No one wants to be in an accident, but they do happen. If you are in an accident, you may ask yourself, “How do you find a body shop you can trust?” You aren’t alone. Many of our customers don’t know a body shop or what to do to find one where they will have a positive experience. Here are 6 ways that you can find a body shop you can trust.

1) Ask for Referrals

Ask your friends, family, your mechanic, etc. where they have had their car repaired. People love to refer where they have had a good experience. Personal experience is one of the best ways to know if you have a good shop.

Don’t just go to a friend of a friend. You are looking for someone who has experience using the auto body shop they are referring, not just a buddy that they have never used. Some of the worst experiences I’ve heard of are a goody buddy deal.

I’m not saying don’t use a friend. Using a friend is a good way to do business. Just don’t make that your only criteria. Being friend of your or a friend of a friend may get them on the short list, but you still need to do your due diligence.

2) Ask Your Insurance Company for a Referral

Most insurance companies have a preferred shop list that they work with.

Many people are skeptical of insurance company referrals, because the shops often give the insurance a discount for a volume of work. The discount isn’t the only motivation of the insurance company though. The insurance company wants you to have a good experience and the claim to be handled quickly and efficiently. For them, the happier you are when you need a claim, the more likely you are to renew your insurance with them. The insurance company makes their money off of retaining their customers long term, not a small discount from a body shop.

The insurance company will have vetted the shop for training, equipment, customer service and the overall ability to deliver a good experience to you.
This isn’t enough by its self though. There are a lot of big corporate owned shops as well as small shops, that have the ability to do the job, but just fall short. To find those, check their reviews.

3) Look at Reviews

Researching review sites on the internet is one of the best tools you can have to get a feel for a business.

Once you have a short list of shops from referrals, check them out on Google and Yelp. You want a shop that has high ratings and enough reviews to give them credibility.

Read through the reviews. You’ll get a feeling for the way they treat their customers. Don’t worry if you see some bad reviews. Everyone gets a bad review from time to time. The old saying, “You can’t please everyone”, is still true. However, they should be pleasing most everyone.
Look for reviews about the service, the quality of the work, the cleanliness. These are all good signs that you found a good shop. Avoid a shop with only reviews about price. There is so much more to fixing a car safely and efficiently that matters more than price.

4) Look at their Website

Look through the website. Does the shop seem to be a professional business? Do the talk about equipment, training, service? There is a lot about the feel of a business you’ll get from a website.

5) Visit the Shop

The last step in choosing a shop should be the feeling you get when you visit the shop. You don’t have to be an expert in body repair to know what a good business feels like. Are they engaged, helpful and friendly? Is the place clean and inviting?

Go into the bathroom and look at the cleanliness. I know this sounds crazy, but you can learn a lot about the way a shop feels about their customers by the way they keep their bathroom. Think about it. They know customers use the restroom. If they don’t care enough about the customer to make it clean and comfortable, how do you think the rest of the experience will be?

When you talk to the staff do you get a feeling of competence and knowledge? You can tell when a person has confidence in their job. The person who is going to be your liaison should be informative and helpful. If they talk down to you or don’t have time to spend with you, you can almost be certain that is the experience you’ll have the whole way through.

6) Ask about a warranty

The final step is to ask about their warranty. Most shops give a warranty, but it’s become common for shops to give lifetime warranties on their workmanship.
You should get the warranty in writing. A warranty that is stated without being given to you in writing, isn’t going to help 3 years later, when a you run into a problem.
If you are in Northern California locations in Auburn, Chico, Paradise, Red Bluff, Loomis or Woodland, stop by a Collision Pros location. We are always happy to assist and show you how we would like to earn your business.

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