Tag Archive | "Roadside Assistance"

Roadside Assistance Options for P&A Providers


If there was any one product category that is nearly an “easy sell” to customers buying new or used cars, it would be roadside assistance. Granted, it’s still not easy, but most customers will walk in either having a story or having heard a story of a time when this particular service saved them time, money or hassle in some way. So half the battle – convincing them of its worth – is already done.

Convincing them to go with your specific offering, however, is more difficult.

Some of that comes down to how the offering is structured, what the benefits are, and of course, the cost. For a P&A provider, there are numerous options available, either via a brand the customer might already know, or via services that allow you to “white label” a product so you keep the brand identity and recognition. For now, we’re not going to look at the difference between those options, or the pros and cons of each – we’ll save that for another day. What we are going to look at are some of the key players in this space, and what makes the different.

Before you can offer your customers a product, you have to decide which one to go with – we talked to some of the top providers, and asked them what makes them different and where they see the industry going. Some of the answers might surprise you.

One thing that was interesting is that, across the board, they have all embraced technology. Using cell phones, either via just GPS positioning to help get aid to a customer’s exact location faster, or offering full-featured apps that do everything from call in the incident to pinpointing the location, and more. These apps allow them to get closer to the client, and provide the information they need in a stressful situation faster and easier.

The growth of technology, while making a huge impact on this corner of the industry, has not removed the need for a human touch, however. The companies stressed their local call centers, multiple languages and quick access to customer service representatives as important features. Technology has made it easier and more convenient for customers, but at the end of the day, it’s all just “extras” on top of great people who offer exceptional support.

No matter what direction you take with the roadside assistance package you offer clients, or which company you go with, a look at the top competitors, their offerings, and what they have to say about the future of the roadside assistance category should be interesting.

Roadside Assistance Roundup

Allstate Roadside Services

Allstate Roadside Services
April Eaton, Corporate Relations Manager

Please provide a little bit of the history of your company and how it became involved in offering roadside assistance programs.

Allstate was founded in 1931, as part of Sears, Roebuck & Co., and became a publicly traded company in 1993. At the time, the initial public offering of Allstate was the largest in U.S. history. On June 30, 1995, Allstate became a totally independent company. In 2008, Allstate Roadside Services (ARS) emerged when Allstate acquired General Electric’s Partnership Marketing Group and integrated ARS with Allstate Motor Club, one of the nation’s top motor clubs with more than 50 years of roadside experience. Allstate now offers a suite of roadside services plans to suit a variety of coverage and payment needs.

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Auto Road Services Inc.

Auto Road Services Inc.
Scott Grove, President

Please provide 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.

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Driven Solutions

Driven Solutions
Thomas Boughton, President

Please provide a little bit of the history of your company and how it became involved in offering roadside assistance programs.

Driven Solutions has been providing automotive products & services for over 65 years. The company currently operates under two names: Dominion Automobile Association (DAA) in Canada, and in the United States as United States Auto Club, Motoring Division (USAC/MD). Driven is the only fully licensed auto club operational in all 50 U.S. states and Canada, including the U.S.Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

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National Motor Club

National Motor Club
Matt Krzysiak, Chief Executive Officer

Can you give me a little bit of the history of your company and how it became involved in offering roadside assistance programs?

National Motor Club has been providing motor club benefits since 1956. As the automotive industry was exploding, the founders of the National Motor Club saw the need for automobile owners to receive assistance as they traveled the new Federal Highways as well as the traditional two-lane routes across the country. Going into our 57th year we are proud to be a continuous safety net for our members in the automobile, RV, and Commercial vehicle spaces.

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Road America

Road America
Kevin NeSmith, Director of Client Services

Please provide a little bit of the history of your company and how it became involved in offering roadside assistance programs.

Road America has been providing emergency roadside assistance to motorists since 1978. In 2003, it was acquired by the MAPFRE Group, which operates an extensive international assistance network through its MAPFRE Asistencia division, the direct parent company of Road America. MAPFRE Asistencia is a leading international conglomerate providing emergency roadside assistance and general assistance services worldwide throughout 84 countries and 44 business units to 1500 corporate clients. As a division of MAPFRE, Road America gives large corporations proven financial peace of mind, long-standing business partnerships and a reputation for performance.

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National Motor Club


Matt Krzysiak, Chief Executive Officer

Can you give me a little bit of the history of your company and how it became involved in offering roadside assistance programs?

