June 17, 2016

The Disruption of Roadside Assistance

How Urgent.ly is making waves in roadside assistance

By: Ric Fleisher
Co-Founder, EVP Business Development @ Urgent.ly

An old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” There’s certainly some wisdom to be had there. But it’s the job of the world’s technology innovators to recognize when something’s broken before everyone else even notices. Urgent.ly was built on one central idea: that the antiquated, inefficient model of traditional roadside assistance is ripe for disruption.

Let’s take a look at the traditional roadside assistance experience. The consumer’s car breaks down. The consumer calls his or her insurance company seeking assistance. The insurance company contacts a towing company. The insurance company calls the consumer back to report that the driver is on his way. And the consumer waits, with hardly any information, for the driver to come to his or her aid. 

This model has no place in today’s on-demand culture. Consumers deserve a higher degree of control and provider visibility. With Urgent.ly, we’ve created a seamless service that allows users to instantly summon a tow truck—or other services, such as a dead battery jump or a flat tire fix—and pay a flat, one-time cost through the app.

We began constructing our model by speaking with major players in both the towing and automotive spaces. We found that the most notable friction point was the lack of visibility for the consumer upon request of service, missing the opportunity to give the consumer peace of mind. What happens in this scenario?  Multiple contacts with the call center.

The beauty of Urgent.ly is that we provide visibility through the entire service request and delivery. Users can watch help arrive in real time by tracking the driver as he arrives. In addition, cutting out all those middle steps of the traditional model streamlines the whole process, turning a negative experience into a seamless, positive encounter.

High-value consumers deserve a high-value experience, and let’s face it: a bad roadside experience will make a customer leave his or her insurance provider. With our exceptional service, we provide a strong customer retention incentive to insurance providers, and it’s easy to partner with us: we can provide an API or white-label our app for your needs.

Is the market ready for what we offer?  We are already integrated with a number of large brands as well as working behind the scenes with a host of major auto manufacturers on supporting their roadside assistance experience.  Just as important, our app is in the Top 2 apps for roadside assistance on both the App Store and the Google Play Store.  The market is ready.  It’s time to give them what they want.

Roadside assistance isn’t an everyday need—just an occasional source of hassle and headache. But we think the time-consuming, labor-intensive model of yesteryear has overstayed its welcome. By making roadside assistance transparent and automated, we hope to give customers a simpler, more pleasant service experience.   

Many individuals and local authorities have already jumped on the opportunity to remind users to drive safely. There are even signs popping up on highways to encourage safer driving.

Luckily, there are tools out there to help the tech-obsessed (or the poke-obsessed) improve their driving. One of our favorites is an app called TrueMotion Family! The app analyzes your driving in order to provide you with a score - and insights as to how you drive. It's perfect for parents who want to monitor their teen drivers. The app gives parents the power to see where their kids drive, and produces a 'report card' on their driving in addition to an assessment of whether they were driving distracted (using their cell phone). Plus, families have access to roadside assistance on-demand from right within the TrueMotion app.

I don’t remember Ash, Misty, or Brock driving cars in their quest to be the very best, like no one ever was. And there aren’t vehicles any in PokemonGO. At Urgent.ly, we love the game and just like you, we’re prepared to travel across the land searching far and wide to catch 'em all, but we encourage you to put safety first in your travels! Remember that the power of Pokemon is awesome in augmented reality but automobiles are a powerful tool meant for use in the real world and require optimum focus to operate safely. In a world we must defend, you can start by driving safely, and catch and train ‘em all when you’re not operating a vehicle.

To stay connected and receive the latest in great content from Urgent.ly, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and check our blog for all things driving and roadside assistance!

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