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Aftersales: Accident management firmly back on the agenda thanks to 'racket' claims

Consumers need accident management companies – Helphire

While acknowledging that being under the microscope of politicians and regulators has plunged the sector into ‘a state of flux’, Penny Stoolman, group commercial director for Helphire, is upbeat about the sector’s prospects.

“Regardless of the outcome, consumers will continue to need the services of accident management companies,”
she said.

“Many dealerships may be missing a valuable profit opportunity.

"Incorporating credit hire and credit repair into their business plan can dramatically improve their bottom line.

“By displaying tactical signage and point-of-sale merchandise, plus SMS messaging, mobile phone apps and social media, dealership brand awareness can be improved. It is about helping customers to see the dealer as their first port of call for everything.

She said a dealer’s success in accident management could depend on its showroom staff.

Running simple incentive schemes should help boost performance and encourage them to refer accident repair work.

“Dealerships that don’t have an on-site bodyshop facility can, with the help of accident management programmes, forge long-term profitable relationships with local approved bodyshops.

“Insurance companies are a necessary part of the mix and are ultimately the risk-bearers in the supply chain.

“Their hold on the motorist is and should be strong, but there is clearly a balance to be achieved in allowing the motorist choice, as well as providing a great service.

"A successful bodyshop or dealership will offer just that.”

Late last year Lookers moved its accident management programme to Helphire and group bodyshop manager Jon Edge reports that the transition has been very smooth.

“We have an agreement with Helphire to support our accident aftercare programme and this fits in well with the customers for life strategy within Lookers,” he said.

“The programme is designed for both our new and used vehicle purchase customers, providing a mobility solution regardless of who is at fault.

“The partnership means we can fit manufacturer high quality parts, further cementing the franchise relationship and also protecting the value of our customer’s vehicles,” Edge added.

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