Thursday, 22 January 2015 00:00

Accident App is Pushing All the Right Buttons for Ohio Shop Owner

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By designing and developing a mobile app that can help people after getting into an accident, a body shop owner in Columbus, OH is pushing all the right buttons with his Pink Button app, available to his customers at no charge via Google Play or the App Store.

The Pink Button is an accident-help app that was created by Bob Juniper, the owner of Three-C Body Shop in Columbus, OH with Leo Daugherty III, the owner of Rampart Hosting, Inc, also located in the Columbus, OH.

 

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Bob Juniper, the owner of Three-C Body Shop, Inc. in Columbus, OH has been thinking outside of the box for decades and now he’s happy to see that this innovative application is starting to gain momentum. After 2.5 years of development, Juniper is beginning to see some traction with the Pink Button accident app and the numbers are promising, to say the least.

“We know have roughly 5,000 downloads since rolling it out back in February, 2013,” Juniper explained. “In December, we got almost 20 new customers from the app. These people got in an accident and then used it to inform us. They were amazed by how well it worked and each repair was completed seamlessly.”

Since every repair at Three-C averages $3,000, which means the Pink Button brought almost $60,000 into his shop—all from the power of the Pink Button app.  By working with Leo Daughtery III, the owner and CEO at Rampart Hosting LLC, a Columbus-based IT company to develop the app, Juniper believes that the Pink Button is achieving his main objective, which is connecting his customers with his shop.

“Auto accidents are no longer stressful and disruptive in the Columbus, OH area with the Pink Button,” he said. "If you’re in an accident, Three-C Body Shops offers full accident-scene service at no charge, simply by pushing the button. We’ve eliminated the drama associated with standing on the side of the road searching for towing services, looking frantically for a garage to take the damaged vehicle to or waiting for a friend or relative to pick you up so you can carry on with your day. The Pink Button is a safe alternative, because by using it, you don’t have to even leave your vehicle, which makes it even safer for women. If it’s dark or raining, women can have that peace of mind, because they know we’re on the way.”

In short, this app allows drivers to do the following, all by simply pushing the button:

  • Their GPS location is immediately sent to Three-C, so they can call within seconds and confirm that they’ve been in an accident and need help.
  • The app then launches a tow truck and provides for a loaner car (if needed) to their location.
  • By using Glimpse, the driver is able to see exactly where the tow truck is precisely how long it will be before it gets there to help them.
  • Once the tow truck arrives, the car is promptly delivered to Three-C while the customer can go about their day.
  • The repair process begins right away and the people at Three-C handle everything, by contacting their insurance company, fixing the vehicle and detailing it.

Daugherty and Juniper started talking about the Pink Button after the former got into an accident and took his car to Three-C. “A 30-lb. raccoon got in my way and is guess he won,” Daugherty said. “The service ay Three-C was great, but I noticed that the communication between me and the shop during the repair wasn’t exceptional. So, Bob and I started talking about how an app could play a role and that got the ball (or the button) rolling.”

Juniper agreed to embark on the design and development of the app, even though it wasn’t cheap.

“It cost me about $16,000 to build the app, debugging it and doing all of the testing, but now it’s obviously going to eventually pay for itself. We do a lot of radio advertising here in the Columbus market and in our ads, we constantly plug the app, so that has provided outstanding support for the app.”

To further support the Pink Button app, Juniper has his staff 100% on-board and ready to respond fast when the app calls, he said.

“We’re four-deep when it comes to our responders. Our two truck driver gets the message first, but three others also get it, so that someone will respond it anyone else is busy. We’re getting back to these people within 90 seconds on average, because we want to placate their fears and concerns quickly. The app is all about expediency and if the drivers don’t hear from us ASAP, we could lose that customer, so we make sure that a staff member is always there.”

As a shop that is DRP-free, Juniper knows that time is money when it comes to acquiring direct customers.

“When I look at my competition, I’m not thinking about other body shops, I’m looking at the insurance companies. With this app, I’m able to get the customer long before the insurance company gets to them,” said Juniper. “I’ve already towed the car and gotten them a rental, so I’m controlling the relationship before they can steer me away to one of their ‘preferred’ shops. We have always been what we call a ‘Direct Repair Alternative,’ so the Pink Button nicely complements our business model.”

Now that Three-C has seen how well the app works, Juniper and Daugherty are going to offer the Pink Button to other body shops nationwide.

“We now know that the app’s effectiveness is not a theory, it’s a fact,” Juniper said. “We’ve identified approximately 250 independent shops that we think would be an ideal match for the app. These are forward-thinking shops that think outside of the box, just like us.”

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