The Disruption of Roadside Assistance

March 15, 2016

How Urgent.ly is making waves in roadside assistance

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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.