National Motor Club has been providing motor club benefits since 1956. As the automotive industry was exploding, the founders of the National Motor Club saw the need for automobile owners to receive assistance as they traveled the new Federal Highways as well as the traditional two-lane routes across the country. Going into our 57th year we are proud to be a continuous safety net for our members in the automobile, RV, and Commercial vehicle spaces.

How do you distinguish your product offerings from your competitors? What makes you different?

We provide specialized roadside assistance programs with customer service that meets and exceeds the high standards of our members and business partners. We have many touch points with every stranded motorist who calls us for assistance, whether they are a NMC member or have dispatch services through a business partner. Our U.S.-based customer service representatives answer the phone, in person, with every call. Roadside assistance is what we do, not a sideline. Because of this focus, we are able to go beyond cookie cutter roadside assistance and specialize in niche services such as classic cars and motorhomes.

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?

Like most roadside assistance companies, we have multiple sales channels. We offer our services on a wholesale basis, primarily as a value-added benefit included in other products or services. We also offer full memberships through independent direct sales agents, RV dealers, insurance agents and F&I offices nationwide. We realize that nothing happens until a sale is made, so we strive to serve not only the end customer but also the sales agent that represents our products and services.

How important is technology to your business? Where could technology add even more efficiencies to your products and processes?

Technology is vital to our business and provides the backbone to support the delivery of our service. From our proprietary dispatch systems, to our state-of-the-art location services, to our best of class phone systems, technology enables us to operate efficiently and deliver an exceptional customer experience. However, while we realize the importance of technology, we don’t lose site of the fact that when people are in a stressful situation – like on the shoulder of a busy highway with a flat tire – it is the human voice on the line offering assistance that our customers remember. We look for ways technology can enhance our level of service while still maintaining our commitment to high-touch service.

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?

Over the past 5-10 years, roadside service has become more prevalent in the marketplace. It is readily available to consumers through their credit cards, insurance policies and affinity groups. Add to that the prevalence of smart phones and the ability find assistance via “self-service”; it is clear to us that continuing to deliver exceptional service, integrating technology, providing ease of use and quality benefits are the long-term solution. At NMC, we will continue to strengthen our position as a premier service provider and custom solution innovator to serve various segments of the traveling public, and will remain focused on the needs of our business partners, sales agents and members.

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Road America


Kevin NeSmith, Director of Client Services

Can you give me a little bit of the history of your company and how it became involved in offering roadside assistance programs?

Road America has been providing emergency roadside assistance to motorists since 1978. In 2003, it was acquired by the MAPFRE Group, which operates an extensive international assistance network through its MAPFRE Asistencia division, the direct parent company of Road America. MAPFRE Asistencia is a leading international conglomerate providing emergency roadside assistance and general assistance services worldwide throughout 84 countries and 44 business units to 1500 corporate clients. As a division of MAPFRE, Road America gives large corporations proven financial peace of mind, long-standing business partnerships and a reputation for performance.

How do you distinguish your product offerings from your competitors? What makes you different?

Road America’s service portfolio includes a full range of comprehensive services, which clients can use to enhance the benefits provided by their company or to custom design a benefit offering or membership program that can be private-labeled to meet their company’s unique marketing or sales goals.

We represent the ideal fusion of organizational size, international strength and client-centric support. Road America is uniquely qualified to customize a program that will combine the needs of customers with the requirements of a program and ultimately deliver exceptional quality in speed of service; accuracy; reliability; and communication.

Road America delivers enhanced value to our corporate clients and their customers, highlighted by understanding and respecting everyone we serve. We have spent over 30 years identifying and designing the most comprehensive selection of quality vehicle-related assistance services, such as:

• Roadside Assistance Services
• Call Center and Customer Care Services
• Recall Assistance
• “Reunite” Service Programs
• Dealer Locator Services
• Specialty Automotive Assistance Services

We also offer many value-added products such as custom trip routing, trip interruption assistance, car theft reward, legal fee reimbursement, mechanical repair savings, rental car arrangements at disablement sites and discounts on car rental, hotels, major attractions and more.

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?

For more than 34 years, Road America has been building a respected reputation as one of the most reliable and responsive roadside and assistance providers in the United States. We specialize in servicing prestigious brands that trust us with their customers and, by extension, their corporate reputations. Through this firm foundation, and with their referrals, we have been able to expand our portfolio of business.

Our products and services are thus sold through a variety of sales channels that benefit our client partners, such as dealers/agents, bundled with services contracts, included in membership benefits programs, etc.

How important is technology to your business? Where could technology add even more efficiencies to your products and processes?

Service and efficiency improvements through technology and IT innovation have always been and remain a key corporate objective. More specifically we aim to continually create best-in-class technology platforms, enhance mobile technology, add more automation of our offered services and continue to develop new technologies that enhance, improve and add value to each customer experience.

