By Mike Davey
Hamilton, Ontario — June 6, 2017 — Collision repair is still a hands-on business, but the digital realm is more important today than ever before. Collision Repair magazine’s latest survey asked our readers to fill us in on the level of digital engagement at their facilities.
Collision Repair magazine runs new surveys every week. Our next survey is on new hires. The survey consists of just a couple of multiple choice questions and should take less than two minutes to fill out. You can participate in that survey at this link.
First, we asked readers to let us know if their facility or facilities had a website. We were expecting the “Yes” answers to be very close to 100 percent, but that’s not what our survey turned up.
The vast majority of survey respondents (72 percent) do have a website, but that still leaves 28 percent without even a basic site for their business. This is surprising, but the comments helped to fill us in. As always, comments are presented anonymously, with only minimal editing from us:
“Quite busy, repeat customers.”
“Word of mouth is the preferred way to advertise.”
“We have taken over an existing business in a smaller town, so we have a few DRPs and a large local customer base. We have since been prioritizing shop upkeep/updating over paying for a website.”
We also asked those who have a website how often it’s updated. Frequent updates are very rare, with only 4 percent updating it weekly or more often. The majority of respondents (43 percent) report updating their websites once a year or less. Many responses to this question were roughly in the middle, with 18 percent indicating they updated twice a year, 21 percent saying they updated three to four times a year and 14 percent answering that the website was updated every month.
Websites aren’t the only digital presence available to a shop. Some might argue that social media is much more important in the current environment. We asked readers to let us know if their shop was active on social channels. We followed that up with a question about personal activity on social media.
Let’s look at the shop numbers first. The single most common answer was “No” at 43 percent, but a total of 57 percent of respondents’ have some sort of social media account for their business. Of those, about half update their social accounts when they have news to share. The other half have made social account management an official part of someone’s duties.
There seems to be more variation when it comes to personal use of social media. The majority of respondents (32 percent) simply are not active on social media at all. Don’t be deceived by this, however, the next most common group, at 27 percent indicated that they have one or more accounts and are active every day. Other responses fell between those two extremes, as show in the chart below.
|Some shop owners and managers are active every day, some never touch it. Most are somewhere in the middle.|