Towing in the Digital Era

It’s November, and this year I’ve watched more TikTok videos than I care to admit, air fried a ridiculous amount of french fries and seriously wishing I had purchased some Netflix stock to feed my habit. It’s fair to say I have a newfound respect for how technology has impacted every aspect of my daily life. If I’m being honest, I’ve also completely surrendered to the reality that, I, like millions of people, have access to almost everything I need right at my fingertips, my smartphone.

For centuries, we’ve watched and experienced one innovative idea after another usher in a new era. From candlestick to the lightbulb, telegram to telephone, horse and buggy to the Ford Model T – every facet of life has been greatly impacted by digital enhancements and the towing industry is right at the center of it all. 

So what’s stopping some tow business owners from hopping on the digital train?

Over the past several decades we’ve seen more remarkable advancements in technology than we could have ever expected. With companies like Towbook, Beacon, and HONK emerging as tech leaders within the industry, business owners are able to optimize operator routes, track, and dispatch operators faster. With technology like the HONK Partner app, they’re also able to receive lightning-fast payment as soon as each tow job is completed. All of these attributes contribute to higher customer rating scores and an increase to the bottom line.

Now more than ever customers are increasing their demand for a digital experience that gives them what they want with the touch of a fingertip. With this new era of technology, tow business owners can meet these new expectations. Simultaneously, these “leaders of the pack” in the towing industry have embraced this new way of operating their businesses for themselves and their customers. So how has technology for the average customer affected the towing industry? Enter the smartphone.

According to Pew Research, the amount of Americans with smartphones has increased from 35% in 2011 to 81% by 2020. Meaning, 81% of Americans likely expect expedient on-demand services that are conveniently available to them. 

With the use of a smartphone, customers have expectations of fast assistance with minimal communication that provide Uber and Amazon-like swift services. Top insurance companies have even transitioned to mobile apps to process touchless, digital claims. With the ability to file insurance claims digitally or download an app for roadside assistance, 34% of drivers on the road will request roadside assistance through their insurance carrier. This means a large portion of job volumes will likely be offered digitally.

As an industry that has too often fallen behind the technological curve, the question must be asked, what is keeping towing business owners and operators from joining the digital movement?

Are tow business owners too busy? Is there a lack of trust for the technology companies in towing? Or, could it be some owners simply don’t see the need to transform their business? These are some of the viewpoints I’ve heard from owners who hesitate to upgrade their methods and boost their businesses digitally. Additionally, there are misconceptions about how the technology works, who’s making decisions, and how those decisions affect their companies. 

On the latest episode of the Get Hooked podcast, we spoke with Steaven Rojas, Sr. Director of Product Management, and asked him how a tech company can benefit the average towing and roadside company. While there are many digital options available to elevate a business’s operations, it’s important to understand what type of digital upgrades your business needs and how to implement them. Steaven gave some great insight into how technology companies think and build products based on the needs of their clients. 

“In the world of towing, there are so many problems. There is arriving on time, there is providing a great service, there is communicating updates when things change on an active job and so we are looking at the entire spectrum of the world of towing and trying to find the biggest problems to solve. Our job is to observe and talk to service providers to identify what they need in order to become more efficient, and continue to grow their businesses. ” Steaven Rojas, HONK Technologies 

 

The HONK product team is continuously looking for ways to identify industry problems and then solve them using technology. We’ve seen how helpful this is with communications to and from our Partner network. The feedback we receive from owners and operators is integral to how swift and effectively we can provide innovative solutions for these problems not just for our Partner network, but for the entire industry.

The truth is that the world is becoming more and more digital. It is vital to the success of your business going forward that towing and roadside companies adapt to the changing times. Evaluate the areas of your business that can be improved digitally. Find opportunities that increase the efficiency of your business and you’ll see increases in satisfaction among your customers.  

To help you take the next step, here are two resources to help you get started. We’ve put together 5 Tips For Digital Transformation Success In The Towing Industry. Be sure to use this as a helpful guide in your transformation journey and check out the latest episode of the Get Hooked podcast – Towing In The Digital Era! This episode provides much more insight into technology in the towing industry, how it enhances business operations, customer service, and revenue to help businesses succeed. 

For more information and updates about HONK be sure to follow us at facebook.com/honk4help and on Instagram @honkforhelp. If you are interested in becoming a HONK Partner, visit www.joinhonk.com and sign up for free today!