Some examples of the technology Road America has developed to increase efficiency include our receive and dispatch application – RADIISNT – a Web-application that can interact with external applications and/or databases using standard web services for real-time exchange of data in XML format. We also produced our own registered mobile app Drive On, which is a device-independent wireless application that allows customers to make direct roadside assistance requests and receive text notifications with status updates; it is supported by all major platforms – iPhone, Blackberry and Android.

Another product that has added more efficiency to our processes is LocateMe. Developed with AT&T, LocateMe is a GPS technology solution for pinpointing breakdown locations in seconds, which was unique to the motor club industry. With a landline communication or wireless phone, Road America is able to pinpoint the customer’s precise coordinates to ensure that our service providers on scene arrive at the vehicle’s exact location.

We at Road America believe technology can add efficiency in every division of our product offerings and will always continue to strive to develop technologies to make such improvements possible.

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?

Roadside assistance, always in high demand, offers a value-added product. Our industry is therefore one from which most outside companies can benefit. Our products will continue to change and mold to their evolving environment. More specifically speaking, through constant technological advancements our product will become more efficient and cost-effective.

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Driven Solutions


Thomas Boughton, President

Can you give me a little bit of the history of your company and how it became involved in offering roadside assistance programs?

Driven Solutions has been providing automotive products & services for over 65 years. The company currently operates under two names: Dominion Automobile Association (DAA) in Canada, and in the United States as United States Auto Club, Motoring Division (USAC/MD). Driven is the only fully licensed auto club operational in all 50 U.S. states and Canada, including the U.S.Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Driven is one of the leading providers of emergency roadside assistance and recovery services in the North America. Now serving more than 5 million members, DAA has a 65-year story of financial stability, operational excellence and unrelenting focus on customer satisfaction. It pioneered many innovations such as roadside assistance tower background and drug testing, vendor-scoring models, digital dispatching, automated call back confirmation, internet reporting and invoicing, and direct deposit payments to service providers. Moreover, Driven is the only auto club and service supplier/ administrator in the to be certified by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) 9001:2000 along with PCI Certification in 2010.

How do you distinguish your product offerings from your competitors? What makes you different?

One, we are the only true North American Solution with both U.S. and Canadian auto clubs provided in English, Spanish and French.

Two, the quality of service from our total call ownership to the customized services such as vehicle reunites and branding capabilities on the service. Driven’s focus on operational excellence and unrelenting focus on customer satisfaction comes with our company-owned call centers. To our contracted and managed tow network, that is not flipped for $.05 for a hook rate for a tenured tower or service provider that delivers the end service. And we require and facilitate drug/alcohol and background checks on our service providers and towers.

Moreover, Driven is the only auto club and service supplier/administrator has been certified by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) 9001:2000 along with current Level 1 PCI Certification from 2010 to present.

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?

Our primary sales channel is through VSC/Warranty/Agents/Brokers in both the Auto and P&C Insurance verticals today.

How important is technology to your business? Where could technology add even more efficiencies to your products and processes?

We use every bit of the latest technology in our two 24×7 emergency roadside call center that leverages the latest mapping and geo locating technologies, to having three different iPhone applications in the market today. At the end of the day, we have learned it doesn’t replace a phone call from a live person saying, “has our towing provider arrived” because every second feels like an hour to someone on the side of the road in adverse weather or traffic conditions. The personal touch wins every time – no matter how much technology we add that touch point with the customer is key to managing the process.

Where do you see the most growth potential for roadside assistanceproducts in the future? What changes, if any, do you believe the product will see in the next 5-10 years?

The highest growth segments we believe will be with the new and used car growth trends coupled, with the changing automotive technology and P&C insurance industry.

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Auto Road Services Inc.


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.

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Allstate Roadside Services


April Eaton, Corporate Relations Manager

Please provide a little bit of the history of your company and how it became involved in offering roadside assistance programs.

Allstate was founded in 1931, as part of Sears, Roebuck & Co., and became a publicly traded company in 1993. At the time, the initial public offering of Allstate was the largest in U.S. history. On June 30, 1995, Allstate became a totally independent company.

Based in Northbrook, Ill., Allstate is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, serving approximately 16 million households. Allstate offers insurance products (auto, home, life and retirement) and services through Allstate agencies, independent agencies and Allstate exclusive financial representatives, as well as via www.allstate.com and 1-800 Allstate. Allstate is reinventing protection and retirement to help consumers protect what they have and better prepare for tomorrow.

