How Are Auto Body Shop and Collision Repair and paint Keeping Customers Safe During the COVID-19 Outbreak?
- September 4, 2020
- Auto body, Auto Body Repair Shop, Auto body shop, Auto Body Shop serving the Greensboro North carolina
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The COVID-19 outbreak has caused most Americans to rethink how they work, shop and play. Since March, non-essential businesses have been forced to temporarily close due to social distancing and stay-at-home orders set forth by public health officials. Yet many auto body and glass repair owners have seen an uptick in business as drivers focus their attention on long-awaited repairs while they’re working from home, or because automobile accidents and high-speed crashes have been on the rise since the start of the pandemic, according to analysis by CCC Information Services Inc. To protect their employees and customers most shops have initiated new COVID-19 safety protocols.
COVID-19 Challenges for Repair Shops
Auto body and glass repair shops are considered “essential” businesses, which means they can remain open even while other businesses can’t. Unfortunately, serving customers now presents those shops with day-to-day operational challenges caused by the COVID-19 virus:
- It can be transmitted by simply coughing, sneezing, shaking hands or talking.
- It can live on surfaces for varying lengths of time, depending on the surface.
- COVID-19 is more dangerous for people over 55 and those with medical conditions like heart disease, lung disease, cancer, asthma or diabetes.
Although the safety recommendations from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are effective, they also make it more difficult for auto body and glass repair shops to work with their suppliers and customers. That’s forced most shops to rethink their practices.
Glass Repair Shops Are Taking these Precautions
Because COVID-19 can survive on surfaces, auto glass shops have to minimize risk from contaminated surfaces. According to a recent article shared with Auto Body News, these are some of the new safety precautions now being used by most auto glass businesses when performing repairs and replacements:
- Following all federal, state and local health department COVID-19 safety guidelines.
- Asking customers to wash their vehicles and then let them sit for 24 to 48 hours prior to the appointment.
- Wiping down all surfaces with sanitizing wipes before and after they’re touched by a technician.
- Requiring technicians to wear disposable nitrile gloves instead of safety gloves during the actual repair or replacement.
- Practicing social distancing while interacting with customers, including no handshakes.
- Encouraging customers to use mobile services such as CCC’s photo estimate app (only for mobile devices) that can be hosted by a shop on Carwise and accessed from a shop’s profile on Carwise, instead of coming into the shop. Many shops will pick up your vehicle and relay contactless updates on your vehicle’s repair, plus return it contact-free.
- Mandating that all employees wash their hands and use hand sanitizer throughout the day, including anytime they’re assisting a customer.
- Asking all customers to leave the keys in their car rather than handing them to the technician.
What About Collision Repair Shops?
Collision repair shops face additional challenges because they oftentimes receive damaged vehicles that are towed in, along with the fact that all vehicles must be touched during the initial inspection and estimate. In addition to the glass repair COVID-19 practices listed above, here are some others that you might see at your local auto body shop:
- Upon arrival, asking customers to remove all personal belongings from the vehicle, like sunglasses, garage door openers, CDs and phone chargers.
- Disinfecting a customer’s car when it’s dropped off and then again before it’s picked up, with special attention given to high-touch surfaces like knobs, buttons and touchscreens.
- Covering upholstery surfaces like the steering wheel, dashboard and seats with plastic while the vehicle is in the shop.
- Emailing all repair-related paperwork to customers instead of printing it off.
- Thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting all shop areas at least twice a day.
In the end, the health and safety of customers and employees remains a top priority of auto body and glass repair shops during this unprecedented time in our nation’s history.
Promptly Search for Collision Repair Shops Here
Our thoughts go out to everyone during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those brave first responders and healthcare workers serving on the front lines. When your vehicle has been involved in an accident, you can locate auto body or glass repair shops by searching on Carwise.com. By using CCC’s photo estimate app (only available on mobile devices), you’ll gain contact-free, remote access to over 19,000 collision repair shops with I-CAR and ASE-certified professionals. Use Carwise’s shop finder tool to search your zip code for a customer-reviewed auto body or glass repair shop nearby: AutobodyGreensboro.