PDR tools

7 Advantages Of Adding PDR To Your In-house Reconditioning Operation

In the reconditioning business, you’re always looking for a way to add another profit center. Luckily for you, adding Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) as an in-house capability is a great way to increase profit with minimal effort. As someone who’s already performing automotive repairs in your service bays or collision center, adding PDR to your processes will actually be pretty easy. With PDR, you can reduce the time you spend on bodywork during the reconditioning process, but you can also save quite a bit of money as well.

Trained PDR technicians can “massage” out any dents or dings found on a vehicle’s body. PDR typically relies on no damage to the paint in order to be as efficient as possible. Even so, technicians can still perform PDR to reshape the dents, and provide paint touch-ups if need be.

Below are 7 advantages of adding PDR to your reconditioning process.

It (Mostly) Doesn’t Cost Anything In The Long Run

Outside a few initial specialized tool purchases and training, PDR basically pays for itself. Once you have the training and tools, you won’t be paying any incremental costs to perform PDR since none of the tools or parts will require frequent replacement.

It Has a High Potential To Net You Profit

With the right technician, a $100 or $200 job can be done in 10 – 30 minutes with PDR.

You Have The Opportunity To Provide Better Deals To Customers

Most of the average drivers out there today have no idea what PDR is. It’s been around for close to 60 years, and there are still shops that don’t have it as a part of their repair processes. So, if a customer comes in with dents that need fixing, imagine their response when you tell them you can repair them all in a fraction of the time and for a fraction of the price of conventional dent repair. You may already use an outsourced PDR technician, but if you find yourself waiting for them to show up to complete the repairs, that vehicle downtime is costing you even more than just their charges.

Creates An Avenue For New, Potential, Customers

If you already have a stream of customers for other repairs and maintenance, you can offer dent removal as an up-sell in the service drive. In most cases, the dent work can be done during other repairs or services, adding no additional wait time for the customer. In addition to your walk-ins, you have the potential to bring in work from auto auctions, used car dealerships, car rental agencies, car insurance agencies, detail shops, and body shops.

Minimal Effort To Adding It Into Your Shop

PDR isn’t a method that requires a drastic change in your business. As we said above, it only requires a few initial tool purchases. Outside of that, there’s a pretty minimal space required to do the work and can easily be done in the shop or on the road with what you currently have. It only takes a few minutes to do during your detailing or painting phases, and it’ll just take a minute for you to speak with the customer, bring up the dents, and offer to repair them without any impact to the overall repair time.

Relatively Low Start-Up Cost

PDR will basically pay for itself once you’ve trained your technician(s) and purchased the proper equipment. It can be self-taught, but professional training and tools can cost anywhere from $5,000 – $15,000 depending on the level of training, certifications, and the quality of the tools. However, after the initial investment, PDR has high profit potential and costs much less than other typical investments for business line extensions.

It’s Easy To Sell To Customers

No matter what, offering a dent repair option that costs a fraction of conventional dent repair to a customer is a pretty easy sell. Since it only takes a few minutes to repair, the lower costs are drastically made up by the sheer volume of PDR that can be done throughout each week. What takes many shops days to do, you could do in minutes. So, if you provide a quality option that saves customers money and is convenient for them, you’ll ultimately get more business down the road.

AutoMobile Technologies offers Software Solutions That Can Help You Manage Your PDR Process

AMT offers software designed to make your reconditioning business more efficient, provide you with better visibility, and give you peace of mind knowing that your back-office is always up-to-date.

ReconMonitor is a state of the art workflow automation software for auto recon, dealerships, and auto remarketing companies. ReconMonitor dealership software decreases reconditioning cycle time from acquisition to front line and increases your control and profitability.

ReconPro is the industry’s most versatile and powerful software solution purpose-built for auto recon professionals. With essential tools for performing PDR estimates, hail and insurance matrixes, parts management, paint code lookups, integrations with body shop crash systems and accounting systems, too. ReconPro manages the details of running your business so you can focus on growing your business.

Digital marketing

How To Market Your PDR Business Online

  • Website
  • Social Media
  • Search
  • Content
  • Email

Online marketing includes any methods and promotional strategies a business will execute on the internet to reach its target audience. 70% of customers will conduct business online before contacting the company. Internet marketing is much more than having a website. It’s answering any potential questions that a customer may have and establishing a “brand identity.” But for someone working in Paintless Dent Repair, phrases such as lead magnet, AdWords, PFI, SEO, and PPC might well be a foreign language. They don’t need to be. Here are just a few of the most effective ways you can market your PDR business online:

  1. Website: When a customer goes to your website, they will instantly know if they want to do business with you or not based on your “brand identity.” Brand identity is when a business shows who they are through text, images, video, and audio elements. You can also include a page or highlighted section that contains the benefits of PDR and why they should choose your business over the competition (without name-calling, of course).

