Diamond Certified Company Report

Western Auto Body, Inc.

Diamond Certified Company Report

Western Auto Body, Inc.

Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i
Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 476 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i

Erin S.

VERIFIED Western Auto Body, Inc. CUSTOMER

1 of 476

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

The service is excellent.

The main administrator, Tiffany saved me $500 on my costs by looking for a part for me at a salvage yard.

Robert M.

VERIFIED Western Auto Body, Inc. CUSTOMER

2 of 476

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are very professional and timely.

They feel like a local business and provide family atmosphere. We are proud to support them.

Angie H.

VERIFIED Western Auto Body, Inc. CUSTOMER

3 of 476

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They do top-notch work. They're knowledgeable about what needs to be done and what can be done.

I liked the friendly service. They took our car to get fixed, and they acted like we were old friends. They really care about what's going on.

Read All 476 Survey Responses at Ratings View
Diamond certified VIDEO PROFILE
Diamond certified company PROFILE

Owner Mike Ludeman and Manager Tiffany Woods are proponents of customer satisfaction.

Western Auto Body, Inc. provides a full range of collision repair services for all types of automobiles at its Sebastopol facility. The company utilizes a computerized paint matching system and other state-of-the-art equipment to return customers’ cars to their pre-accident conditions, and its technicians undergo constant training to stay updated on industry-best products and practices. Western Auto Body also arranges for towing and rental cars and works with all insurance companies.

Owner Mike Ludeman started working in the auto body industry more than 30 years ago. Mr. Ludeman says he’s extremely proud of Western Auto Body’s community reputation and strong clientele base, which it’s been building since it first opened in 1980. “Every customer is important to us, so it’s very rewarding to know they understand how much we care about their happiness and the well-being of their cars.”

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COMPANY REPORT NAVIGATION

Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

  • Why this rating is the most accurate.
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DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED CAPABILITIES ON Western Auto Body, Inc.

Locations

Sonoma County

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SERVICES PERFORMED

Auto Body Repair & Refinishing

BRANDS Supported
  • 3M

  • Axalta

  • Spies Hecker

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED ARTICLES ON Western Auto Body, Inc.

A look at Western Auto Body’s repair area

Company Profile

Western Auto Body, Inc. provides a full range of collision repair services for all types of automobiles at its Sebastopol facility. The company utilizes a computerized paint matching system and other state-of-the-art equipment to return customers’ cars to their pre-accident conditions, and its technicians undergo constant training to stay updated on industry-best products and practices. Western Auto Body also arranges for towing and rental cars and works with all insurance companies.

Owner Mike Ludeman started working in the auto body industry more than 30 years ago. Mr. Ludeman says he’s extremely proud of Western Auto Body’s community reputation and strong clientele base, which it’s been building since it first opened in 1980. “Every customer is important to us, so it’s very rewarding to know they understand how much we care about their happiness and the well-being of their cars.”

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Company Philosophy

“We do whatever it takes to keep our customers satisfied. Fixing a post-accident car can be stressful, so we make sure to always keep them involved in the process and updated on our progress. We also stress the importance of communication—if a vehicle is going to be at our shop for longer than expected, we’ll let the customer know three days in advance.”

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Comparative Summary

Maintaining customer satisfaction is a crucial aspect of any business, but it’s even more important for auto body repair companies that have earned the prestigious Diamond Certified award. For Western Auto Body, Inc., the key to achieving and maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction is going above and beyond what most people expect from the auto body repair experience. “We want every person who visits our shop to feel appreciated, so we focus on being as accommodating as possible,” says owner Mike Ludeman. “Our goal is to make the process simple and straightforward for our customers, so all they have to do is drop off their cars and pick them up when the repairs are complete.”

Western Auto Body has been providing collision repair services for all types of vehicles at its Sebastopol facility since 1980. The company’s I-CAR and ASE Certified technicians utilize a computerized paint matching system and other state-of-the-art equipment to return customers’ cars to their pre-accident conditions, and they undergo constant training to stay updated on industry-best products and practices. “We can also arrange for rental cars and towing, and we work with all the major insurance companies,” adds Mr. Ludeman.

Unlike less experienced auto body repair companies that only accept jobs in certain price ranges and alienate a portion of their clientele base in the process, Western Auto Body performs a wide variety of repairs that range from minor dent repairs to full-scale restoration work. “We don’t care if a job is $50 or $5,000–every customer is equally important,” says Mr. Ludeman. “If we provide a great experience and high-quality work, customers with small repairs will bring their cars back when they need bigger repairs.”

To further differentiate itself from its competition, Western Auto Body extends its services to fleets, businesses and local government organizations that are too busy to wait for their cars to be repaired. “Our fleet customers like us because we’ll pick up their cars and drop them off when the work is done,” explains Mr. Ludeman. “They really appreciate the way we’re able to take care of everything.”

