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Thread: What is the single most effective thing you do to combat steering

  1. What is the single most effective thing you do to combat steering

    Not a long drawn out explanation but what single thing do you do that is most effective?

    Mine is informing customer of insurers "word tracks" before they even get a chance to hear them.....

  2. Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Southaven, Mississippi
    Posts
    808

    "Common Insurance Phrases", found on StopSteering.com. I have printed out a stack of the leaflets and have them on my desk where the customer cannot miss them. When they have had the opportunity to see the wordtracks before they are ambushed by the insurance company, they aren't so quick to fall for it. They realize it is more than a co-incidence that we have handed them a list of the B.S. they will hear BEFORE they hear it.

  3. Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    371

    The best advice I ever read.

    Use your time to make the customer your friend. People feel good about doing business with friends. It's advice that has served me well in my career.

  4. Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    112

    What I do to combat steering?

    More like... What I used to do...

    Well... I used my website as a forum to supply customers with info. I ran a power point presentation in my lobby. I handed out fliers. I contacted local lawyers and offered to help when they had clients with problems. I gave advise when ever possible. I ran advertisements. I put up a bill board. But, I found it only drove the customers that I really wanted away. All that was not attractive to them.

    Now... What I do to combat steering is simple. I promote my business.

    Sure, I try to educate the customer. I do this using conversation whenever possible. But, I find it can be useless. It is like most people have ADD and can only listen to the first 10 or 12 words I speak.

    My typical customer generally already knows what he wants and how he wants it before he even walks in my door. Either he will tell me... or he will listen and follow through. Or, he will just roll over and go whatever route he has been directed. Sure I get a few of those strays that somehow got off the trail. Those folks usually are not for me. I often direct them right back on the trail.

    For the most part... I don't get involved. I tell them that I don't want to be involved from the very beginning.

    When a customer comes in looking for a "collision estimate" I charge them $55 for the paper. This covers my time that I would otherwise spend doing other things. It also covers the expense of the estimating system. This depending on my like or dislike for the customers shoes. Then I sit back and let the cards fall where they will.

    Heck, most of these stupid little jobs don't pay, or I can not get enough of them, or I don't want to do the work anyway. (Have you ever noticed how if you have too many of one type of job or car in your shop they tend to bread and multiply...) Well, I would rather multiple the type of jobs I find profitable and compatible with my model.

    I spend a huge amount of time, effort and money promoting my business and attracting customers who want to spend their money on what is important to them. These people that I attract are more than happy to pay me. That is something that doesn't come with "insurance repair" or the typical collision repair.

    I have found that the more one associates their business with the insurance model the more people will avoid you. It doesn't matter how sweet your CSI ratings are or were... Those same customers (sheep) will not be loyal customers. But, you all know that already. Or you wouldn't be concerned about steering.

    To combat steering you have to do some steering of your own. Sitting here asking a bunch of internet geeks what to do isn't going to help you much.

    You have to get out there and promote your business on a local level. Simple.

  5. Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Albuquerque
    Posts
    126

    A signed Repair Order. GET THE KEYS!!!!

  6. Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Joplin MOzzuri
    Posts
    352

    Sometimes steering backfires, some people absolutey refuse to follow advice especially from insurers. They're the same person who moved out of the house at 17 or 18 because they refused to have anyone telling them how they were going to live and under what rules. I strived for years to just try to do perfect work, but the average vehicle owner wouldn't recognize quality if it hit them in the nose. They are easily amused by talking lizards, cavement, ducks, etc and they were easily entertained and fascinated by shiny things and mobiles in their crib for hours when they were a baby.

    I realized I could choose not to do really nice work and get the recognition and admiration of the people who turned the keys and instead I could become a good and faithful servant of the insurers. To this day, I still get a warm feeling when a customer says "job well done, I'm pleased" . Somehow a performance report and csi ratings from the insurer recognizing that fact wouldn't do the trick for me.

    I am not much of a salesman, I hate upselling, I hate having to promote myself over my competition, I like the fact that my work and customer loyalty speaks for itself. The only thing I have done differently in the last 4-5 years is to become the guy with a target on his back and the one insurers love to badmouth. That in itself believe it or not, sends some customers my way. Some people expect to meet an ogre and carnival freak after the propoganda speech they hear and they are compelled to find out for themselves which gives me an opportunity to prove the insurer wrong, and a chance to help a vehicle owner with resources.

    I think it is amusing that insurers spend so much money trying to convince people they are not the bad guys and they can be trusted. I'm surprised the agents don't all have candy houses with witches enticing customers in. It has taken a lot of persistence to get to the point where vehicle owners recognize me as the local guy that can help them with DV, bad repairs, etc when the other do not have a clue and can not speak up. On a post repair inspection just the other day, I asked the vehicle owner "Are you happy with the work and would you want to know if I saw any flaws if I could point them out." They said "Well sure I would want to know, but I think they did a pretty nice job." I said, yeah it looks nice , nice paint work and all, they should have just painted everything they were paid to do and pointed out the front upper tie bar and apron that was welded and never treated or painted. I then pointed out the fact that some parts were even missing such as the sound deadner pad from the back of the fender. I love telling them, if it were me, I go back and point those things out and ask them politely to repair them or refund the money they were paid to do those things if they chose not to. A few of those will generate work down the road from friends of theirs that know how picky we will be with the repairs.
    Last edited by Mike Orton; 04-08-2010 at 01:51 PM.
    If you can't find the time to do it right, how will you ever find the time to do it over?

  7. Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    22

    I used to...

    educate my customers as to the insurance company tactics as well. My best selling line was telling the insured to state to their insurance company that, "I have no problem going to your DRP shop, in which case you will give me a lifetime warranty on the repairs. Do you accept the liabilty for the repairs as well?" That was usually enough to demonstrate that the insurers themselves have NO FAITH in the repair methods they dictate at their own shops.

    I do have to admit though, the last job I had in the industry was a manager/sales position. I was VERY fortunate in the fact that they had 12 tow trucks working rotation, towing cars to the shop all night. That enabled me FIRST CONTACT with the consumer, which is of extreme advantage. I'm also sure that is why we see laws getting passed/proposed that try to stop the "towing" companies from contacting the parties before the insurers. Having the first pitch is CRUCIAL to the insurers, in deceiving those that may be "on the fence" about the whole process.

    I guess in a nutshell what I did was.....EXPOSE THE LACK OF LIABILITY an insurer has for the repairs they "dictate." It takes the polish off the "lifetime warranty" turd they use so often.

    Ahhh yes....I don't miss it at ALL.


    EDIT: I forgot to mention that volunteering for 3-way and conference calls worked great for me too. It makes customers uneasy when the insurer refuses.
    Last edited by Paintfumez; 04-08-2010 at 04:16 PM. Reason: Added too

  8. This works well

  9. Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    "Common Insurance Phrases", found on StopSteering.com. I have printed out a stack of the leaflets and have them on my desk where the customer cannot miss them. When they have had the opportunity to see the wordtracks before they are ambushed by the insurance company, they aren't so quick to fall for it. They realize it is more than a co-incidence that we have handed them a list of the B.S. they will hear BEFORE they hear it.
    These work well with VOs.

  10. Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1,350

    Another question

    Interesting question and response. "single most effective thing you do". The friend idea is the best single idea because that works regardless of the business you are in. Most of the rest fall into the trap, to one degree or the other of battling the insurer which of course is necessary, again, to one degree or the other.

    Here is another. What single change would allow a service provider to operate his business as any other competitive business?

    No, the answer is not to get the insurer out of controlling the service business.
    Roy Smalley,
    Texas

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