 

  1. Social Media: We are truly living in a digital age, and if you disagree, then you must still be using a flip phone and dial-up internet. Customers expect businesses to engage with them, especially if they are commenting about their experience or inquiring about a service. Facebook Pages and Instagram Business Tools have made this possible for businesses to turn social media into a platform to connect with customers and promote their business.

 

  1. Search Engine Marketing (SEM): SEM is all about marketing through search engines. Businesses can go about SEM in several different ways. One of the most common methods is from organic ranking through search engine optimization (SEO). SEO “is the method website owners use to help search engines find, index, and rank their web pages…” (Duermyer, 2018). You can purchase for your website pay-per-click (PPC) ads in something like Google AdWords. It’s an easy and effective way to drive traffic to your website. A third option is you can purchase pay-for-inclusion (PFI) listings in online directories, similar to Yellow Pages.

 

  1. Content Marketing: This is all about writing articles (aka “blog posts”) relating to your business and publishing them online to reach your target audience. When you write articles that answer questions customers may have, you’re able to connect with a broader audience. You could also have your written content published on other websites, drawing in new leads to your business in a completely different way. There’s always stiff competition amongst local PDR shops, so you want to do anything you can to stand out. Can you stand apart from the rest and prove you’re the best out there?

 

  1. Email Marketing: Email is a proven effective way to create and maintain a connection between business and customer. But how do you get the email list in the first place? You can entice people to give their emails if they want the exclusive website offer, like “half-price headlight restoration!” From there, you have their information to send them additional special offers, a newsletter, holiday greetings, car care tips, etc. Pretty much anything relating to your PDR business so ultimately, these leads can become customers and referrals. That’s the goal.

 

Conclusion

It’s important to keep in mind that as you begin online marketing for your business, the customer is the focus. If your website is challenging to navigate or you’re not replying to Facebook comments, then customers will go elsewhere. Utilizing even just one of the strategies listed above will help your PDR business grow, especially since the industry itself is ever-evolving and growing.

Although it’s possible to get rapid results, consistency is critical. Online marketing is all about long-term results and connecting with your target audience. Once that happens, their referrals will become new leads, and the testimonials/reviews of your customers will be what helps you stand out in the vast frontier of a digital world.

5 Simple and Effective Ways To Earn Customer Loyalty for your PDR Business

  • Customer Service
  • Communication
  • Incentives
  • Honesty
  • Innovation

New customers are exciting for any business. Sales are the lifeblood of the company and new customers mean growth. If the job is done right, the customers will be back again. This is known as “customer loyalty.” But how can you earn customer loyalty in the PDR industry? Surely, you don’t want them getting into yet another car accident to keep them coming back. There’s always a way you can let customers know just how important they are, even if you never see them again. Hello: referrals!

Here are 5 simple and effective ways to earn customer loyalty:

  • Great Customer Service: From the first phone call to when the customer first arrives, it is important that they are treated well. Studies show that over 50% of customers have ended a relationship with a business because of how they were treated. How you can ensure great customer service could be as simple as offering someone a water bottle or asking them how their day is going. Check to see if your customer service team is answering all of the customer’s questions and making them feel valued. Customers will remember when they’re treated well and when they’re treated horribly. On average, people who have a poor experience are more likely to share that opinion with others, and to share it with more people than they would a positive experience.
    Put simply: Happy customers = more business. Unhappy customers = no business.
  • Communication: By setting up a database of your customers’ contact information, you’re able to maintain communication in a number of different ways. These can be newsletters, birthday greetings, or some of the latest customer-relevant news in the industry that shows you’re a shop that knows the industry more than your competition. But don’t send the same junky emails that your competition is sending them with throwaway advice like “how to plan a road trip tip” and “how to keep your dog safe in a hot car.” Give the customers information they can actually use, or at least a personal message that will show you care about them as a customer (you can still automate these). and always, always ask for referrals.
  • Incentives: People love it when they get a little something extra for their business. Consider setting up a reward system that with any new referral from an existing customer gives them either a percentage off their next service, free car wash, etc. Whatever it is, these little perks help establish customer loyalty and gives them an incentive to reach out to their friends and family to be new customers.
  • Honesty: There’s a phrase that goes, “honesty is the best policy.” That’s because it’s been proven to work with the most successful companies and individuals. This is not to say go ahead and make mistakes. Rather, it’s about being upfront about whenever an error occurs, but maintain a sense of humility and apologize. By maintaining this sense of humility, it allows the customers to empathize with you & you with them, as opposed to jumping straight to anger with you over making a mistake in the first place. Just remember to be truly honest while being, well, honest. Nobody likes someone B.S.ing their way out of a mistake.
  • Innovation and Technology: Where a lot of auto repair shops and technicians make mistakes is they are stuck in their old ways of conducting business. Piles of paperwork containing valuable documents from estimates to repair notes consume offices and sometimes, all the business owner can really do is rely on the word of their technicians. This old way of conducting business may have worked 20 years ago, but we live in an ever-evolving technological world where the products and services we use become outdated. By using the latest technologies available that are easy to use and designed specifically for the auto repair industry, it allows you to be current in a better & smooth work environment. Not to mention, it looks a lot better for a customer to walk into a shop that’s not stuck in the stone age with desktop computers and fax machines. Consider using technology to make the transaction easier on the customer – from scheduling an appointment on your website to approving and paying for the repair right from the technician’s mobile device.

