Auto body shops are places where most people generally aren't comfortable, probably because they're intimidated by the work that's being done. After all, it's not like a lube station or a battery replacement store - entire automobiles are being repaired here, some with major overhauls. Major car repair isn't something most people know anything about.
Ideally, however, your local auto body shops not only has individuals who know what is going on in the field of auto body repair, but are willing to share their expertise. Any well-run business wants its customers to be comfortable, and, to that end, they're open and amenable to questions and inquiries. Here are some of the "points of knowledge" you as a customer should be aware of:
First, you need to learn that auto body repair is specialized today; it's not the mechanic-with-dirty-fingers job it used to be, because very few auto body repairs are done that way anymore. The automotive technician who does the work (particularly at custom auto body shops) where they not only repair but also create body parts for specialty jobs, must not only be a master mechanic, but he must know his math, his hydraulics, his plastics, his metallurgy and all the innovations that are happening in his field.
Second, you should realize that innovation is key to auto repair these days; the computer age has made this area of expertise, like so many others, subject to newer and more inventive working techniques. Anyone working in an auto body repair shop should feel and communicate a sense of challenge, because the new technology coming to them is always a different (and often better) modification from what they were doing previously.
Third, when you visit an auto body repair shop, we should find up-to-the-minute technological equipment, and technicians who regularly train in new methods of body modification, customization and repair. And these individuals should be willing to explain the process to any uncertain customer who makes inquiries.
The website of whatever repair service center you visit should familiarize you with their machinery, their skills and abilities, and the types of repairs and body work they do, as well as the makes, models and years of their specialized work (not every custom repair shop can work on a Mercedes alongside a Ford, for example). If you can't find their website - well, you dont really want to patronize a repair center that has no website, do you?
And finally, you should learn to look at the walls of the service center - they should be covered with the diplomas and graduation certificates of the technicians working on your automobile, telling you that they are qualified to do computer, hydraulic and customization repairs, and that their work is guaranteed.
Naturally, if you still have doubts, the technicians should allow you to inspect the work area, and should always offer, free of charge, a complete estimate of the repair work they will undertake. With all this new knowledge, you should be pretty fearless in patronizing auto body shops from now on.