CRA Business News – USA
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — At the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, twin brothers Sebastian Jr. and Corrado Cina, feared losing all their father, Sebastian Cina, Sr., had built during the last 25 years at their family-run auto shop business.
Despite auto repair shops being deemed essential during the coronavirus pandemic, the Cinas knew they had to figure out a way customers would feel comfortable bringing their cars in to be serviced at Auto Pro Collision, which has a flagship location in Grasmere and three satellite locations in New Jersey.
“We have never seen anything like this before, so I was not sure what would happen,” said Corrado.
“Would any of my employees get sick? Would everyone be OK financially? Would we be able to make it through this tough time as a company? I was really worried, it kept me up at night,” he added.
To top it off, the Cinas’ grandfather, Frank Cina, 79, was in Staten Island University Hospital, Ocean Breeze for 33 days battling coronavirus. He has recently been taken off a ventilator and is in recovery at a rehabilitation center, they said.
REINVENTING THE BUSINESS
Soon after the the coronavirus mandates went into effect, the Cina brothers came up with a way to reinvent their businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.
Auto Pro Collision — which offers body repair, refinishing, and dent repairs and is a certified Tesla Repair Shop — is now providing a free mobile estimating tool that allows customers to send pictures of their vehicles’ damage for an estimate through text or email.
“We are also offering pickup and delivery of customers’ vehicles from our tow truck for repairs,” said Sebastian. “This is a tough time for everyone — for our customers, employees and their families. The best thing we can do is stay strong and continue to keep a safe environment in our workplace to service our customers while keeping our employees safe.”
EXPEDITING THE PROCESS
The catalyst for the mobile estimates was to provide a streamlined process where consumers would have limited in-person contact.
“We are offering a lot of online communication, whether it be through text, email or phone calls. We are making sure customers are in our building for the least amount of time possible. We are having the rental car company here waiting for them and paperwork is already filled out,” said Sebastian.
And their loyal customers have really appreciated the service.
“There has been some very positive feedback regarding our recent change in service. Our industry is already an inconvenience on a normal day, so at a time where safety is a major concern, I think providing our customers with a much safer way to still perform our services is great,” said Corrado.
And business has picked up in recent days as there are less reported cases of coronavirus on Staten Island.
“We are seeing more people come in now than when this quarantine started,” said Corrado. “I think that people are more prepared now than they were in the beginning. I also think we are doing our best to limit customer interaction and have procedures in place to ensure the safety of the customers as well as our staff.”
The Cinas said they feel fortunate to be deemed essential workers, and will also give back to the community.
“This is about humanity, more than business. We are planning to launch a campaign in partnership with non-profits to help give back and help,” said Corrado.
Credit to Silive.