Total Care Accident Repair Blog

Deer Collisions – An Unavoidable Accident

Posted by Brian Bernard on Mon, Dec 10, 2012 @ 08:15 AM

Deer Collisions – An Unavoidable Accident

Fall is the most active time of year for deer while they are in their breeding season.  They are actively seeking out mates and travelling more than they otherwise would.  Their paths cross roadways and highways and they are somewhat distracted with the need to find a mate.  This is not a good combination when you factor in the heavy traffic on our roads.

Auto Body Taunton

Nearly 2/3 of deer accidents occur between October and December in our area.  Many of them occur in the early morning and at dusk which coincides with rush hour and darkness.  There are so many wooded areas inTaunton and Raynham that make this a well populated home for deer.

Accident prevention with a deer is not easy, but reduced speeds, especially at these active times will put you in a safer position.  Slower speeds will increase reaction times and if there is a collision, damage will likely be far less than at high speeds.  Use of high beam lights is also helpful.  Deer are almost impossible to spot on the road when low beams are used on dark roadways. 

When confronted by a deer, Reduce Speed Safely and maintain control of the vehicle.  Avoid swerving the vehicle.  People are more likely to be injured if their car leaves the roadway or crosses into oncoming traffic.  Avoid rollovers or hitting poles or objects on the side of the road.  Nobody wants to hit the deer, but you have to protect yourself and the lives of others first.  Remember that deer are herd animals and frequently travel in single file. If you see one deer cross the road, chances are there are more waiting.

Did you hit the deer or did the deer hit you?  It happens both ways but, under yourMassachusettsinsurance policy, any deer collision is generally covered under your comprehensive coverage.  This means a deductible applies when you get the car repaired but, there is no surcharge or points charged to your Safe Driver Insurance Plan (SDIP).  When a deer runs into you, the damage is fairly minor but a full-on collision with a deer will cause significant damage to a car.  These are often some of the larger repairs that we see in our auto body shop. 

Because of the way insurance policies treat deer collisions, most repairs of this type are run through insurance policies rather than paid for out of pocket.  A body shop repair estimate usually originates with the insurer and is finalized at the shop.

Topics: auto body, insurance, prevention

Collision Repair - More Than Meets The Eye

Posted by Jack Lamborghini on Mon, Jun 18, 2012 @ 09:34 AM

As we continue to get rave reviews and outstanding CSI scores from our customers I want to acknowledge and thank all of our business partners who work behind the scenes to help us provide you with the best collision repair experience possible.

Total Care Team

If you used a basketball team as an analogy, Think of Total Care as the “point guard” of the repair process. Obviously we are responsible for repairing your vehicle but in order to deliver a truly outstanding customer care experience we have to assemble and direct a great team of vendors and suppliers who have the same customer focus that we have. There has to be a coordinated, team effort from multiple people and organizations to ensure a happy customer. The performance of the agent, the insurer, the tow company, the rental agency, the parts suppliers and the paint supplier are crucial to your satisfaction and our success. 

 

When Brian and I were in the “dreaming” stage of starting our business we came up with the name, Total Care, because that is what we are committed to providing to everyone in need of collision repair. And when we do a good job it’s often reflected in on-line reviews, CSI scores and genuinely happy customers. We really appreciate all of the accolades we get but we want you to know that there are a whole bunch of people that you will never meet who are an integral part of our team and your customer care experience. So a special thanks to all of our vendors who work diligently behind the scenes to make it possible for us to deliver Total Care to all of our customers. Like most things in life, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to a quality collision repair experience. 

Topics: auto body shop, auto body, customer service

The Origin of Good Customer Service - For Auto Body Shops & Beyond

Posted by Jack Lamborghini on Wed, May 02, 2012 @ 08:50 AM

I have spent virtually my entire thirty five year business career in the auto body and collision repair industry. As a business owner (and a naturally curious person) I am keenly interested in how other businesses and industries handle the customer care experience. 

