If you hear the term “Virtual Tour” and think of real estate, it is time to make the term synonymous with Collision Centers. In a world that is increasingly digital, virtual tours can enhance your business by providing prospective clients with an insider’s view of your collision center and the comfort of a peak behind the scenes. We reviewed several of our Assured Performance Certified Body Shops that have virtual tours and these are the takeaways!
First, What is a Virtual Tour?
While virtual tours are typically a simulation of an existing location that allows the viewer to navigate a series of photos or a 360 degree view, there are multiple methods used to achieve this effect. Do it yourself (DIY) methods can be completed using your smartphone or the help of a cameraperson or employee; while popular options include video tours, walkthrough tours, still photo slideshows, and more.
How to Incorporate a Virtual Tour onto Your Website!
Virtual video and photo tours are on the rise because consumers are opting for virtual services like never before. Instead of picking up their phone or driving to your body shop, a potential customer might navigate your website and complete a virtual estimate and service, without ever meeting you face-to-face. As customers grow used to upgraded smart technology based interactions – and body shops recognize the monetary savings that these tools allow – it is safe to say that we have entered a new era in digital service.
1. Start with what you have.
If you have a great camera, use that. If you have a friend who believes they’re the next Martin Scorsese, invite them to help. Hire a professional if you want the end product to be a guaranteed success. You can also experiment recording footage with your smartphone’s video recording features and a tripod. Focus on helpful videos or tutorials— everything from how to install a carseat to crash test dummy safety tips. Mundy’s Collision Center & Auto Repair in Lawrenceville, Georgia used their virtual tour as an opportunity to discuss their philosophy on prioritizing each customer, Certification standards, and making sure each vehicle is repaired to pre-loss condition.
2. Highlight the best your shop has to offer.
If you have a wonderful entry or service area, start there. If you want to showcase a panoramic shot of your shopfront, incorporate that onto your website. Other shops, like Davis Paint and Collision Auto Center in Oklahoma opted to show their technicians hard at work cleaning each vehicle.
Meanwhile, Daya’s Certified Collision Center in Orlando, Florida uses a combination of photography and virtual video tours— these allows customers to see a realistic view of hands-on certified collision repairs.
3. See Your Body Shop From a New Perspective.
An aerial view of your body shop can also be helpful and eye-catching. Use a drone to capture this type of footage and give customers a bird’s eye view of the enormity of your center. That’s exactly what K & M Collision did to allow customers to see an unexpected visual aid for their business. They also interviewed management and showed day-to-day operations.
4. Let Customers Get to Know You.
Consider filming a brief introductory video that includes the owner or manager of your body shop welcoming your online customers. A virtual walkthrough tour, by the manager and/or owner, can be a great way to welcome prospective customers to your shop, especially if they book service online. Collision Specialists, Inc. in Jackson Tennessee, used a professional spokesperson approach.
5. Make the virtual tour accessible.
Don’t hide the virtual tour on a web page customers may not click on. East Texas Collision Repair is a great example of incorporating the visual nature of a virtual tour onto their website’s homepage. Doing so allows customers to feel as though your shop is familiar, before they even step through the doors.
6. Start with photos.
If a video tour is beyond your capacity at the moment, start with photo examples of each aspect of your business. Dalton Collision in Knoxville, Tennessee uses photographs to show each aspect of the repair journey.
Have you considered having a virtual tools on your website, to help your shop stand out from the competition? How have you responded to consumers who request virtual phone estimates? To learn more about leveraging the tools already available to you in ShopOps as a Certified shop, our Assured Performance Regional Directors are available to personally walk you through any questions you have and help you with all aspects of your shop management. Your Regional Director has extensive experience with shop management. Email or call us today and we will provide you with a warm introduction. (949) 221-0010.