Nissan already provides rebates, free repair procedures, customer referrals and promotion and social media advertising resources to its certified shops, but the OEM plans to do even more.
Zoba said he thought that in the future, repairers might see additional partnerships between Nissan and “key industry people” which would lead to the shop receiving more information about repair considerations up front.
This advance knowledge leads to setting the correct expectation for a customer, which is “key,” Zoba said.
He gave the example of an insurer predicting a repair would take five days, but a shop able to tell customer it would really be a week based on their upfront understanding of the necessary repair procedures. The customer was then kept informed during that time, he said.
CCC director and lead analyst Susanna Gotsch’s research, first presented in Property Casualty 360 and later in the 2016 Crash Course, has found cycle time is actually less important to the customer than being kept informed of the repair’s progress. That would seem to bear out the idea of accuracy rather than rushing to give the customer a delivery date.
Estimates of when a customer’s collision repair will be finished would be much more accurate if done after the vehicle teardown and the shop had worked out the parts logistics, a panel and audience including insurers and repairers seemed to agree at a July 2015 Collision Industry Conference. At that point, ETAs for repairs would be correct about 90 percent of the time instead of the discrepancies being seen today, participants said.
Such repair planning was already possible with Nissan’s granting certified shops a free subscription to its OEM repair procedures website, which normally costs between $19.99 to access for a single day and $720 for an entire year, according to a Collision Advice webinar Monday.
A slide from the talk noted that certified shops also can score up to 15 percent cash back on certain orders, “with a chance to earn a rebate of $15,000!” (Emphasis Collision Advice’s.)
Both certified and uncertified shops also can use Nissan’s buying power to obtain discounts on certain equipment, and the OEM also will offer special financing opportunities to qualifying shops, according to Collision Advice. (It was unclear if the financing was available to both certified and uncertified facilities as well.)
Certified shops also can use the exclusive email@example.com email address when they have repair procedure questions. Other shops can still contact Nissan with questions through a link on the OEM’s repair procedures website, and all shops can still call the free Identifix hotline 1-855-828-4018 for help.
Zoba said that Nissan has also been working on opportunities this year for more Nissan-specific training in response to shop requests for dedicated training. He said more details would be available in the coming months and the automaker was looking at specific courses with I-CAR and other other entities.
“We’re excited about this year” of providing more information to a shop and working with them to take care of a customer and engage with employees.
He said Nissan also took referrals of technicians who had done the right thing for a Nissan owner, and “we celebrate that” within a quarterly newsletter.
Finally, he said Nissan would soon announce a way for a limited number of shops to attend a “firsthand experience” Nissan event with regards to quality customer service, marketing, leadership excellence and employee engagement.
“We’re doing a lot for our shops” to engage them and ensure Nissan works with the right shops, Zoba said.
Featured image: A banner touts Nissan certification in the Cobo Center during NACE 2015. (John Huetter/Repairer Driven News)