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DingGo is bringing smash repairs into the 21st century


The Sydney startup lets drivers find a trusted panelbeater via their online platform.

It's safe to say that the Internet has revolutionised how businesses of all sizes operate and has helped empower customers like never before. Where once you had to rely on word-of-mouth or local reputation, you can now benefit from the feedback of thousands of others and choice is no longer limited to those in your local area.

But some industries have been quicker to adapt to the ever-evolving Internet age than others. We spoke to Shaun Janks, co-founder and CEO of DingGo, about bringing the potential of the online marketplace to the smash-repair industry.

What inspired you to bring the marketplace model to the smash-repair industry?

When my housemate, a notoriously bad driver, dinged his car again, that ding set off a journey that took me deep into the world of panelbeating.

I couldn't believe how hard it was to get a quote I could trust. This wasn't because smash repairers were untrustworthy. Most were honest father and son teams, who loved their craft, but the problem was they were disconnected from the people who needed their services – I physically had to drive to every shop to get a quote. Smash repairs was one of the last industries untouched by the Internet.

I learned most panelbeaters can take a quick assessment of superficial damage and know exactly how much it's going to cost to repair it. I realised photos could facilitate this assessment digitally, and that's when DingGo was born.

Before DingGo, you could go online and order or see a review of a $4 serving of chips, but not the panelbeater who's fixing your car – we've brought some sanity back to the world.

How does a smash repairer join the platform and get vetted?

DingGo has a six-step verification process to find the best repairers, including confirming qualifications and warranties as well as personally interviewing each repairer. A customer review and rating system further helps users picks the right panelbeater based on the experience of others. To date, there have been over 5,400 quotes with an average customer rating of 4.9 out of 5.

We've worked really hard to build a trusted network of smash repairers. We've done this by finding the best, listening, figuring out what really matters to them and then refining DingGo so that it can be the best bridge between the punter fixing their car and the panelbeater who wants to do the best job at the fairest price possible.

How does the open tender process work?

All our users need to do is take a photo of the damage and upload it to the DingGo portal. Our network of smash repairers then quickly provides quotes on fixing the damage and the user selects the best quote.

For repairers, speed of quoting is key. If they aren't one of the first three to quote, they don't get a chance at the job. This means only those with capacity quote first, and they're often the cheapest as they need the work. DingGo not only stands behind every quote, we streamline the entire process, including booking the appointment and managing the repairer, so our users get the best result with none of the hassle. One of the best parts is you don't need a degree in car-speak to understand the quotes.

How have you found the reception from smash repairers? Has it shifted their approach to getting business?

Smash repairers love the concept straight away. Many don't have websites, and most don't use any form of social media because they're too busy doing what they do best – repairing cars. DingGo brings them into the digital age and connects them to more potential clients.

The best part is the repairers are already used to quoting for multiple customers shopping around with other repairers. It was an industry standard that we could maintain to help keep our marketplace competitive, while enabling repairers to quote for more jobs quicker and ensuring customers get the best price possible.

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