Leete Tire & Auto Center is a long-standing, highly trusted, and highest rated auto repair and tire service business in the central Virginia area. Their six NAPA Auto Care Centers are also TIA-certified tire dealerships and AAA Roadside Assistance service providers. Leete Tire & Auto Center has been in operation since 1942, and continues to thrive under the leadership of Owner and President Jerry Tatum who assumed ownership in 1976. Leete Tire & Auto Center attributes its decades of success to a powerful combination: building lasting customer relationships while providing the highest quality workmanship on each and every car, truck, or fleet repair. One of the methods that Leete Tire & Auto Center uses to maintain and fortify customer relationships is Otis Advanced Online Chat developed by Openbay.
Building Long-Term Customer Relationships
Today, Leete Tire & Auto Center is a family operation, with son Wes Tatum and daughter Lea Tatum Rowsey working alongside their father. Wes, Vice President, explains how their multi-generational team operates, “My father relies on my sister and me to be the voice of the next generation. He learned early on the importance of staying open to change to keep growing.”
According to Wes, one way Leete Tire & Auto Center stays ahead of the competition is by extending the concept of family to include their customers and staff. “People are what makes us different,” explains Wes. “We believe in building long term relationships with our customers, and with our own team.” Most of all, for Wes and his family, the secret to maintaining long-term relationships is trust, “When you build trust, your customers will keep coming back, and bring in others too.”
Using Advanced Online Chat for A-plus Customer Experience
Wes oversees technology for Leete Tire & Auto Center, starting his career with the launch of their business website in the early 2000s. He is always looking for ways to use the latest technology to meet today’s customer needs and deliver the superior customer experience Leete Tire & Auto Center is known for. Wes knows his customers well. “Our customers are digital-first. They want what they want when they want it. They have high expectations and they count on us to deliver every time.”
Data supports Wes’ customer expertise: research from Salesforce shows that 76% of consumers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations.
Leete Tire & Auto Center’s success brings an operational challenge – a constant flow of consumer inquiries that strain staff capacity. Wes points out that “the team is constantly inundated with calls and we can’t get to customers fast enough.” He sought out a technology solution that could deliver the highest quality online customer experience and help reduce the team’s workload constraints. Wes was clear on what he was looking for, “We want to provide an A-plus experience for all of our customers, and this includes website visitors. We needed an online solution to give the high quality, personalized service experience our customers expect from Leete, while taking the pressure off our team. Openbay Otis makes this possible.”
Giving Customers a Convenient Way to Connect WIth Advanced Online Chat – 24/7
Wes’s research and automotive service industry ties led him to Openbay Otis. Openbay Otis is an advanced online chat and messaging platform designed specifically for the automotive service industry. Otis installs on a business website and appears like a button, but jumps into action to gain the attention of the website visitor – offering to quickly help answer questions and deliver the information they are seeking in a chat-like format. It operates 24/7. It performs tasks such as appointment setting, delivers service estimates, and responds to questions about the business. Otis, powered by AI (artificial intelligence), supports single-location businesses in addition to service centers having multiple locations. And, Otis includes a tire catalog, able to retrieve tire pricing and availability information, and book installation service appointments. All within chat, in real-time.
Otis’ ability to meet the expectations of his digital-first consumers and support the Leete Tire & Auto Center team appealed to Wes. Wes installed Openbay Otis on the Leete Tire & Auto Center website and saw immediate results. “With Otis, it’s easier to make that customer connection. Our customers can work with us even if it’s 1 a.m. Otis’ intelligence allows Leete Tire & Auto to give a website visitor an instant, personalized response and lets the customer take the action they want. And, our team does not have to call them back in the morning when they might be sleeping. It’s a lot more convenient for the customer and it helps our team.”
Growing Service Appointments and Loyalty with Openbay Otis
Otis is delivering success for Leete Tire & Auto Center. Wes shares that since installation, “Half or more of our online appointments are now scheduled through Otis.” In addition to growing car count, Wes values Otis’ ability to deliver the trust that consumers expect when they service their car, truck or fleet with Leete Tire & Auto Center. “When a customer can hold a two-way conversation with us online, it shows Leete Tire & Auto Center is honest and trustworthy,” concludes Wes.
Wes offers advice to other automotive service business leaders who are considering advanced online chat to improve their customer service experience and grow service revenue. “It’s important to keep up with your customers and stay forward-thinking about customer service and engagement. I’ve been very impressed with Otis. You should absolutely try it.”
(Photo Credit: Leete Tire & Auto Center)