When speaking with Ivan Trudel about how much his shop has advanced in the past five years and how he places so much importance on customer service – it’s easy to see why Trudel Autobody won this award.
Trudel Autobody got their start in Albertville in 1972, and when Ivan’s father was invited to open a course at SIAST to encourage new mechanics, he opened a small remote shop here in Prince Albert. During this time, his father would repair the vehicles in the Prince Albert shop, and then take them to the Albertville shop for the finishing and painting. Ivan smiles “Dad did a lot of the legwork to get the business where it is today that process spanned many years.” He took us into the shop it is now, and the shop is still evolving. “The new technologies are impressive, and I am keeping the shop right at the edge!”
When SGI came out with a three tiered system for ranking autobody shops across Saskatchewan, Trudel Autobody came out at the top tier from the outset with SGI Elite Accreditation. Ivan explains how the Elite Accreditation means that SGI evaluates on certain factors at the autobody shop such as customer wait times for repairs, how often parts can be repaired instead of replaced, among other factors to achieve this designation.
Ivan tells me about his process “Replacement parts are often more expensive than repairs so the customers save money. An important piece is the wait time how long will the customer have their vehicle in the shop, we maintain a very strict schedule, reducing rescheduled appointments.” He explains how when the vehicle comes in for an estimate, he immediately begins his list of parts so that the customer will not wait needlessly for parts to arrive when their vehicle is in.
Ivan talks about how he won’t make sacrifices along the way just to reach a higher score though, he still wants to make sure the customer is getting the best quality work, not just the quickest.
“It’s not just about scores, it’s about making sure my customer is getting a quality repair.”
Ivan shares about how important the customer is to him, and how everyone at Trudel Autobody will go above and beyond to take away the stress of having an accident and repairs. Ivan states “Our customers deserve to receive and experience a better standard of customer service. This gives people peace of mind even before the repairs are made – by making sure the vehicle is safe to drive in the time between the estimate and the repair appointment.”
Ivan or one of his staff will often sit down with customers and walk through the claim process with their customers. Filling out the online forms, making sure the customer knows what to expect, and taking on the stress of handling the repairs is just part of the better quality of customer service they offer.
“Getting in an accident sucks. … It’s my job to make your problem my problem.”
Some of the new technologies require a whole new portion of the shop dedicated to it. One of the advancements for vehicles is using aluminum to save weight on the frame. This means that the area of the shop working with aluminum needs to be quarantined from any other area.
“Aluminum and steel need to be separated from each other… you need to have a different space to work on aluminum.”
The aluminum particles that become airborne can land on other metals and cause galvanic corrosion. New tools must be purchased and dedicated strictly to aluminum, as they can’t be used for other metals. Trudel Autobody has invested a lot in these tools and has learned the new techniques to repair aluminum vehicles.
Ivan encourages those looking to venture into the autobody business – he talks about how the environmentally friendly products make the workplace much safer and how it is a trade that has competitively matched wages. Ivan thanks his customers for voting for them for this award and he invites his customers to reach out to them at 306- 922-4791 or stop by the shop at 75 South Industrial Drive.
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