other hand, we seem to have ruffled the feathers of some insurance adjusters, parts suppliers and even one rental car company. The issue at hand: the cost of serving the customer.
A Case Study in Compromise
On any given day in the body shop business, people bring their damaged vehicles – many of which are late-model or brand new – to us for repair. They come to us, knowing full well that we never cut corners on the safety or quality of our repairs, and that we offer an exceptional customer experience, second-to-none.*
Often, they believe that the money they have invested in their insurance policies over the course of a lifetime will translate to said policies covering OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) replacement parts. Imagine their surprise when some insurance companies steer the insured to body shops that are owned and operated by either themselves, or agents who have “DRP” (Direct Repair Provider) agreements with the insurance companies. Those agreements include the uncontested use of third-party parts or used equipment to replace the damaged, yet brand new parts on their automobiles. Why would insurance adjusters write estimates for such parts? The answer is simple: they are less expensive… thereby maximizing the profit margin for – not the customer – but the insurance companies themselves, and the shops to whom they “steer” their insured.
Compromise, once started, tends to trickle down the food chain, and if left uninterrupted… affects the one paying for everything – the customer.
The insurance companies write estimates for third-party parts. We argue for OEM parts on behalf of the customer, but the adjusters won’t budge. So we order the parts, which are delivered by our vendor, only to discover that they do not fit properly. We bring the adjusters back to examine for themselves the ill-fitting part, and reissue them a supplemental order for the proper (OEM) part. This time, they approve the OEM part, and now we’re in business… Or so it would seem.
While the correct part is being shipped, we’ve started the process of returning the third-party equipment, and requesting a refund. We’ve repeated this process dozens of times every month for years… and now, the vendor who supplies those parts, refuses to deliver them to us. They see no purpose in delivering parts that will only (and almost always) be returned. And while we understand their frustration, it is focused on us, instead of the directors of this ill-fated ballet… the insurance companies.
Remember the customer? While all of this maneuvering is going on, they still need something to drive. Their insurance policy often covers an allotment for the provision of a rental car, and not surprisingly, some even steer the customer to their “preferred” companies. One rental car company, with whom we have had a solid business relationship for years, has recently decided to dramatically cut back it’s level of service to Nylund’s customers. Enterprise Rent-A-Car has historically matched our commitment to a positive customer experience by going the extra mile, and delivering their rental cars to our shop, where the customer is.
But the cost of serving the customer once again lures some to compromise their level of service in an effort to boost profits. In the case of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, management decided that rather than continuing to offer the same level of service, they would no longer deliver to Nylund’s. Instead, the customer must make their way to the rental car location across the city, thereby adding time and inconvenience to the process. Their reasoning for the sudden shift in customer service level: Nylund’s isn’t providing enough customers to Enterprise to warrant continuing the highest level of service.
Reaffirming Our Commitment to You
When companies compromise quality, safety and service for the benefit of their bottom line, the one who unequivocally suffers is the customer. But here at Nylund’s, we simply WILL NOT compromise our standards when it comes to these things! We do not (cannot) increase our hourly labor rate. We will not put substandard parts on a vehicle repair where integrity and safety are of paramount importance. And if it costs us our profit margin to take this stand and do the right thing – then we gladly make that decision all day, every day.
We are quick to note that not all insurance companies “steer” customers to shops with DRP agreements. We have never accepted a DRP agreement with any insurer – and we never will.
Not all vendors bemoan delivering their parts. They are paid by the insurance companies, and while sometimes parts must be returned… delivery charges are always paid.
And not all rental car companies cut back their service. We have strong relationships that are only made stronger when others identify themselves as willing to compromise their level of service.
Nylund’s Collision Center will ALWAYS stand behind the work we do… and stand beside the ones who make it possible: our customers. Thank you for allowing us the honor of serving you!
* Nylund’s Collision Center is the proud recipient of the Denver Channel 7 A-List award for Best Body Shop 2011-2012.