Agero boosts customer satisfaction by offering Lyft rides
INDUSTRY | AUTOMOTIVE
Agero, a market leader providing driver assistance services, wanted to reduce disruptions for customers who found themselves roadside without a vehicle and transportation options.
By offering access to Lyft rides, Agero was able to help those who needed roadside assistance while also increasing brand affinity, customer satisfaction, and ease.
- A digital-first strategy offered access to on-demand rides for customers who need roadside assistance
- 25,000 ride vouchers provided each month to customers who need it
- NPS score increased by 2 points, reflecting increased customer satisfaction and loyalty
Every year, Agero helps millions of people who need roadside assistance—and need it ASAP. Through its industry-first partnership with Lyft, Agero provides access to on-demand rides, so stranded drivers can get where they’re going with no delay.
Founded in 1972, Agero is leading efforts to digitize driver assistance services on a massive scale. Through its unique combination of technological savvy and good old human helpers, Agero helps protect over 115 million drivers across the US and has earned numerous industry awards for its work, including the Business Intelligence Group’s 2021 Innovation Award for Product (Alternative Transportation) and 2021 Excellence in Customer Service Award; Frost & Sullivan’s 2020 Global Customer Value Leadership Award; and CIO’s 2021 CIO 100 Award.
Car trouble happens. To the best of us. Often without warning.
Historically, providers of roadside assistance would send out only a tow truck to help. This was great for the car, which would get taken to a repair shop, but not necessarily for the driver, who would have to figure out how to get where they needed to go. The onset of COVID-19 didn’t make any of this easier.
“Some car manufacturers may provide a loaner to the customer,” notes Swathi Shenoy, a senior product manager at Agero. “But it's not part of the standard warranty.” And loaners can be hard to access, with long wait times before they’re available for pickup. Likewise, friends and family might help out with rides, but that’s not a satisfactory solution for drivers who’ve experienced a mishap and need to catch a flight, get to a big meeting, or are far away from home.
“I think if you rewind the clock three, four years ago, we realized there's a customer facing a problem here,” says Chris Small, vice president of product at Agero. “If you put yourself in the customer’s shoes on the side of a highway, that customer is likely in an anxious, emotional state.”
It was clear that a new service was needed to provide better, more substantive help.
“By offering Lyft rides, Agero is not only taking care of vehicles. They’re taking care of you.”
— Chris Small
Vice President of Product, Agero
Agero saw a chance to better serve their clientele—and also boost their own bottom line. That is, if they could offer reliable transportation when drivers most needed it (i.e., when stranded on the side of the highway or stuck in a parking lot), then Agero could effectively pull off a business trifecta: Provide a crucial service on behalf of their clients and prove those clients dependable to their consumers (and, thereby, driving brand loyalty), and offer new capabilities to their clients.
“We want to be the technology company that brings a heightened level of retention, repurchase, and brand loyalty across the end-to-end driver lifecycle,” says Small. “And a lot of that is about not having blinders on when it comes to our customers’ needs.”
“Nobody is expecting to walk out to their driveway and find a flat tire. But if they do, they still need to get to work,” adds Eliahu Sussman, a product marketing manager at Agero. “By partnering with Lyft, we found a way to minimize the disruption of these events.”
Sussman notes that this partnership is also about scale. “We service over twelve million customers every year. That’s thousands and thousands of people a day,” he says. “The more we can simplify and automate the process, the more consistent”—that is, the better—“it’s going to be for our customers.”
In 2019, Agero began offering access to complimentary or deeply discounted Lyft rides to customers when their cars broke down. In situations like these, getting help easily, particularly a ride to where customers need to go, can be especially crucial. Agero looked to Lyft because the rideshare platform had, again and again, demonstrated its ability to provide reliable transportation when people need it most. Additionally Lyft was able to integrate with the Agero platform to eliminate the added stress customers face in having to organize—and pay for—their own ride.
“While the vehicle needs to be taken care of, we want to focus on what we can do to elevate and salvage the bad day that the customer is having. We want to take care of them, too,” says Small. “And Lyft is a perfect synergy. We have really been able to offer a surprise and delight moment.”
Agero customers can get a Lyft ride in several ways. It all starts with reaching out to an Agero agent, who will help them set up the ride. If Agero detects that the customer is using a smartphone, their software provides the option to receive help through the Lyft app. No Lyft app? No problem. With Lyft Concierge, Agero can send a ride directly to a customer's location, or send a text message that enables them to schedule a ride for later.
Likewise, through Lyft Pass, Agero can add ride credit to the accounts of customers who already use Lyft, so they can manage their own rides. “Someone can receive a Lyft voucher to use within 24 hours,” explains Sussman. “You get a ride when it’s convenient for you.”
Agero currently offers about 25,000 Lyft vouchers each month to customers who need roadside assistance. NPS scores for these customers—a measure of client satisfaction and loyalty—are up 1-2 points, making it clear that Lyft is helping Agero deliver on its promise of premier roadside service. Moving forward, Agero plans to expand its program with Lyft.
“At the end of the day Lyft helps fill a gap in the customer experience,” says Sussman. “And that's really important for us.”
Lyft’s nationwide transportation coverage allows Agero to service its large customer base, while working with a single partner.
“When we deal with Lyft, we have one partner that services all the ZIP codes in the US. It provides us with scale to meet the needs of our business.”
—Swathi Shenoy, senior product manager
In the digital age, roadside assistance needs to be as tech savvy as the customers who rely on it. Lyft’s ability to integrate with Agero’s existing platform means that Agero customers don’t need to download any new apps or learn any new processes, while the help they get is improved.
“We've transformed our business to be digital-first. It makes perfect sense for us to be partnering with a company that provides a really clean digital user experience as well.”
—Eliahu Sussman, product marketing manager
Soothed pain points
When a car breaks down, tensions rise. But Lyft rides allow Agero to restore control to drivers by providing them with on-demand transportation.
“At the end of the day, Lyft helps fill a gap in the customer experience when a car breaks down. It’s really important for Agero to prioritize the client’s needs.”
—Swathi Shenoy, senior product manager
Loyal, satisfied customers
Pilot data showed a 1-2 point increase in Agero’s NPS score since it began offering access to roadside transportation through Lyft.
“Just offering the Lyft ride has a positive impact on customer perception, even if they end up declining the ride.”
—Swathi Shenoy, senior product manager
Agero credits Lyft for adding ease and efficiency to the customer roadside assistance process. As Agero continues to grow its partnership with Lyft, it hopes to continue refining the digital consumer experience.
“It’s about maximizing usage and customer satisfaction by leveraging one seamless app integration,” says Small.
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