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We are living in unprecedented times that have brought unprecedented challenges for consumers and businesses alike. The insurance industry, in particular, has been disrupted by COVID-19 in profound ways. Insurance carriers are reeling from the moves they have to make to mitigate loss and churn, accelerate digital transformation and automation efforts, improve safety, and generally reconsider operations. Fleet management companies are doing their best to keep their costs low at this time and need to look for ways to unlock greater productivity by keeping vehicles up and running at all times. 

Realign Toward Efficiency, Value & Growth

Now is the time for these businesses to act proactively: to empower economic recovery; innovate and reimagine business models and services; and to serve policyholders whose needs appear to be rapidly changing; and ultimately realign their business toward efficiency, value, and growth.

As a digital transformation partner, HONK assists in turning roadside assistance programs into key brand builders for customer loyalty and retention. While delivering exceptional omnichannel customer experiences, HONK’s level of service fosters additional elements of value, resulting in happier customers. Happier customers typically stay longer, purchase more products, and provide more referrals. HONK’s technology allows carriers to modernize their roadside assistance claims process.

Be There, When Your Customers Need YOU

Towing and roadside assistance services are one of the highest volume claims for top insurance carriers. A roadside breakdown is considered a “moment of truth” for customers, if carriers fail to meet customer expectations during this key touchpoint, they could lose customers. HONK manages roadside assistance programs for top insurance carriers, fleet management companies, auto OEMs, and mobility service businesses, most discover a plethora of benefits and opportunities after switching to HONK. From NPS ratings in the 90s to double-digit increases in customer retention and fewer customer complaints, making the HONK experience a key differentiator for their business. 

While traditional roadside assistance models create service provider territories, the HONK approach is different. Instead of removing competition-based performance incentives from the providers’ network, HONKs revolutionary on-demand roadside marketplace removes contractually guaranteed territory business for service providers. This enables HONK to dispatch the best positioned and highest performing service providers within minutes for your customers nationwide. From a carefully curated network of over 75,000 available service professionals, your customers benefit from fast arrival times. Most HONK service providers arrive within 15-30 minutes.

Let Your Customers Decide How They Request Roadside Assistance

HONK also makes access to your roadside program easier than ever before. Your customers can decide how they want to request service depending on their preferences. Customers choose to request service either digitally from your insurance app and website or by simply calling to utilize the virtual voice assistance or to speak with a live agent. 

HONKs unique technology doesn’t stop after dispatch.  Each roadside service requested is tracked in real-time with learning algorithms engaging with the system triggered human touchpoints. AI-powered customer digital communications are utilized to ensure the customer is kept safe and informed every step of the way. 

It’s Your Program, It’s Your Data – Powered by HONK 

Additionally, HONK seamlessly integrates with existing legacy systems to get clients up and running within a few weeks not months. HONK clients rely on our powerful reporting tools equipped with full transparency into real-time performance analytics, all customer service requests, customer service request ratings, and more to manage their touchless roadside assistance claims. 

Are you ready to modernize your roadside assistance program?

Industry leaders are switching to HONK for:

  • Proximity-based dispatch for faster response times
  • Higher customer satisfaction and NPS ratings, over 90+
  • Real-time service provider tracking of the largest GPS-enabled network for end-to-end visibility
  • Omnichannel support options to allow the policyholder to choose their preferred support method (voice, web, mobile)
  • Enhanced US-based contact center, with 90% of calls answered in 12 seconds
  • Full data transparency into each service and performance in real-time
  • Seamless integration possibilities with existing legacy systems

HONK is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA with operations throughout North America.

Transform your roadside assistance digital claims process with HONK. To learn more or request a demo, visit our Industry Solutions page

How insurers, fleets, and OEMs can transition their roadside assistance programs from underperforming loss-leaders to brand building retention and loyalty engines. As the legendary lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest) once said about his amplifier in the iconic movie ‘This is Spinal Tap’: “What we do, is if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do? We put it up to eleven – one louder.” 

Christopher Guest as Nigel Tufnel in the movie Spinal Tap

As entrepreneurs that came of age during the era of elite customer-experience-giants like Zappos, Southwest, and Nordstrom, we set out to take that customer-centric philosophy to a towing and roadside assistance industry that had rarely – if ever – made the customer its top priority.

Why was it that customers demanded and deserved a terrific experience when shopping for shoes, clothing or flying to the next state, but were vulnerably left to wait sometimes hours on the side of the road when in need of roadside assistance? By never implementing any serious background check programs, how did this industry’s incumbents not make the safety and security of its customers its top priority for so many decades (present-day included)? And how could this industry expect to squeeze every last penny of margin out of the towing and roadside professionals (true American heroes) and then demand they provide a great customer experience?

It was all a terrible recipe that damaged the industry’s reputation and prompted us at HONK to use technology and operational innovation to do everything differently – and better. We wanted to turn it up to eleven and sustain (nod to the guitarists out there). Here’s how we did it. 

Create an Unexpectedly Great Customer Experience

Exceptional customer experience is not a nice-to-have for insurers, fleets and OEMs – it’s a must-have that equates to (huge) dollars and cents generated from increased retention and loyalty. At HONK we utilize NPS as our north star to ensure that everything we do increases the brand affinity of our client’s roadside assistance programs. 

The keys to creating a world-class experience (excluding the service provider performance) are user-friendly technology, speed of service, and solid communication. At HONK we’ve built an omnichannel engagement platform that allows customers to utilize technology at their own level of comfort. Customers can interact with HONK entirely by telephone, completely through a digital channel or some hybrid of the two.

