We recognize the impact that roadside can have on consumer brand perception and loyalty, so it is critical to maintain a tight feedback loop on the consumer experience. While the data about an event certainly tells part of the story, the most powerful tool we can use is the direct feedback from our consumers.
A few months ago, we highlighted Agero’s On Demand App, enabled through VIVR (Visual Interactive Voice Response). Since 2014, we have seen the preference for self-service roadside assistance requests nearly triple, so we introduced our On Demand App on our roadside platform in 2018 as a way to deliver a digital experience for our clients who do not have their own branded native app.
However, among the self-service channels, mobile apps are the most preferred. For consumers who are used to using their mobile devices to order food, request a ride, or deposit a check, the mobile roadside experience is considered faster and overall preferable to speaking with an agent by phone. We make it easy for our clients to create a seamless digital roadside experience directly in their own mobile apps using Agero’s Mobile API.
We have seen digital roadside requests through our mobile API grow by 50% over the past 12 months. For both our clients and consumers, there are significant benefits over other request channels:
- 100% digital – Vehicle and personal details are prefilled with information from the customer’s profile, helping to speed up the request process. The vehicle location is captured by the phone’s GPS, and all breakdown information is submitted digitally, which ensures the service provider receives clear and accurate job data. After the request is submitted, the customer receives follow-ups by text message. However, if an event does require further support, full integration with Agero’s platform allows a seamless transition to an agent-assisted experience.
- Seamless brand experience – Clients own the end-to-end user experience with roadside requests integrated into their native apps. Consumers get an additional useful feature in the client app, enhancing app stickiness, and increasing engagement with the brand.
- Emerging interactive channels – Our API isn’t just for mobile apps. Clients can create innovate user experiences by integrating roadside assistance into their smart device programs, such as Alexa skills for Amazon Echo Auto.
- Higher NPS – Customers who request roadside assistance through a mobile app report NPS 10 points higher on average than those who use non-digital channels, and 5 points higher than those who initiate the process by phone and transfer to a digital channel.
We’re constantly looking for ways to make it easier to use our mobile API, or to add more features that our clients can integrate into their mobile apps. Here are some recent releases:
- Dispatch scheduling – Many customers, including the nearly 35% whose cars break down at home or at work, may not need immediate roadside assistance, or may prefer to request assistance for a specific time. We now offer the ability to schedule a dispatch through our mobile API for a future time slot. Customers are given the option to choose among a list of available time slots but cannot choose times that already booked up. One hour before the selected time, a digital dispatch is created and assigned to a local service provider.
- Drop-in UI – For clients who want to validate customer demand for mobile roadside requests before investing in UI development, we now offer a web-based user interface that can be displayed directly in their branded native app. Customer information is pre-populated in the roadside request interface to enhance the user experience.
- Improved sandbox – We moved our staging environment to Amazon Web Services to take advantage of its superior reliability and stability. Mobile app and API testing is now available at any time without prior notice or scheduling, giving our clients’ dev teams more flexibility.
We are excited about the possibilities as more customers request roadside assistance through our clients’ mobile apps. We continue to invest in improvements and new features for our mobile API – stay in the loop with our blog to learn about them as they are released.
In the meantime, if you are thinking about how to encourage consumers to use your digital channels, check out some best practices here.
Agero has been providing roadside assistance across the country for more than 45 years. We are proud of our scope and scale. We have the reach and resources to partner with leading insurers and automotive brands to help consumers with their roadside needs. Don't just take our word for it, let the numbers speak for themselves:
With the season of road trips upon us as we head into the Memorial Day holiday - an increasingly busy road travel weekend - millions of Americans will be packing up their bags, their kids and their cars to head out on their first hurrah of the season.
But driver beware: despite the nice weather, late spring and early summer includes some of the highest risk travel months according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Based on our analysis of over 3.3 million client roadside service dispatches during the summer months over each of the last few years, we’re offering drivers a few tips for making their first summer journey a success rather than a disaster:
- Beware of overheating. You’re about 50% more likely to need roadside assistance for overheating in summer than in the winter, so don’t forget to check your coolant before you head out… particularly if you’re driving in the mountainous states (WY, ID, UT, WV, MT and CO), where our data shows the most calls for assistance with this issue.
- Check your battery. Northeasterners, you’ll more likely need a jump-start than the rest of the country, so check that battery and make sure electrical accessories, like chargers, are powered down and unplugged when you shut off your vehicle.
- Keep up to date on services. Want to feel the wind in your hair? Before you take the convertible that’s been sitting in the driveway for the last 6 months out for a spin, make sure you get it serviced – a majority of roadside requests cite vehicles as inoperable.
- Fuel up, charge up. If you’re in California, don’t forget to fuel up, and fuel up often – whether that’s with gas or electricity. Drivers in the Golden State are the most likely to call for assistance after running out of gas and second most likely to need an EV charge (behind Hawaii).
- Stay aware of surroundings. The good news? There’s little chance of you needing roadside help due to vandalism. That said, always put away valuables or take them with you when you leave your car unattended.
- Be sure to plan ahead. High volume traffic means delays and the temptation to take detours or backroads. Determine your potential routes before leaving the house and if you need to use your phone, pull over in a safe area before doing so. In a recent study, we found the top 10% of drivers that manipulate their phones (e.g., sending texts, or fiddling with GPS) are eight times more likely to crash than the bottom 10%.
Remember, if you need a tow, or simple roadside assistance such as a tire change, call your insurance carrier (if you have roadside coverage), or the contact number for your vehicle manufacturer’s roadside program.
*Data reflective of Agero client geographic footprint.