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Industry Info

If your car needs body repairs, make sure you have a basic understanding of the work that’s being done. It’s not uncommon for car owners to leave an auto body shop and not understand what they just paid for. A responsible body shop will inform and educate its customers about the conditions of their vehicles, but not all companies share the same commitment to customer service. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, it’s important to get pertinent information about the condition of your vehicle and the reasons for its body repairs. Ask questions and insist on being part of the repair process—as the owner of the car, you always have that option. By taking command of the situation, you can avoid confusion and help ensure a positive experience.
If you need to get your car fixed after an accident and your insurance company is pressuring you to use a certain shop, be wary—California law stipulates that you get to decide where to take your car to be repaired, and your insurance company must pay regardless of the company you choose. “Some insurance companies send their clients to shops they’ve partnered with in order to save some money, but that doesn’t always make for the best results,” says Mike Ludeman, owner of Western Auto Body, Inc. in Sebastopol. “You should always choose a shop based on the quality of its work and customer service, not the advice of your insurance company.”
Although you may want your car to be fixed as quickly as possible, make sure your body shop doesn’t prioritize speed over quality. Some shops rush their work and leave numerous procedures and details unattended, which can lead to costly flaws, defects, re-repairs, and even potential safety hazards. In the long run, a low-quality body repair will cause more problems than the inconvenience of a few days without a car.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long will it take to fix my car?

A: It depends on the extent of the damage and any other problems we find when we tear down your vehicle, but an average repair that involves paint work takes three to four days to complete.

Q: Will you work with my insurance company?

A: Yes, we work with all insurance companies. We’ll also handle all the paperwork except for the initial claim, which you have to file yourself.

Q: Do I have to use the body shop my insurance company recommends?

A: No. California law says you can take your car to any licensed auto body shop and your insurance company must pay for the repairs.

Q: Do you offer free loaner vehicles?

A: Yes. If your insurance company doesn’t cover the cost of a rental car, we have loaners available.

Q: Can you arrange for a rental car?

A: Yes, we work with both Enterprise and Hertz and can arrange for a rental car if you need one.

Q: Do you repair other vehicles like boats, RVs, trailers and motorcycles?

A: We can do fiberglass work on all those vehicles. When it comes to painting large vehicles like RVs and boats, we can only do touch-up work because we can’t fit them into our paint booth.

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SELECTED PHOTOS FROM Western Auto Body, Inc.

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR ADVICE & TIPS FROM Mike Ludeman

Expert CONTRIBUTOR PROFILE
  • Mike Ludeman is 24-year industry veteran and owner of Western Auto Body, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2005. Mike can be reached at (707) 861-8756 or by email.

Mike Ludeman: A Man of His Word

By Matt Solis, Editor

SEBASTOPOL — Mike Ludeman didn’t always know he would end up in the auto body industry, but his interest in the subject has been with him his whole life. I’ve always been fascinated by cars, he says. My dad was in the auto parts business, and in high school my older brother and I spent a lot of time working on vehicles. However, it wasn’t until his late teenage years that Mike realized he could turn his passion for cars into an actual career.

Graduation was coming up and I knew I wasn’t going to college, so I thought, What am I going to do with myself?’ he remembers. I had some family issues at the time, and it was either go in the right direction or stray off in the wrong direction, so I took it upon myself to come up with some kind of career. There was an auto body program at my high school that I dabbled in, and after I graduated, I went to vocational college in Wyoming to learn the trade. Around 1984, I jumped right into the industry.

After working his way through the ranks as a car washer, detailer and prep person at several companies, Mike found himself at Western Auto Body in 1991 as head painter, a job he performed for eight years until the shop came up for sale. The previous owner tried to sell it several times and wasn’t able to get a buyer, and I thought, I don’t want to paint cars forever. What’s the natural progression of all this?’ The next step was to purchase the business. That was in 1999, and we’re still going strong more than a decade later.

Mike’s responsibilities as the owner of a successful auto body shop keep him fairly busy, but he always prioritizes spending time with his two young sons. Right now, I’m heavily into baseball season with coaching Little League, he says. I coach on my 9-year-old’s team and I help out on my 6-year-old’s team. My sons and I also do a lot of summer activities like RVing and boating, and I’m a member of a 4-wheel drive off-road club and a dirt bike club.

As the son of an auto worker himself, Mike says he’d love to eventually teach his boys the intricacies of the trade, but for now, he’s content to keep them involved with more age-appropriate activities. My kids are definitely interested in cars and like watching what I do, but I haven’t exposed them to it too much because they’re so young. I’m not keeping them sheltered from it, but there’s plenty of time for that.