 

I had an interesting “customer experience” the other day at one of the major office supply chain stores. It helped clarify my understanding as to who is really in control of customer service at any business.  The young female service rep that was allegedly there to help me was completely disinterested in: 

               A)   Her job

               B)   My wants & needs

               C)   The image & well being of her employer

               D)   ALL of the above

customer service

The company in question typically provides great service and despite my unpleasant experience with this one individual, I will not be deterred from shopping there in the future.  At least until it happens again. The crux of the prob

lem seemed to be that the service rep was not “happy”.  I can’t tell you if her unhappiness was due to personal problems, her job situation or just the proverbial “bad attitude” but it didn’t play well with me or the two other customers I saw her torture while I was there. 

As you might expect, Brian Bernard and I are very proud of the >98% CSI (Customer Satisfaction Index) that Total Care Accident Repair has achieved over the past twelve months.  The long term viability of any business is directly tied to the level of trust and loyalty you have with each and every customer.  So what is the secret for any company in achieving great customer satisfaction?  We believe it’s directly tied to the trust, loyalty and respect that employees share with their company and each other.

At Total Care our people are our greatest asset. They are even more important than our customers. Yes, I did just say that and here is the reason  why:  If our people are not happy, enthused, motivated, concerned, well trained, fairly compensated, encouraged, competent and caring they will not be capable of delivering the customer experience that we expect and you deserve.

So now I would like to introduce you to the team that delivers the Total Care experience:

Pedro Flores and Brian Couto are our “blueprinters”.  They are responsible for taking your car apart, documenting all the damage and ordering all the parts. Pedro is a licensed damage appraiser and Brian is an ICAR Platinum trained technician. Together, their mission is to get it right the first time, and they do!  Frank Soares handles all of our frame, structural and suspension repairs. Frank is also an ICAR Platinum trained technician and welder. Frank has a wealth of automotive repair knowledge that never ceases to amaze me. Frank can fix anything!  Mark Pacheco is responsible for our coach work. He is a master craftsman when it comes to straightening and sculpting twisted metal. No one does it better than Mark and he does it with a terrific sense of humor. Craig Denton is our painter. His ability to blend & match color is outstanding but it’s his “can do” approach that makes him so valuable to our team. Craig came to us in 2010 from the UK and he still doesn’t “get” baseball.  Chris Barbosa  re-assembles your vehicle after the body & paint work has been completed. Chris has an uncompromising eye for detail and the belief that he can make every gap perfect. Sometimes I have to remind him that he can’t. Joe Rodrigues is “the magic man with the magic hands”.  Joe buffs, cleans & details your car as the final step in our process. His work ethic & upbeat personality allows us to overlook his devotion to the New York Giants.  Jason Razee is our youngest technician and “utility” player who assists our senior techs. Just two years removed from trade school, Jason has displayed both the talent and maturity that bodes well for his future success.  Andrew Perry is our office  administrator, parts manager and front line estimator. His technical automotive experience coupled with a degree in computational math from UMASS makes him an interesting young man.  Andrew’s  role at Total Care is to do whatever is needed and he does a great job at it!

These are the people who create the outstanding experience for our customers. We are blessed to have them here on our team and very proud of what they do. Unlike the service rep I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, our team is completely engaged in their work, caring about our customers needs  and concerned about the image, well being and success of Total Care Accident Repair.  Our business isn’t perfect. And every day at our Raynham body shop isn’t “Camelot” but the respect we have for each other and the business is what fuels the care we provide to our customers.  At the end of the day it boils down to this very simple equation:  

Customer Satisfaction = Employee Satisfaction

Happy Customer

 

 

Topics: auto body, customer service

Auto Body Express Repairs

Posted by Brian Bernard on Tue, Apr 24, 2012 @ 01:50 PM

Customers frequently ask us about "Auto Body Express Repairs" and if their vehicle is eligible.  While most of our repairs follow the traditional collision repair process, it is nice to have an alternative for faster moving small repairs. There are three main criteria that fit our Express Service model.

  1. Smaller Repairs
  • Bumper Covers
  • Door Dings and Dents
  • Scuffs & Scratches
  • Mirrors
  • Non-Insurance
    • Eliminate wait-time for authorizations makes it FAST!
  • Customer Choice
    • Select from several repair options (Good/Better/Best)
    • Repair the way you want it
    • Priced to fit your budget
    The result is a FAST Repair
      • Many repairs done same day
      • Maximum 3 day repair
    Here are some pictures of a recent repair that was completed in 1-day.  This can be a VERY ECONOMICAL alternative to traditional collision repair.