In 2008, Allstate Roadside Services (ARS) emerged when Allstate acquired General Electric’s Partnership Marketing Group and integrated ARS with Allstate Motor Club, one of the nation’s top motor clubs with more than 50 years of roadside experience. Allstate now offers a suite of roadside services plans to suit a variety of coverage and payment needs. Services include:

· Allstate Motor Club, is a membership-based service that provides reliable, emergency road assistance, 24/7. Customers can select the plan and the price that works best for their needs.

· Good Hands Roadside Assistance is a new Allstate service that gives customers free access to Allstate’s 24/7 Roadside Network should your car break down for any reason. This service is available to anyone, not just Allstate customers and offers no annual fees. Instead, users of Good Hands Roadside Assistance pay only for the service they need when they need it – in most cases just $75 per tow and $50 per other service.

· Towing and Labor Coverage is a service that is typically available as part of an Allstate auto insurance policy. For a nominal fee, the coverage applies to each individual car when purchased with an Allstate auto policy.

Our network includes 12,000 certified service providers with over 50,000 roadside servicing vehicles, serving more than 22 million auto customers. Allstate wants every driver to be safe on the road, so drivers can be in Good Hands with one of our roadside assistance programs even if they’re not an Allstate policy holder.

How do you distinguish your product offerings from your competitors? What makes you different?

Allstate Roadside Services does not believe in ‘cookie cutter’ approaches to our roadside programs, whether we’re working with business-to-business relationships or developing a service based on customer needs. Allstate Roadside Services has more than 50 years of experience developing customized, branded roadside assistance programs for a wide variety of relationships. Those businesses include many auto original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) or dealers and rental car companies. Each roadside service is tailored to meet their unique requirements and, of course meet the needs of drivers who rely on roadside assistance should they find themselves stranded or broken down on the side of the road. Our customized solutions have proven their ability to enhance customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

At the core of each customized program is a genuine passion for roadside assistance and a business philosophy that embraces continuous change and drives innovation. Allstate Roadside Services’ Reinventing Roadside approach fosters standard-setting contributions to the industry with a constant and purposeful concentration of identifying new ways to reinvent the roadside experience.

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?

Within the Automotive Service Industry, Allstate Roadside Services is a leading company with scale that has been successful with business-to-business and direct-to-consumer services through a variety of channels. We manage more than 150 corporate relationships, representing millions of customers in industries such as auto clubs, automotive after market, auto OEM, car rental companies, insurance companies, banks, wireless services companies, membership associations and credit card issuers. Our program offerings are customized based upon the specific relationship requirements, while keeping in mind the emergency service drivers/customers need while on the road. There are many threats to a driver’s safety on the road – a flat tire, empty gas tank, engine break down. Allstate offers a suite of roadside service plans to ensure every driver is safe, whether they are an Allstate customer or not.

How important is technology to your business? Where could technology add even more efficiencies to your products and processes?

Advancing new technology to enhance the roadside experience has been the cornerstone of our Reinventing Roadside philosophy. Allstate Roadside Services has been a leader in offering new technology as part of roadside program servicing. We introduced Assistance-On-the-Go in 2009 with the release of the industry’s first auto OEM branded mobile application for roadside assistance. This program was created to capitalize on the rapid advancements of mobile technology and enthusiastic adoption of smart phones for the advantage of the companies we work with. Since then, and many application releases later, Allstate Roadside Services has established the roadside mobile app as a staple of a car owner’s experience.

Our smart phone apps enable users to request roadside assistance at the touch of a button. The application functions to identify the user and vehicle, to establish the caller’s location by GPS, and to triage the service event. After dispatch, the application confirms the service dispatch and estimated time of arrival. Aside from adding speed and efficiency to Call Center connectivity, our smart phone app capabilities can easily direct customers to authorized service centers, as well as offer value-adding benefits like concierge and/or emergency services. Our roadside assistance smart phone apps can also help improve service accuracy and speed, thus improving the customer experience and leading to increased levels of loyalty and program retention.

We are also looking at new and better ways to aid our service providers, such as mobile application dispatching tools that automatically upload to a device with the specific vehicle towing requirements, or unique servicing needs at the time of dispatch to assure the proper equipment and tools are immediately deployed. These are fully integrated with our dispatching system and are matched with Web-based tools to monitor and administer both individual and collective roadside assistance service event progress along with dashboards to track overall performance.

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?

We believe that the demand and need for roadside services will continue to be strong. Allstate Roadside Services’ approach is grounded in our belief that technology, innovation and a new approach to the customer experience will set the industry standard in the future.

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