Automobile Club Cuts Service Delivery Costs and Boosts Customer Satisfaction with Virtual Call Agent ‘Express Service’

Customer: Automobile Club

Industry: Transportation

 

The Automobile Club is a member-driven business offering roadside assistance, travel services, and insurance services. Providing customer service every minute of every day poses a number of difficult challenges. VPI VirtualSource’s intelligent interactive voice response (IVR) agent with a built-in “brain” that features conversational natural language capabilities met these challenges. The VPI VirtualSource system costs a fraction of the price for the formerly used outsourced agents, saving the Automobile Club 60-80% per call while performing more effective call resolution.

Business Profile

The Automobile Club is a member-driven business offering roadside assistance, travel services, and insurance services. Its roadside service is available to passenger vehicles 24 hours a day, 365 days a year; and includes flat tire repair, battery boosts, emergency fuel or water, lockout services, and towing.

Challenge

Providing customer service every minute of every day poses a number of difficult challenges. For instance, one of the biggest is avoiding long call queues for members in need of service during busy peak hours. Because members for some time had been asking for a quicker way to receive assistance, the auto club originally tried supplementing

its in-house live agents with an outsourced call center. However, because call performance was poor, the system service level unreliable, and the costs higher than expected, that approach was terminated.

Solution

When the Automobile Club recognized that it needed a different technological approach, the company was intrigued by VPI VirtualSource’s offer of an intelligent interactive voice response (IVR) agent with a built-in “brain” that features conversational natural language capabilities.

The company’s VirtualSource Agents provide peak and after hours answering capabilities by fully automating all calls. The VirtualSource Agents answer calls immediately, eliminating queues and providing auto club members quicker, more efficient service. Better yet, the whole service process occurs without any live agent intervention, as the system interacts directly with a Campana Axis digital dispatch system that sends a message to the tow truck driver nearest the member’s location. Campana provides an integrated suite of software and service solutions to over 20 auto clubs across North America.

The Automobile Club devised a three-phase rollout plan. In the first phase, VPI VirtualSource Agents took calls from members who needed service at their home addresses in the city of Regina. While the VirtualSource Agents handled the simpler, more common calls, the in-house agents handled the more urgent and complex priority calls involving emergencies, calls which require the assistance of live agents. In fact, live agents working at the auto club provided valuable input on how to structure calls and welcomed it as an enhancement to the Call Center.

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Significant Benefits

Kevin Lane, the Vice President of Automotive Services at the Automobile Club, sums up the results: “With our new VPI VirtualSource service, digital agents are always available to take calls, even on “code red” days. No more waiting on the phone! What better way to boost member satisfaction?”

The VPI VirtualSource system costs a fraction of the price for the formerly used outsourced agents, saving the Automobile Club 60-80% per call while performing more effective call resolution.

VirtualSource Agents are fast and efficient, completing service calls in less than half the time it takes outsourced call agents. In about a minute, VirtualSource Agents verify that the member is in a safe location; confirm the member’s number and name; identify the problem prompting the call; confirm the member is at home; identify the vehicle’s location; verify the contact phone number and the vehicle being serviced; and confirm that the member has his membership card and driver license.

Benefits for the Automobile Club Roadside Service:

Reduced costs of call service by 60-80%
Reduced agent call time by 60% (75 seconds vs. outsourced live agent 3 minutes)
Expected to handle 60% of calls when fully implemented
Earned customer satisfaction average rating of 4.3 out of 5.0
System easily accommodates adjustments improving performance