Paint & Panel Bodyshop Best Corporate Shop Award
Best Corporate Shop Award
Information supplied via Paint & Panel, and APG Interview with Veronica Jory
APG gave Veronica Jory, Head of People Experience, a call to discuss exactly what gives Repairhub their advantage and what secured them the win over other corporate backed shops in the industry. We learnt about the defining pillars of their business, how they achieve excellence in customer service, maintain a great team, ensure quality repairs and what their vision for the future is.
We are proud to be aligned with Repairhub as their key parts supplier for 2020. Veronica noted that APG support Repairhub’s commitment to consistent and excellent customer service experience, as a parts supplier that is consistent in what they say do, and the service they provide.
Veronica describes Repairhub’s success as stemming from three key pillars, great teams, quality repairs and happy customers. These things are all intertwined in how Repairhub views their people experience, whether that’s internal or external.
Repairhub’s team culture is crucial to producing their other two pillars, namely Quality Repairs and Happy Customers.
Keeping Repairhub’s team great is a mix of high quality training, investment in the business and “progressive” HR policies that are far above the mandatory minimums, including financial, mental health and additional parental leave entitlements. While some cost-conscience owners are loath to spend up on policies that don’t affect their bottom line, Veronica maintains the benefits of attracting high-performing staff, and low staff churn rates outweigh the costs of those policies.
In-house training is maintained by hiring policies that reflect their commitment to training, including availability of highly skilled staff, and openness to on-the-spot training. Repairhub appoints team leaders to all sections of the business, as the first port of call for team questions or concerns.
Maintaining a high ratio of skilled trades person, willing to drop tools and help novice employees is crucial to maintaining on-demand training. This culture of continual training means less experienced technicians feel welcome to ask questions when they are unsure, and continue to feed into the training culture at Repairhub.
Training doesn’t stop internally, with Repairhub leveraging their relationships with suppliers to maintain high quality tradespeople with top-up skill training, and refresher courses for new hires.
For Repairhub to achieve the consistency of excellent customer service, they need to rely on their product being high quality and consistent. Obviously for Repairhub, their product is rapid vehicle repairs.
With a great team to build on, Repairhub looks towards building strong relationships with suppliers, providing high-visibility working environments, clear procedures and relying on the high-level skills of their team.
Building efficiencies into their processes is paramount to having the repair process clear and repeatable. Repairhub leverages technology in all aspects of their business, from parts procurement, workflow management and front office duties. Building transparency into each of these tasks is key to crystallising this process across the entire business. This becomes highly significant when building the customer service experience.
APG supports Repairhub with access to our APG iQ platform, giving them access to our full 40,000+ parts listings. Repairhub, like all our other clients, have the ability to purchase parts in the best way to suit them, including Partscheck, Oscar and Repair Connection.
Repairhub’s focus on training provides them with long-term, highly trained team members, which is their lynchpin to continual success. Without this broad and deep skill base, putting out consistent, quality work would be bordering on unachievable. To make this achievable, Repairhub values their staff and invests in all aspects of their employment to maintain their team members.
Repairhub strives to offer each and every customer with consistent and excellence customer service. We asked if Repairhub’s rapid repair was key to their consistent customer experience, but Veronica was quick to point out other Repairhub’s repairs process is what enables them to maintain the same standard of consistency in customer service.
Understanding their customer service experience doesn’t exist in a bubble, has informed Veronica’s team in the design of their experience. Rather than look at existing industry norms in customer interactions, they instead understand that customer expectations are highly influenced by their interactions with other businesses. This has led their creation of highly transparent, and robustly explained customer interactions.
As we all know, bad news travels faster and further than good news, and the adoption of social media reviews have highlighted this fact more than ever. With experiential products that can only be evaluated after purchase, customers rely on the past experiences of other users to make purchasing decisions. Savvy customers look beyond the gloss and shine of self-promotion by businesses and look towards how they treat customers when things don’t go to plan.
Veronica stresses that all three of these pillars must be considered as part of the whole, as success in one pillar is strengthened by the support of the two remaining pillars. In particular, most shops will give their customers great repairs, but if the internal team isn’t happy the customer will see that every time – there is no hiding poor team culture.
Future of the Industry
Where does the Repairhub see the panel industry going?
Veronica sees three things that are paramount to the industry moving forward, accepting and matching growing customer expectations, employer’s obligations to safety and PPE and creating a pipeline of future opportunity for young people to enter the trade.
The only thing we can be certain of is change, and accepting the constantly growing customer expectations is the first step towards maintaining a healthy business. Looking outside of industry norms and implementing customer service best practice is going to be a tough ask for a historically slow moving industry.
Protecting the health of our industry’s current tradespeople needs to have a greater focus, and is something that Repairhub considers every day. Veronica says this obligation to improved safety standards, access to PPE and reduction in expose to manual handling and chemicals falls squarely on the shoulders of panel shops and repairers. The benefits of team members health and safety ensure career longevity, quality of repairs and creating an attractive environment for young people entering the trade.
Creating a pipeline of opportunity is key for Repairhub’s vision. Veronica asks why aren’t more young people entering the trade, and the one’s we do have, why are they looking to other industries mid-career? There’s plenty of things to like about the industry, great pay, growth opportunities and more. They are looking towards leveraging apprenticeship programs and building sustainable and attractive roles in their facilities. Although Veronica believes this is an industry-wide task, rather than falling onto the shoulders of Paint & Panel’s Best Corporate Shop for 2020.
Can APG help you achieve?
If there’s an opportunity to help you streamline your parts procurement processes, expand your current product offering, or anything in-between then get in touch with your local APG sales representative and let’s start the conversation.