Scott Grove, President
Can you give me a little bit of the history of your company and how it became involved in offering roadside assistance programs?
Auto Road Services Inc. was formed over 20 years ago as the first provider of roadside assistance programs to the auto aftermarket industry (Tires, Batteries, etc.) as a value added benefit to the consumer for purchasing our client’s products and services. ARS began to diversify by providing some of the first roadside assistance programs to the VSC and extended warranty markets.
How do you distinguish your product offerings from your competitors? What makes you different?
Auto Road Services Inc. is a custom provider of program to fit any client’s needs and budget requirements. We currently operate over 90 custom made programs for our clients. We respect the clients desire to offer a different program than other competitors and we can provide that expertise and commitment to our clients to be responsive to our client’s needs. We are not a “cookie cutter” provider, we are a nimble and highly experienced provider of custom programs. We also offer the lowest cost to our clients due to the lowest claim costs industry wide.
Where do you focus your sales efforts when it comes to selling this service? EG: direct sales via dealers/agents; bundled with service contracts, etc. What would you consider your primary sales channel to be?
Since we have been in the industry so long and have such a great reputation, we get a lot of new F&I clients by referral. We sponsor and attend conventions and seminars to network with our current clients and potential clients for two reasons: We keep abreast of the industries we serve by keeping informed on the market and products by attending the conferences and we are also a general sponsor the VSCAC/F&I conference in particular. Our programs are most always bundled with products and services through the F&I markets.
How important is technology to your business? Where could technology add even more efficiencies to your products and processes?
Technology is extremely important throughout the process of providing roadside assistance to motorists who are stranded. Customer data, location, service provider contact and fulfillment of the service is heavily dependent on technology. We are developing methods to reach out to the motorist before, during and after the service call to make the experience a positive impression for our clients. These events are an opportunity for us to show the customer excellent customer service on behalf of our client.
Where do you see the most growth potential for roadside assistance products in the future? What changes, if any, do you believe the product will see in the next 5-10 years?
The most potential growth is in the F&I arena, the auto industry is in growth mode after some very difficult years. Consumers expect the opportunity to purchase F&I products to protect their investment. In the immediate future, the process of providing programs and executing a claim or emergency roadside service will become more streamlined due to the advances in web based technology; Our call center computer will be able to link with the vehicle, diagnose and provide location and mechanical cause of the breakdown with one phone call. In the next 5-10 years the car will call and arrange service without any action by the driver.