Mike’s approach to auto body work mirrors his overall approach to life: be honest in everything you do. A man doesn’t have too many things besides his word, he says. That’s really important if you’re honest and stick to those guidelines, the results might not be immediate, but you’ll eventually see the benefits of living your life that way. It translates nicely into having a business and dealing with people. I like to build relationships with my customers instead of going the quick route and trying to be transactional, and the only way to do that is through honesty and backing up my word.

Ask Me Anything!

Q: If you could drive any car, what would it be?
A: Probably a Bugatti. I like BMWs, too…the new X6 is pretty nice.

Q: Favorite sports team?
A: San Francisco Giants. My sons and I go to a couple games a year, and we’re always watching on TV. We’re definitely a baseball family.

Q: Favorite music?
A: It’s been country lately, but I like a wide variety of music. When we’re out on the boat, we listen to a lot of hip-hop and current stuff. My all-time favorite group is Beastie Boys.

Q: If you had a theme song, what would it be?
A: “Fight for Your Right” by Beastie Boys. Why not?

Q: What’s one movie that people would be surprised you’ve never seen?
A: I don’t really watch movies, actually. I’ve never even seen the Lord of the Rings movies, for example. If I have two hours of free time, I’d rather go do something else.

Q: Dogs or cats?
A: Dogs. We have a Blue Heeler names Buttons who’s almost 17 years old and a Chihuahua named Chili to back that up.

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Expert articles
  • Maintain the Exterior Finish of Your Car

    SEBASTOPOL — What’s the first thing you notice when you’re shopping for a new or used car? Usually, it’s not the engine, brakes or steering column; it’s what the outside looks like. That’s why maintaining the exterior finish of your car is the most important thing you can do to improve its resale value. Maintaining your car doesn’t even have to be an expensive endeavor—you can achieve great results with actions that are both cheap and easy. Here are some helpful tips:

    Wash your car with the proper products and techniques. The first thing to do is rinse off the entire car with water to remove all the dust and debris that has accumulated from regular driving. Once the car is wet, take a clean mitt (make sure there’s no dirt or rocks attached) and start washing from the top of the car all the way down. If you use a dry mitt or a mitt that’s not completely wet, it essentially acts as sandpaper and scratches dust and dirt into the car. Simply rinsing off your mitt before you start is the best way to avoid this.

    Avoid visiting gas station carwashes on a regular basis. It’s understandable that people like to use drive-through carwashes—they seem like a great idea when your busy schedule doesn’t give you enough time to deal with the process yourself. Taking your car through these carwashes once in a while is fine, but washing your car by hand is always preferable.

    Wax your car. Most people avoid waxing their cars simply because they don’t fully understand how important it is. The main benefit of waxing is it maintains the glossiness of a car’s paint, but it also adds protection to the paint’s clear coat. A common misconception is that the clear coats on modern paints protect cars forever without the need for waxing, but that’s not true. Even waxing your car once or twice a year can help maintain the overall shine and protection of the paint.

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Expert video tip
  • Video: Two Ways To Maintain Your Car’s Value

    Complete Video Transcription:

    SEBASTOPOL — Host, Sarah Rutan: There are a couple ways to keep your car looking its best. So, we’re in Sebastopol with Diamond Certified Expert Contributors, Mike Ludeman and Tiffany Woods of Western Auto Body to learn more.

    Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Mike Ludeman: Today, Tiffany and I are going to give you a few easy tips on how to maintain the exterior finish of your car and why it’s important.

    Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Tiffany Woods: So, before we get into a couple of tips on how to maintain the exterior of your car, you might want to know why you should maintain the exterior of your car. The first most important reason is resale value. What is the first thing you notice when you go to buy a new or used car? What the outside looks like. So, we are going to go over a couple of easy, cheap tips on how to maintain the exterior of your car.

    So, the first tip we are going to talk to you about is how to properly wash you car. The first first thing you want to do is rinse it off and make the whole car wet and get all the dust and debris off that you possibly can. Now, once you have done that, you take a clean mitt with no dirt or rocks or anything in it and start from the top of the car and go all the way down. If you take a dry mitt or its not wet all the way, all you are doing is taking the dust and dirt and using this mitt as sandpaper and scratching the car. So, if you get it all cleaned and all washed first and then take a clean mitt and rinse it off, you are going to get the best outcome.

    Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Mike Ludeman: When it comes to washing your car, we all understand that we are all busy and the gas station car washes seem like a good idea, every once in a while that’s great but preferably it would be better to do it by hand.

    Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Tiffany Woods: The next thing we are going to talk to you about is the importance of waxing your vehicles. Only about ten percent of our customers take the time to wax their car, I think that is because most people don’t know the importance of waxing. Waxing you car can keep up the glossiness of the paint and it also adds protection on the clear coat of the paint. A lot of people think that because of the clear coat on paint these days that’s going to protect it forever and you don’t need to wax you car but that’s not true. even once or twice a year waxing it can really help maintain the overall shine and the protection of the paint.

