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Old 02-04-2014, 07:18 PM
 
Location: East Boston, MA
10,750 posts, read 19,058,440 times
Reputation: 12437

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A good friend of mine recently bought an auto body shop in RI. It was an existing, successful business so he has consistent traffic, but he's looking to grow it over time. He's asked me to do him a favor and build the website. The question I have, is what would a customer want to see on the site?

As a customer (who knows nothing about auto body work), I know that I'd like to see some description (dumbed down to my level of understanding) of services offered. I would also like to be sure they take my insurance. Basics like hours, directions, phone, email, etc. are obvious ones too. After that, I'm at a bit of a loss. Good, authentic pictures maybe?

I'd appreciate any ideas, personal experiences or suggestions, perhaps even Rhode Island specific. I've designed a number of websites, but this is new territory for me as I'm finding it difficult to put myself in the customer's shoes. Any time I've ever needed body work, he's done it. I've never gone "shopping" for a body shop and my friend has worked in one since he was about 10 (ok, ok... "helped out" since he was 10) so he's never really been a consumer in this department either.
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Warwick, RI
4,322 posts, read 5,042,624 times
Reputation: 6793
Maybe a page for customer testimonials? Does the business have a good BBB rating? Maybe a link to the BBB website for customers to check out the shops ratings?

Maybe you could talk your friend into producing a few short videos detailing things like bodywork basics or the repair estimating process that you could post on YouTube and link through the site?
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
6,294 posts, read 8,756,163 times
Reputation: 4742
Before and after pictures of damage he has repaired
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:52 AM
 
Location: says MA on my license but can be found wandering the beaches of RI
1,432 posts, read 1,707,995 times
Reputation: 905
Not sure if he plans on selling tires but I know when I was in the market for a set last year, I shopped around to get a good price. It can be a hassle calling a bunch of places only to find out they didn't have my size in stock so the websites that offered a search feature (i.e. input make, model of vehicle and/or if you know your tire size) that would tell me if they were in stock or not was very helpful and time saving and those were the places I called!
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:42 AM
 
11,115 posts, read 17,951,031 times
Reputation: 10122
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
A good friend of mine recently bought an auto body shop in RI. It was an existing, successful business so he has consistent traffic, but he's looking to grow it over time. He's asked me to do him a favor and build the website. The question I have, is what would a customer want to see on the site?

As a customer (who knows nothing about auto body work), I know that I'd like to see some description (dumbed down to my level of understanding) of services offered. I would also like to be sure they take my insurance. Basics like hours, directions, phone, email, etc. are obvious ones too. After that, I'm at a bit of a loss. Good, authentic pictures maybe?

I'd appreciate any ideas, personal experiences or suggestions, perhaps even Rhode Island specific. I've designed a number of websites, but this is new territory for me as I'm finding it difficult to put myself in the customer's shoes. Any time I've ever needed body work, he's done it. I've never gone "shopping" for a body shop and my friend has worked in one since he was about 10 (ok, ok... "helped out" since he was 10) so he's never really been a consumer in this department either.

Consider putting a link on his website for Angie's List. Lots of people rely on that for recommendations. He will have to be a member also, pretty inexpensive, about $30 a year.
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:50 PM
 
Location: East Boston, MA
10,750 posts, read 19,058,440 times
Reputation: 12437
Thanks Everyone!

I like the testimonials idea. Hadn't thought of that. I'm not sure of the BBB rating, ill need to check on it. YouTube videos are definitely going to happen.

We are doing some before and after shots, definitely.

Indont think they plan on selling tires. If they do, that's a good idea. Ive had the same trouble.

Never thought of Angie's List, but that sounds like great exposure.
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