Service Overhaul: COVID-19 accelerates the industry’s adoption of online infrastructure

Toronto, Ontario ⁠—  COVID-19 has accelerated the industry’s adoption of improved online repair and digital payment infrastructure, according to the results of a recent Collision Repair survey.

Nearly 50 percent of respondents said their business has implemented improved online repair updates and improve digital payment infrastructure since the outset of the coronavirus outbreak, while zero percent said they would consider phasing out the new services following the pandemic. 

Services implemented include improved online estimation systems and digital payment options⁠—from integrated systems to PayPal and E-Transfer⁠—as facilities face the challenge of catering to the customer amid social distancing protocols from the federal government.

Since virus protocols were introduced in mid-March, questions have been raised on exactly which accommodated services could stick around. 

While zero percent plan to abandon their improved online infrastructure, 57.8 percent of businesses have implemented vehicle home pick-up and drop-off procedures to accommodate customers⁠. After the pandemic passes, 80 percent said they will continue offer the service.

CARSTAR Brampton is one of the many facilities that has implemented a contactless drop-off procedure. The facility is using the ProgiPhoto system for estimating and has “a hope and a dream” to keep offering the service after COVID-19.

“We’ve been discussing the opportunities there,” owner Frank Sotille told Collision Repair. “The customer could drop off their car, snap some photos with the Progi system and drop off their car without any staff at the shop. That’s a hope and a dream away, but it may be something we continue to use in the future.”

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