    So the two really easy ways you can maintain the value of your car and the car looking good is to wash it and to wax it on somewhat of a regular basis, at least a couple times a year.

    Host, Sarah Rutan:  Thank you to our Diamond Certified expert contributors, Mike Ludeman and Tiffany Woods of Western Auto Body. I’m Sarah Rutan.

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Western Auto Body, Inc. WEBSITE AND EXTERNAL FEED
  • Western Auto Body, Inc. SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS
Diamond Certified RATINGS ON Western Auto Body, Inc.
Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i

Each surveyed customer was asked, “If you needed any helpful expertise, did this company provide that expertise?” To calculate this score, total “Yes” responses were divided by total responses (excluding those that stated they hadn’t needed any expertise).

Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 476 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i
Western Auto Body, Inc. : Average 9.7 out of 10 based on 476 unique customer surveys of customer satisfaction.

Erin S.

VERIFIED Western Auto Body, Inc. CUSTOMER

1 of 476

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

The service is excellent.

The main administrator, Tiffany saved me $500 on my costs by looking for a part for me at a salvage yard.

Robert M.

VERIFIED Western Auto Body, Inc. CUSTOMER

2 of 476

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are very professional and timely.

They feel like a local business and provide family atmosphere. We are proud to support them.

Angie H.

VERIFIED Western Auto Body, Inc. CUSTOMER

3 of 476

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They do top-notch work. They're knowledgeable about what needs to be done and what can be done.

I liked the friendly service. They took our car to get fixed, and they acted like we were old friends. They really care about what's going on.

Chad K.

VERIFIED Western Auto Body, Inc. CUSTOMER

4 of 476

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would recommend them.

They are very personable.

Kathleen T.

VERIFIED Western Auto Body, Inc. CUSTOMER

5 of 476

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are really professional, clean and very friendly.

They are efficient.

Ted B.

VERIFIED Western Auto Body, Inc. CUSTOMER

6 of 476

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

It's kind of like dealing with family. They are helpful, friendly and it's a relaxed atmosphere.

That it is relaxed and stress free

Tara B.

VERIFIED Western Auto Body, Inc. CUSTOMER

7 of 476

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

We love them, they are friendly, helpful and informative.

We have known them for years. They make everything easy.

Jim L.

VERIFIED Western Auto Body, Inc. CUSTOMER

8 of 476

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

It's a great shop.

Their performance of services

Denise D.

VERIFIED Western Auto Body, Inc. CUSTOMER

9 of 476

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

That they were good

I have been there before and that is why I went back.

Larry M.

VERIFIED Western Auto Body, Inc. CUSTOMER

10 of 476

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would recommend them.

That they seemed ethical

Cathy A.

VERIFIED Western Auto Body, Inc. CUSTOMER

11 of 476

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They take care of their customers, they are cordial and help if transportation is needed. They are also very clean.

They know how to take care of customers and they are local.

Shawn H.

VERIFIED Western Auto Body, Inc. CUSTOMER

12 of 476

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

If you have body damage, go to them.

They are friendly, extremely fair on prices, timely and thorough. They worked with my schedule, very accommodating.

Sandra M.

VERIFIED Western Auto Body, Inc. CUSTOMER

13 of 476

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Fantastic customer service, honesty and integrity

They did what they said they would do and for less money than they said it would be.

Joan P.

VERIFIED Western Auto Body, Inc. CUSTOMER

14 of 476

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Extremely friendly and detailed, the timeline was reasonable and I got my car back early.

Convenience of their location

Paul H.

VERIFIED Western Auto Body, Inc. CUSTOMER

15 of 476

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would say to go there. This was my first accident I have ever been in. They handled everything for me.

The craftsmanship and the office staff is great.

Art B.

VERIFIED Western Auto Body, Inc. CUSTOMER

16 of 476

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They do fantastic work and they are really nice people.

I like everything about them.

David B.

VERIFIED Western Auto Body, Inc. CUSTOMER

17 of 476

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I feel they are very high quality. And they get the job done.

They are convenient to where I live.

Rolland J.

VERIFIED Western Auto Body, Inc. CUSTOMER

18 of 476

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are highly professional.

Their obvious ability to get things done

John R.

VERIFIED Western Auto Body, Inc. CUSTOMER

19 of 476

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're good and I would go again if I needed to.

They are friendly, happy and agreed with me.

Forrest K.

VERIFIED Western Auto Body, Inc. CUSTOMER

20 of 476

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're easy to work with. They are professional and down to earth, very real. They said my car would be done in a week and it was actually done early. Expectations were met and exceeded.

Their location is close to my home. They seem family owned. When I walk in, I know the people.

Read All 476 Survey Responses at Ratings View