Challenge: Prevent loss of member messages
Solution: Enable interaction via SMS messages
Result: More customers helped and savings for AAA
conversion rate from SMS to roadside assistance
For nearly 120 years, the AAA story has been one of both consistency and of change.
From its start in 1902, AAA (the American Automobile Association) has been committed to safety, security, and peace of mind for the motoring public. Emergency Roadside Assistance has become synonymous with AAA, and their ability to deliver that service reliably and on a timely basis has been fundamental.
What started with just nine motor clubs and less than 1,500 members now has more than 62 million members, at 30 motor clubs, and more than 1,000 branch offices across North America.
Challenge: Interacting with members the way they want
Just as the numbers have grown, so have the needs and expectations of members to have a AAA experience in their channels of choice. Innovations have brought road service capabilities via home virtual assistants, traditional online experience, and, most recently, chat capabilities. But in the mobile era, many members want to interact with AAA the way they interact with others: via mobile messaging. And AAA is adapting.
Here’s one example:
AAA discovered that members were frequently texting the 800-HELP (800-222-4357) number. But the number wasn’t configured to respond to SMS text, so all those messages were lost.
Solution: 2-way SMS with automatic responses
But not anymore. AAA worked with Sinch to organize a response to these messages. Together we text-enabled the number so that those thousands of attempted messages wouldn’t just vanish. We made sure that AAA could respond.
The results are notable.
Since mid-2020, the 800-HELP number has been text-enabled. Now, when a member texts, the response from AAA includes a web link that allows the user to create a request for roadside assistance without having to speak to an AAA agent.
Result: More customers helped – more money saved
The numbers show that both members and AAA are reaping the benefits.
By mid-2021, the monthly average of inbound text messages to the 800-HELP toll-free number was nearly 10,000. In addition, AAA saw almost 800 roadside assistance requests, meaning that the conversion rate from an inbound text to a service request was roughly 8%.
Beyond a better customer experience, this change also meant soft cost savings of over $30,000 for AAA.
“AAA responds to millions of road service events on an annual basis. While there will always be a need for a human agent to interact with the member, most of these calls can be handled via the digital channel. We continue to see strong member satisfaction scores and growth opportunity in this channel.” Jake Parks, Director, DRR Project Management, AAA.
And the changes will continue!
Now AAA plans to add an option for members who are waiting on hold to request an SMS text message with a link to request roadside assistance online versus waiting on hold. The association has also added the link to the back of the Digital AAA Membership card.
Consistency and change for the better remain a AAA hallmark.