AAA automates road service scheduling

AAA has deployed digital appointment scheduling for members of its roadside assistance service. Increased adoption of digital channels says it might be AAA’s best fix yet.

The ripple effects the COVID-19 pandemic won’t be fully understood for years if ever, but the boost in digital channel consumption in most sectors has been edifying. With contactless service in high demand, every business is taking the “tap here for X” approach popularized by the sharing economy. You can now add appointments to the list.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) is piloting software to dispatch the optimal roadside assistance associate to the right member at the right time, which is critical for an organization that fields 32 million service calls annually nationwide. The software offers more agency to members, many of whom have grown averse to calling service lines only to be kept on hold, while helping AAA better allocate resources. Such “self-service frees my capacity,” while offering convenience to the member, says Shohreh Abedi, AAA’s executive vice president and chief operations technology officer.

This isn’t a trivial consideration at a time when consumers are growing weary of analog transactions and COVID-19 has obliterated most of the hesitancy around adopting digital channels, as senior technology leaders at Bank of America, Signet Jewelers, and other organizations have noted.

Indeed, the number of service events from AAA members requesting help from home, largely to address battery issues as vehicles sat idle longer than usual, surged to more than 50% from 35%, Abedi says. Yet less than 5% of calls are set up as an appointment. The opportunity for self-service is promising — if only more members would seize it.

An app for appointments only

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