SAN FRANCISCO—When pressed, many tire dealers and auto repair/maintenance shop owners would admit that while offering a courtesy shuttle/loaner car service is a necessity, it is one that can be disruptive and/or costly to a shop's operations.
Ride-hailing pioneer Uber Technologies Inc. recognized this a few years ago and began pitching its "Uber for Business" platform to car dealers across the country as a viable courtesy shuttle alternative.
Now the San Francisco-based company is targeting the automotive aftermarket service sector with a revised platform that it claims will speed up the process of coordinating courtesy rides for customers, especially for companies in the automotive space, while also potentially reducing costs and enhancing the customer experience.
"Customer satisfaction in the automotive sector can have a profound effect on a business' health," Neal Watterson, global head of guest products and general manager of Uber for Business, said.
"The ability to provide exceptional service and easy, efficient transportation—whether it's to or from a dealership or providing timely roadside assistance—is of increasing importance," he said, adding that the updates to the Uber Central/Uber Vouchers products will help business customers manage and distribute transportation benefits more efficiently.
Outsourcing a shuttle service can also provide other indirect benefits for the tire dealer/auto repair shop owner, Watterson said, in not having to have an employee (and vehicle) dedicated to the service and/or pulling a counterperson or auto tech off his or her job to perform the task.
The new features incorporated into the Uber Central and Uber Vouchers services—which make up a central part of the Uber for Business platfor—were developed based on user feedback, Watterson said, and are designed to enhance auto aftermarket companies' ability to elevate the customer experience and address transportation needs in real-time.