Schaefer Autobody Center was founded in 1985 by Scott Schaefer’s father, Steve Schaefer. A mechanic himself, after several management positions at other stores, he decided to go into business for himself. His first body shop was in Webster Groves, Missouri, where they performed both autobody and mechanical services. After a decade, Schaefer decided to shift his focus to performing auto body repairs exclusively, so that he could be the best at auto body service.
Today, Schaefer’s son Scott runs the daily business operations. Their Columbia, Missouri branch, their newest office, was opened in 2015, and is already a valued member of the Columbia business community.
Schaefer’s business model is to provide quality collision repair. They don’t provide restoratino services, like some auto body shops, preferring instead to focus on customers who have had an accident and need help. Schaefer’s motto is to “make it like it never happened.” Their mission is to help customers during a difficult and inconvenient experience, and to take the hassle out of their car repairs.
Schaefer works to run a business at which anyone could be their customer. They are qualified to repair virtually any vehicle on the road, from luxury sedans to work trucks. Once, they even repaired a school bus after its roof was lost under a low underpass.
As an auto body shop, Schaefer has to work with both their customers and their customers’ insurance companies. They specialize in understanding insurance companies’ needs, as well as car owners’, so that they can simplify the insurance claim process for their customers.
Scott Schaefer says that high-level customer service and high-quality repair work are central to their business model, and let them provide everything their customers need. Their company culture also gives them an edge over their competitors. Schaefer hires employees who love to do what they do. Schaefer employees enjoy the challenge of complex repair work and complex customer situations, where many parties must agree on a solution. The entire Schaefer team, from the front of house to the mechanics in the back, all truly care about the people whose cars are being repaired.
Schaefer makes sure that their customers are satisfied with their services with an in-depth customer survey process that they’ve used for 20 years. Schaefer employees call their customers after jobs are completed to ask if they’re fully satisfied with their service, or if there is any remaining problem with their vehicle. Schaefer says that almost all of the time, their customers report that they’re satisfied, but that they’re glad to hear from their unsatisfied customers, too. “It’s all about how you respond to your mistakes,” Schaefer says. If there’s an opportunity to improve their work, they want to take it.
Giving back to the community is a big part of the Schaefer Auto Body mission. Schaefer is heavily involved with the Columbia Boys and Girls Club, a BBB Accredited Charity. Recently, they hosted the children for a career day, at which Schaefer employees taught the kids how to remove a tire and change their oil. They also give back to the community by collecting school supplies for KidSmart, a charity that provides children with with backpacks full of school necessities, and by donating a car every year to a service member through the USO.
Schaefer also gives back by offering free continuing education (CE) for the insurance industry. The primary focus of Schaefer University CE classes is to educate and give back to our insurance partners, and to teach them what insurance customers experience when interacting with an auto body shop. This helps agents better be able to answer their customers’ questions, and makes the claims processes smoother for everyone.
Schaefer Autobody says they’re honored to be recognized as BBB TORCH Award Winners because the qualifications, support for employees, and customer service history a business must show are rigorous. “To have made such an impression in Columbia in such a short time is huge,” Schaefer says. “I’m so proud of all of my staff at the Columbia Schaefer Auto Body Center.”
The Columbia location of Schaefer Autobody managed by Brett Billington has grown the fastest of any of their ten locations, and Schaefer chalks it up to the excellence of their employees’ work and the supportive Columbia community. “Brett Billington and his team at that shop are Columbia locals, and they run that shop as if it’s their own. We’re incredibly thankful for their support, and the support of the Columbia community, and we’ll do everything we can to continue to give back to them.”
Honesty and integrity are first among Schaefer Auto Body Center’s core values. Schaefer says, “These business relationships rely on trust and integrity. We need customers to trust we’ll take care of them, and insurance companies to trust that we’ll be cost effective. Everyone just wants to do business with people they can trust. Without trust, we wouldn’t have ten locations right now.”
Schaefer Autobody, 1306 N. Creasy Springs Rd. Columbia, MO 65202
President: Scott Schaefer
Your convenience is our top priority. Our online scheduling gives you a jump start on getting damage estimates and scheduling your auto body repairs. Trust Schaefer to get you back on the road with convenient locations, flexible hours, direct insurance billing, towing and rental car services as well as online scheduling.
BBB prepares profiles of BBB Accredited Businesses and BBB Accredited Businesses as part of its TORCH Awards process. Schaefer Autobody is a winner of the BBB Columbia 2017 TORCH Awards.