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Sophisticated service -- Snider Tire’s high-tech road service system captures ‘lost’ business

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Emergency road service work is a critical part of Snider Tire Inc.’s business. The dealership runs up to 200 road service trucks around the clock and uses a sophisticated, closed-circle system to track the number and duration of service calls, service truck and customer vehicle positioning, miles driven to destination, and other factors that when glossed over, can contribute to lost time, manpower and revenue.

Just as importantly, the system tracks service requests that technicians did not respond to, notes John Snider.

Years ago, he says, “a customer we wanted to do business with might call us at two in the morning,” but a service technician would not be dispatched to him “for whatever reason. We had no idea this was taking place! We decided that if we were going to be in the road service business, we would have to do it well, so we started to develop our service program.” 

Today, Snider Tire’s emergency road service program includes:

• A professional call center that fields after-hours calls. Phone attendants, operating under the Snider Tire name, collect customers’ information and then dispatch technicians to their downed vehicles. Each call is digitally recorded. Audio files can be e-mailed to customers if post-service disputes arise.

• Global positioning systems in all service trucks. “We can track where the truck went and when it was on the job site. We can triangulate back to exactly what happened. It keeps our customers accountable and it keeps our people accountable.”

• Special “night inventories” specifically set aside for service technicians. Stock is replenished every day.

• Morning follow-up reports. “Each morning, I get an e-mail that lists not only the calls we serviced, but any that we may have turned down.”

“The after-hours service arena is an imperfect world,” says Snider. “You might have a customer who doesn’t know where he is, you might have someone taking a call who jots down the wrong tire size, or a service technician might hear something wrong. There’s a lot going on at two in the morning.

“Our system puts accountability on everybody, which is what you need. And it has allowed us to make contact with people we maybe were not doing business with previously.”

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