Thousands of auto owners monitoring vehicle repairs online
Customers want to check repair progress online, survey says
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 12, 2006
Columbus, Ohio— New technology has allowed thousands of car owners to keep an eye on their “babies” while they’re being repaired and may even lessen the number of times the customer needs to visit the shop. More than 22,300 automobile owners are monitoring their damaged vehicle repairs online through Nationwide AutoWatch â a cutting edge, Internet-based software tool offered by Nationwide Insurance.
“Vehicle owners feel very strongly about their cars and they want to know what’s happening while their cars are in the shop,” said Terry Fortner, Nationwide associate vice president of claims. “This unique web-based service allows policyholders to log on at their leisure and monitor their vehicle at different points during the repair process.”
A recent survey conducted for Nationwide by Taylor Nelson Sofres PLC (TNS), a leading market research and information group, found that more than 50 percent of respondents would be likely to visit a Web site to check on their vehicles’ repair progress. Additionally, 72 percent of respondents said if visual updates of the repairs were available online the shop would be more accountable.
“Actual customer experience backs up the research,” Fortner said. “Customers who use the AutoWatch service are more likely to say they are better informed about the repair process and were more likely to have their repaired vehicle returned on time.”
Nationwide’s customer experience data shows that customers who used AutoWatch during the past six months had a 12 percent higher rate of satisfaction in the way they were kept informed about their vehicle’s progress in the repair shop than those who didn’t use AutoWatch. AutoWatch users also had a 23 percent higher rate of satisfaction when it came to the timely delivery of their repairs, than those who didn’t use AutoWatch.
“We designed Nationwide AutoWatch with the customer in mind,” said Fortner. “Our goal is to make vehicle repairs as painless as possible by providing our customers with up-to-date, accurate vehicle repair information on their time. Nationwide’s decision to offer Nationwide AutoWatch demonstrates a true commitment to the needs and concerns of our valued customers.”
The AutoWatch link is fully integrated with Nationwide’s existing Web site and can be easily found by logging onto Nationwide’s homepage: www.NationwideAutowatch.com. The service is free to all customers who select a participating Blue Ribbon Repair Facility.
The Nationwide AutoWatch site provides simple access and easy to understand captions explaining progress on the repairs with regularly updated digital photos of the vehicle throughout the repair process. In addition, Nationwide AutoWatch provides customers vehicle repair information as well as an e-mail platform through which customers may communicate with the repair facility and their Nationwide/Allied representative.
AutoWatch could also lead to faster repairs and benefit body shops by reducing the time employees have to spend answering customer calls. Nearly half of survey respondents thought an online monitoring tool would decrease the number of calls to the body shop.
Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the world, with more than $157 billion in assets. Nationwide ranks 99th on the Fortune 500 list. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, homeowners, life, health, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mutual funds, pensions and long-term savings plans. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.