Friday, 5 April 2013

The positive impact the internet has made to my business.

How I interact with my customers



I was thinking the other day how the internet and the social platforms available have changed the way I find and interact with my customers these days. When I started my business around ten years ago the way I advertised to potential customers was through local mags, yellow pages and local papers etc. When the Internet and cloud computing started to take off I was slow to start using these avenues as I liked to stick to what I thought worked best.  Over the last three to four years all that's changed. My main advertising is all done online enabling me to reach customers further much afield which previously would have meant taking adverts in loads of magazines and printed publications costing hundreds if not thousands of pounds per month. As a mobile business it's important that I can receive and deal with enquires whilst on the road. Smartphones now can handle processes that handsets ten years ago wouldn't stand a chance. This means that enquires from my website are forwarded to my smartphone, including a photo of the damage, then using cloud computing I can respond with a written quote immediately. I'm able to interact with my customers in real time using social platforms such as G+, it amazes me that someone can follow a sitelink to my G+ page from my advert on Adwords and see a picture of a repair that I have completed maybe minutes beforehand.
Hopefully my reliance on the Internet will not implode on me, I hope not as it has had such a positive impact on my business and helped my customers interact with me in a far more efficient way.

How has modern technology helped you? I'm interested to hear if anyone else feels the same way as I do or If I've just gone Google mad!!

Thanks for reading

Paul
Scratch n Scuffs away

Thursday, 14 March 2013

"Considering the current financial climate".

That's the comment one of my customers started the conversation with when we were discussing the damage to their vehicle the other day, followed by "I don't want to spend a fortune keeping my vehicle in an acceptable condition". 

It made me think about how the service I offer can help when families are struggling with ever increasing costs to run their household budgets. The fact of the matter is that there is no better way than using a mobile onsite service such as Scratch n Scuffs away, low overheads coupled with keeping the repair area as small as possible can ensure the repair costs don't start getting out of hand. Most repair costs are in an around peoples insurance excess and you won't have all the hassle of dealing with your Insurance company, for what in most cases is a fairly straightforward process, that takes on average around 2-3hrs to complete.

If you or anyone you know in the Milton Keynes, Bedford, Northampton and surrounding areas wants to keep their vehicle in tip top condition without breaking the bank get them to give me a call, I can't always guarantee that a mobile repair is the right way to tackle the damage, but with my online quote system there's nothing to lose by taking a picture of the damage and submitting it for a quote at www.scratchnscuffsaway.co.uk

The customer I mentioned at the beginning of this blog did just that and I managed to lightly sand down the paint scratch and keep the repaired area to the top of the boot area thereby saving a whole panel re-spray. 

If you have any comments on this post or any minor car bodywork repair Issues please feel free to leave a comment.

Thanks for reading

Paul

Monday, 25 February 2013

Is it easy to repair alloy wheel kerbing damage?













I've recently seen an increase in enquires for alloy wheel refurbishment. People know that kerbing damage not only de-values your vehicle...it also looks very unsightly and can ruin the look of any vehicle. Fortunately it can be fairly easily repaired, providing the wheel is not buckled, cracked or a diamond cut finish as the process to repair this type of damage/surface can be quite involved.  (The wheels above are actually a diamond cut finish that I have converted to a painted type finish as the owner didn't want all the hassle of sending the wheels away for repairs).

If you have a small scuff on the edge of your alloy there are repair kits widely available from most motoring outlets which if you follow the manufactures instructions can result in a satisfactory repair that can only be noticed on very close inspection. Damage as shown in my pictures above will require a professional to repair. The wheels will need to be removed from the vehicle and then a set process followed to ensure that the repairs are of a correct standard. Alloy wheels take a fair bit of wear & tear so it's important that the paints & lacquers used are of the highest quality. This will give the repaired surface the best chance of being as durable as possible.

To see some of the results of a few of the repairs I've undertaken over the years have a look at:

http://www.scratchnscuffsaway.co.uk/wp/?page_id=61

You can also download a picture of the damage for a no -obligation quote.

