Differentiating and Understanding Roadside Assistance in Emerging Markets

Posted by Anup Sukumar and Nipun Sethi

The adoption pattern of Roadside Assistance (RSA) in emerging markets comprises two kinds of vehicle manufacturing companies:

  • The first type hasn’t yet initiated RSA as part of their solution offering
  • The other type has some form of RSA at various levels of maturity

The good news is that a previously lukewarm response to RSA is changing, with the market now open to adopting RSA. Today, almost every automotive company wants to offer an RSA solution. Why is this movement happening? When a vehicle breakdown happens the driver feels vulnerable and helpless. RSA is a great way to connect with these drivers—your end customers, at a crucial moment of need, to help create a strong, positive customer relationship.

Differentiating and Understanding Roadside Assistance in Emerging Markets

Importance of Empathy in RSA

“Be there for your customer at the right time”—that should be the mantra for automotive companies providing RSA.”

Empathy has an important role to play here. It’s not enough to just support the customer during a breakdown, you need to empathize with him or her. When a vehicle breakdown happens, the customer may be experiencing a range of emotions, from annoyance to fear. RSA provides an opportunity to connect with end customers during a trying and stressful situation, to establish a strong, positive customer relationship and brand affinity. Handling the situation with empathy and the right solution can make an enormously positive impact on customer perception about the product, the brand, and the business. And the more efficient and effective the RSA, the higher the brand loyalty.

RSA Benefits for Companies

An RSA 24-7 touchpoint helps companies close the loop on the entire activity of connecting customers with the nearest service center and in-house customer relationship management team. With a robust RSA solution, customers can be engaged in real time. Companies employing RSA can assess the performance of dealers and entire after sales service department. This allows the company to manage spare part inventory in real-time.

RSA enables an automotive company to increase productivity and overall business of breakdown support services, spare part sales, insurance products, annual maintenance contracts, and extended warranties. RSA can easily transition from cost center to profit center, for a company optimizing this service. Increase in CSAT will lead to stronger brand loyalty which will contribute to increased sales and also more brand advocacy.

Outsourcing RSA: The Benefits

Outsourcing can provide the best of people, process and technology that can help evolve to offer a Unified Customer Experience®. Effective contact center support improves traction and communication between the company and its customers, which allows the company to learn firsthand about the type and kind of problems customers face while using their products on a daily basis.

The core business of an automotive company is to produce vehicles and outsourcing customer relationship management can allow increased focus on innovation and R&D. Companies can also focus more on enhancing customer satisfaction and experience, rather than constantly being in an issue resolution mode. Today, CX evolution has resulted in transcending quality of service, to quality of experience. In-house management of customer service ensures quality of service, but the right BPO partner can support a shift to quality of experience. Outsourcing can also provide:

  • Financial and operational agility. Running a full-fledged contact center is labor intensive and capex driven. Maintaining such infrastructure can create an extra management burden. Outsourcing can alleviate all these problems.
  • Staffing flexibility. Outsourcing RSA can be a great advantage in getting easy access to skilled expertise in managing customer contact centers. Most companies rely on their dealerships to manage customer relations which may lead to accountability and governance issues, questionable data accuracy, reliability issues, and inconsistent CSAT. Outsourcing RSA can increase in-house efficiency. Outsourcing reduces the management bandwidth involved in running the contact center, and it can also help companies scale up or scale down  based on business needs.
  • Business analytics optimization. An RSA contact center collates and provides comprehensive reports on overall performance feedback about products and complaints. Management Information Systems (MIS) can provide business intelligence, breakdown analysis, CSAT survey reports and a host of other documentation and analytics that can help guide your business and deal better with changing market dynamics and competition. Outsourcing can reduce preparation time and effort involved in building a contact center.

Looking Ahead

RSA provides an opportunity to increase brand loyalty at a vulnerable point in the customer lifecycle. While voice support and the ability to connect with a “real person” will always have its place, new technology in the form of apps and messaging can help companies offer multiple touchpoints for contact with the end customer. Integrating all channels of engagement can provide a Unified Customer Experience® that facilitates an optimal customer experience, even during the most difficult times and critical moments of truth.

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