If you’re not already, then it’s important to think about ‘total experience times’ rather than simply ‘ETAs’. From the customer’s perspective, they care about every moment that passes from the time they make their situation known to the time they are safely at their destination. At HONK, we utilize innovation groups to optimize every second of the customer journey and iterate quickly to lower total experience times.

Lastly, it’s so crucial to communicate effectively with customers at every step of the process. Gone should be the days where customers are left ‘in the dark’ about the status of their service. At HONK, we rely on extensive GPS tracking technology coupled with AI as our front-line communication engine to ensure that customers are always aware of their service status. And where tech might be unable to empathize appropriately, we augment our technology with a human workforce that can close communication loops where necessary. 

Ensure Customer Safety

While it would seem to go without saying (trust me, it doesn’t in this industry), there is nothing more important than ensuring your customers are being serviced by safe, professional and background-checked operators. For decades, industry incumbents believed they could simply background check the owner of a towing company and that would ensure the actual tow operator they sent out would be safe. Hardly! It’s imperative that all drivers go through a rigorous safety screening process, and at HONK, we put our money where our mouth is by paying for a background check for any operator wishing to be a part of our network. 

Going a step further, it’s essential to implement continuous improvement methodology into your service provider quality assessment. By doing so, you reward your best-performing operators who consistently elevate the customer experience. At HONK, we use machine learning and algorithms that use hundreds of data points accumulated through previous services (customer rating, punctuality, adherence to policy, etc.) to assess which service provider will be dispatched on any given job. 

Treat your Service Providers Like You Do Your Customers

While customer safety is a must and an optimized customer experience is essential for a high performing program, perhaps nothing is more important than treating your service provider network with respect. They put their lives on the line every single day and after all, it is they who will have the most significant impact on your customer’s satisfaction with your roadside assistance program. 

First, it’s imperative that providers are paid a fair rate for their services. Second, they deserve to be paid immediately upon completion of service. And finally, it’s important to simplify their lives (both dispatchers and operators) to every extent possible. At HONK, we’ve built digital tools within our Dispatcher/Operator app to do everything from additional requests, to GOA requests, to cancellations and service detail changes. Making theirs lives easier makes everyone’s lives easier.

Turning Your Roadside Assistance Program Into A Key Brand Builder

It is widely understood that towing and roadside assistance incidents are oftentimes the most frequent touchpoints that insurers, fleets, and OEMs have with their customers. And yet for decades, companies simply tolerated an inferior customer service experience and found themselves in the costly cycle of customer attrition and customer acquisition. But over the last six years, this new approach to customer experience – coupled with innovative companies who presciently saw the retention opportunity that it presented – has garnered NPS scores in the 80s and 90s, total experience times of 30 minutes or less, complaint percentages at a fraction of a percent and an ability to excel during turbulent times like those we face today.

When Tufnel was asked by the documentarian: “Why don’t you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number?”, Tufnel paused a few moments and simply said: “These go to eleven”. Even if the towing and roadside industry were at ten today (which it most definitely is not), it wouldn’t be enough. 

There is too much at stake for insurers, fleets and OEMs not to demand an amazing customer experience at this most vulnerable and frequent customer touchpoint. Find a way to get it to eleven – sustain – and let your brand be the rockstar.

To learn how HONK can turn your roadside assistance program into a key brand builder, visit our Industry Solutions page.

Tow truck professionals join HONK to innovate faster and move their businesses into the digital age

The global towing and roadside assistance industry is expected to reach $29 billion by 2026*. With strong growth anticipated in this market, tow professionals are facing numerous economic and business challenges that have and will continue to affect their level of profitability. This includes finding partners that empower a more efficient workflow to keep operational costs down and set their businesses up for the exponential growth driven by the increased demand for digital roadside solutions.

The global towing and roadside assistance market continues to undergo a technological transformation. Today digitally connected motorists expect immediate, responsive roadside assistance services, available in just a few clicks directly from their smartphones and mobile apps that mirror the memorable, efficient and reliable digital customer experiences similar to their favorite brands – like Amazon, Zappos, Netflix, Postmates and Uber.  

Is your towing and roadside business up to speed with the latest tech advancements in the industry?

Self-driving cars. Connected vehicles. On-demand car ownership. Mobility services. Touchless insurance claims. Next-generation roadside assistance.

Everything we know about transportation is changing. If you’re interested in learning more about automotive tech trends that will change consumers’ lives and how they interact and engage with insurance carriers in the future, we encourage you to subscribe to Don’s Drive-Inpodcasts. As fans of the show, we are excited to be featured on this month’s episode.

The global vehicle roadside assistance market is currently undergoing a transformation. With an estimated market value expected to reach $29 billion by 2026*, today’s digitally connected motorists expect more than ever before. They expect immediate, responsive roadside assistance service, available in just a few clicks directly from their smartphones. They want memorable customer experiences similar to those like Amazon and Uber, ones that are efficient, reliable, and personalized. HONK is delivering on that request. 

HONK Technologies, the platform for connecting drivers, towing professionals and insurers, today announces that Rochelle Thielen, an automotive industry expert with over fifteen years of experience in the Auto Physical Damage (APD) and Insurtech space has been named to the newly created role of Executive Vice President, Partnerships, leading the development of partnerships throughout the roadside assistance tech ecosystem. Formerly HONK’s Vice President of Marketplace Operations, Rochelle will be driving strategic growth opportunities aimed at accelerating HONK’s mission to radically improve, through relentless platform technology advancements, the way people in need of roadside assistance and mobility services connect with service providers and insurance carriers.