I'm always happy to receive any comments or if you have any questions about the alloy wheel refurbishing process I'll be more than happy to hear from you.

Thanks for reading

Paul












Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Got a car on contract or lease ? Read on if you're near handback time

What to check when handing back a lease or contract hire vehicle.




Anyone who has handed back a lease or contract hire vehicle at the end of an agreement will know that the experience can be a cause for uncertainty and can feel like your signing a "blank cheque" for any repairs that need to be completed to bring the vehicle up to the companies fair wear and tear standards. 
The first and most important thing you should be doing in advance of the handback date is ensuring that you have looked through the lease companies own fair wear and tear guidelines. You will need to have time to assess the vehicle and have any repairs completed before the inspection date.  You will note that the guide allows for certain paintwork and alloy wheel damage depending on the age of the vehicle and the extent of the damage. It may seem obvious, but make sure you do your inspection on a dry day and have the vehicle in a clean state. Damage can easily be hidden on wet or dirty bodywork. Check out the following site for further advice:

http://www.nhsfleet.com/Documents/FWT/lexFWT.pdf

If you have any concerns or need any advice please get in touch I'll be able to help. 

I'm always glad to hear If you have any comments on this or any other minor bodywork repair issues.


Friday, 11 January 2013

Is it easy to repair a car paint scratch ?


The simple answer is Yes, if the paint scratch is not too deep and hasn't penetrated the clearcoat. How do I know ?.. that is the most common response I get to that statement.
You can do a simple check to gauge how deep the paint scratch is by  running your finger over the scratch and seeing if your fingernail catches as it crosses the damage area.
If it does it will be difficult to completely remove the scratch without rubbing the paintwork down and re-spraying the damaged area. If it doesn't that's good news as you will more than likely be able to remove the scratch or reduce so it's barely visible. Be aware that dark colours show up marks and scrapes far more than a lighter colour ie metallic silver and other lighter metallic shades.

Follow these few simple steps and see how you get on (if you ever need to):

1. Clean the area thouroughly using clean water or a light solvent.
2  Using T-Cut or a similar cutting compound (slightly wet the cloth) gently rub around the    scratched area. 
3. Use another clean cloth to buff up the area
4. Check to see if the scratch is still present
5. Repeat all steps until scratch is not visible.

Simple !!  Well it can be, but make sure you read on.

The golden rule is not to go too far too soon, as it is very easy to remove the clearcoat (the stuff that gives the shiny look to your car) and go down to the basecoat (the actual paint). If you do this you will not be able to buff the paintwork back up and will have a permanent dull patch on your car. The only way to rectify that would be to re-apply the clearcoat which is not an easy task if you haven't been trained . Also be extremely careful on any sharp edges such a door edges, swage lines etc as it is very easy to do what I have mentioned above in these particular areas.



If the scratch is deeper and there are more than one you can "touch in" the scratch, but in most cases the paint will not match in very well and will look darker. This is because the paint is put on thicker than if you use a spray gun thus altering the shade. However don't be put off because if the scratch has gone through to the metal doing nothing is not an option, by leaving, corossion can set in that's not a good Idea!! The only way to get a perfect result is to rub down the damaged area and re-spray.

Hopefully this has not sounded like" teaching a granny to suck eggs" but it may save calling out a repair technician for what is a relatively easy job if tackled in the right way
Deeper scratches can be removed, but  it may look simple until it all starts to go wrong. I have been called out to many a DIY job where the customer has bought a paint kit from a motoring outlet only to find the whole thing ending up a right mess. It's best to call a professional technician if in doubt. I've shown an example of how trying to paint in deep scratches with a touch up kit can end up looking...the customer was far happier with the results after I had removed the touch up paint, then repaired and re-sprayed the paint scratches correctly.

If you have any comments or would like to discuss any aspect of this blog please contact me at paul@scratchnscuffsaway.co.uk

Thanks

Paul