    Auto Body Express Repair 1  Auto Body Express Repair 2                                                             

    If Auto Body Express Repair sounds good to you, the first step is to make an appointment so we can review the damage together.  We will listen to what you want, and together we will develop a repair plan that fits your needs.  If your repair doesn't fit the Express Model, we can proceed with the traditional collision repair with (or without) your insurance company.  But a 10-minute appointment will answer all of your questions.

    Click me

    Topics: auto body, express repair, dent repair

    Customers Define Value in Auto Body Repair

    Posted by Jack Lamborghini on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 @ 07:14 AM

    When my business partner Brian and I started Total Care Accident Repair in June of 2010, we knew our partnership would succeed because we share the same set of principles and values that guide us in both our personal and professional lives. Over the next several months I would like to share with you how we think about our business, our customers, our employees, our insurance partners, our vendors and even our competitors.

    This is my first-ever blog, so bear with me and don’t hesitate to give me your feedback!

    One of the most basic principles that we operate on is simply this: The Customer Defines Value. 

    Good Value

    So what does that mean? For us it means we have to listen closely to what the customer wants, and then offer our experienced opinion and guidance to explain the options with the pros and cons allowing them to move through their decision making process. Each customer has their own personal set of unique circumstances that dictates their buying decision. Our job is to ask the right questions, listen closely to the answers and provide options that fulfill the need. Cost, quality, convenience and time are the usual customer concerns, but everyone still has unique needs.

    Our goal is to give every customer a customized repair experience! “One size fits all” will never apply here at Total Care. If your vehicle is your “baby” and you want it to look like the accident never happened, we can certainly do that. If you are on a tight budget and only want a partial repair for the purpose of functionality, we are more than happy to accommodate you. If you are concerned about surcharge points and want to avoid making an insurance claim, we can guide you. And if you just ripped the mirror off the new car backing it out of the garage and need it replaced before your wife finds out, we can help you with that too!

    Too often body shops don’t really listen to the voice of the customer. They only want to do the repair “their way”. They are often unwilling, or unable, to comprehend what the customer truly values. When we opened Total Care Accident Repair we did it with a very different operating model that is focused on creating value for every customer on every repair as defined by you…..  And thus, we never lose sight of the fact that The Customer Defines Value.

    It’s simple. It’s not rocket science. Shouldn’t every business, regardless of the industry, encourage and ultimately let their customers define value? We think so!

    Topics: auto body shop, auto body, customer service

    Total Loss: Now What Do I Do?

    Posted by Brian Bernard on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 @ 09:18 AM

    At Total Care Accident Repair, our job is to repair cars to pre-accident safety, condition and value.  But from time to time we have customers who incur a Total Loss and have to help guide them thru that process. 

     

    A Total Loss is declared when the auto body repair cost exceeds the value of the vehicle minus the salvage value of the vehicle as determined by the insurance company.  The insurance company will run some numbers to determine the fair market value of your vehicle and present that information to you.  We recommend to our customers that they do their own research to find out the true replacement cost of their vehicle by visiting a reputable dealer like Mastria Auto Group.  Customers should also take into consideration any recent service that was performed to their car like adding new tires and brakes.  You can present the receipts to the insurance company and have them take that information into consideration when determining the fair market value. 

     

    When the value of the Total Loss finalized, customers are paid the pre-accident fair market value of their vehicle and then they get to go car shopping.

     

    Often times it can be a struggle for consumers to decide what to buy, a new car or a used car.  Because of the accident, people are forced into a buying decision at a time when they didn't expect it.  Their totalled car was a technically a used car, but should they replace it with a new vehicle?  There are lots of things to consider and I ran across this column from Farrell Backlund Insurance Agency which addresses some of the Pros and Cons.  Please check it out.

     

    New Vs. Used: The Car Buying Conundrum

     

     Total Loss

    Topics: auto body, total loss, buying a new car, fair market value