 

All in all, ask yourself what it would take for a business to earn your trust? Is it feeling important? Is it being truthful and owning up when they’ve made a mistake? Is it communicating with you and providing you with relevant knowledge? Chances are, a business earned your trust through making you feel valued and that you were in good hands with knowledgeable people. Whether you’re an auto repair technician or a fully operating shop, if you follow these simple and effective ways to earn a customer’s loyalty, you’ll have one thing money can’t buy: trust.

Why Choosing ReconPro Helps You Claim Your Life Back

  • Reduce the hours spent on paperwork
  • Coordinate jobs and teams
  • Complete visibility of every job and customer

When you manage a SMART repair business, you are the captain of your own ship. No matter how big or small your business may be, your systems allow you to see how your technicians are doing, manage your team, check your sales figures and more. You’ve spent late nights creating invoices and filling out paperwork, only to be back on the job early in the morning. Sound familiar?

Then you decide enough is enough and you purchase, or start a free trial of, a mobile reconditioning management software program. However, not every reconditioning program is designed the same way or has all the features you may need. If you make the investment in a flawed solution that is not fully functioning, you may never experience the bliss of owning a smooth-running operation that keeps you on top of all your jobs to keep all of your customers happy. In fact, the wrong program may actually backfire on you and make you miss the days of collecting invoices on a weekly basis, those sleepless nights, and conducting business based on the word of your technicians. Owning a bad solution might end up being worse than no solution at all.

Thankfully, there are programs for PDR and SMART Repair professionals that were designed specifically for those working in the auto recon industry. We all know time is money. But how can we make that money if we are backlogged and unable to effectively manage the repair process? There could be a hailstorm and all of a sudden, a customer contacts you needing repairs on hundreds of vehicles. If you don’t have an efficient way of creating estimates, managing your technicians, the repair process, and making sure your team is all on the same page, you may end up losing a major sale.

What if the time you’ve spent documenting the repair, invoicing, transcribing VIN’s, keeping tabs on your technicians, and more could all be significantly reduced with the right software? You’d finally have your life back to spend your nights for what they were meant for: rest and relaxation.

The quest to reclaim the hours of paperwork and administrative tasks is how AMT came up with the idea for ReconPro™.

ReconPro was conceived with the idea that there had to be a better, more efficient way to manage the repair process that was simple, easy, and accessible anywhere on any device. AMT engineers have a passion and deep understanding of efficient processes and auto recon workflows. As more and more providers entered the industry, AMT wanted to help SMART repairers get a leg up on the competition and get out of their own way. By working in a quick and efficient manner in ReconPro, you are able to handle all the paperwork you’ve had many late nights over and complete it during the work day so you can claim your life back outside of work.

While ReconPro was designed for reconditioning companies and technicians, it also makes the customer process much easier. From mobile estimates to team collaboration, ReconPro allows everything to be managed and accessible in one, easy-to-use location. You are able to set, adjust, and control customer specific pricing with even the most complex pricing models.e all know that every repair is different, no 2 jobs are ever the same. and every customer is unique. The software lets you manage all of the variables.

In addition, you can manage jobs, track time, receive real-time reports of the repair status from your technicians, determine R&I labor times and conventional repair costs for fully informed estimates. Work orders can be assigned, technicians can be scheduled, and customers can receive and approve their estimates, supplements, and invoices. It’s a simple-to-use yet powerful tool capable of doing a lot for you – because you do a lot already.

ReconPro makes the repair process easier for both you and your technicians by keeping it all in one accessible place. Keep the flow in your workflow by using a tool that works wherever you do. The days of IT staff installing software for your auto repair business and you spending hours working on invoices and paperwork are forever behind you. AMT invites you to schedule a free demonstration of ReconPro and see just how well it works for your business.

ReconPro mobile app 2.18.1 for iOS devices

Use a new setting for inspection types and invoice types to prevent technicians from editing approved inspections and invoices in the mobile app

New Features

  • Prevent editing approved inspections and invoices

Improvements

  • Showing only guest employees and a service default employee from another team in the Team Guests section of the Technicians screen.
  • Showing customer terms on invoice printout based on values in the database instead of HTML print configuration setting
  • Showing “Conventional Repair” and “No Damage” on invoice printouts based on print template configuration settings
  • Improved logic for selecting a repair location in work orders

Fixed Issues

  • There was an issue with adding supplements to team inspections.
  • Different price matrix screens were shown with the same name.
  • When selecting a part for a part service with a preset category, the category was not preselected.

See the details of the new feature here.

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