By Steve McLinden
DALLAS — It’s another busy morning at Lindberg Collision in north Dallas. A familiar local media personality in a business suit walks in and sits on one of the plush leather couches in the shop’s comfortable and nearly immaculate reception area, which features contemporary furniture, wooden floors, plants, wall prints of custom cars in metallic frames, gourmet coffee maker, an aquarium, vases, and other upscale decor.
Owner Tracy Lindberg, who founded the shop on mega-busy John W. Carpenter Freeway (State Highway 183) in 2005, emerges from the office to greet the man, NBA announcer Chris Arnold, who has been part of the Dallas Mavericks broadcasting department since 1996.
“Hello, Chris,” Lindberg says as he greets his return customer and friend. The two exchange a little Mavericks talk, then discuss Arnold’s needed car repairs, as a stream of other customers and suppliers that Lindberg also knows by name starts to trickle in.
But it’s the smiling, welcoming face of the owner’s wife, office manager Shannon Lindberg, who is typically the first point of contact for customers as they walk in the door. She’s also the creative force behind the waiting area’s artistic design, she admits.
“Shannon is great at putting customers at ease,” said her husband. “You know, this reception area is just one way we serve the customer; it’s inviting,” continued the owner, as he walked me into the shop area for a tour, past a sign on the wall that reads: “This is Kingdom business. We have given this company to the Lord and it is his. ‘Whatever you do, work with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.’ Colossians 3:23.”
It’s that philosophy that sums up the way staffers treat customers and also treat one another, said the owner.
“We put the customer first and ourselves second, because we truly care about people,” Lindberg said. “And we have many, many repeat customers who have become customers for life; we make sure they always get what they want and that they are pleased.”
Before he opened the shop 14 years ago, Lindberg served as a certified collision estimator and in a few other auto gigs. But it was his father’s van-conversion business, which a young Lindberg assisted with on weekends during high school days to earn extra spending money, that really fired his permanent interest in the car repair trade.
Lindberg bought out an existing auto business when he entered the shop space, then slowly set about assembling a quality staff, many who’ve now been with the shop for a sizable chunk of its life.
“It took a lot of trial and error,” he said.
But the shop managed to find five reliable body men over time and “everybody gets it; they’ve learned how to treat people.” Across the board, staffers exercise grace when they work on projects and with others and it shows, Lindberg said proudly. They are commensurately compensated too, he added.
The strong customer ethic and bustling byroad location have helped Lindberg Collision, an I-CAR Gold-class certified shop, draw customers from all around the region, including Oak Cliff, Irving, Richardson, Grand Prairie, and the more upscale north Dallas neighborhoods of Highland Park and University Park, said the owner.
“We get a great mix of people from (all walks of life); there is really no typical customer,” he said.
Lindberg Collision’s efficiency allows it to provide better-than-average industry job-cycle time, he said. The shop, already an affiliate for Enterprise Rent-A-Car, recently took over a commercial space in the same building that will allow Enterprise to soon open its own fixed rental-car business there, with space left over for shop storage and offices.
The center also offers paint-less dent repair, vehicle pick-up and delivery, no-interest financing and lifetime warranty on all work done under a vehicle’s original repair and owner. In addition to a complete explanation of the planned job, the shop will always give customers a reliable completion date when discussing the repair process, said Lindberg.
Among the shop’s mottoes: “We really do care about you, your car and ultimately your safety on the road. Cars…will drive the same, feel the same and look the same” as they did pre-accident when they’re picked up, its website promises.
Online reviewers have been consistently laudatory of the shop’s performance over the years: “Tracy gave us a reasonable price and carefully checked the car while doing an estimate — the insurance adjuster had missed a big spot on the wheel; with help from Shannon, we didn’t have to deal with insurance and the whole process was a great experience,” wrote one woman. Noted another, “I was immediately greeted by Tracy and his wife. They put my mind at ease by walking through each step of the procedure…their patience and kindness is a rarity these days.”
The collision center’s tools of the trade include a Car-O-Liner Vision frame-measuring system and Miller Autobody Aluminum Repair System. The shop uses only new OEM parts, forsaking the aftermarket parts some other collision centers are compelled to use, body workers said.
The center is a State Farm approved vendor, said the shop owner, who characterizes his relationships with insurers and their adjusters as “excellent and based on trust.”
All the staff is considered extended family, say the Lindbergs. In one case, that extension was literal. Shannon Lindberg took over the office-manager role that her mother served in before she retired seven years ago.
“My mother trained me here,” Shannon said.
The owner said he is excited about the shop’s future and its continuing dedication to making things easy for its lifeblood: the loyal patron.
“An accident is traumatic and stressful for the customer,” he said. “But the repair process doesn’t have to be.” •