Hogan Tire & Auto Service is a third-generation family-owned tire and auto service business in the greater Boston area. Founder Thomas E. Hogan started the company in 1915 when the automotive service industry was just beginning. Hogan Tire & Auto Service has been in continuous operation for over a century through a winning formula of superior tire and automotive repair combined with customer service excellence. Innovation has played a key part in Hogan Tire’s lasting success. What began as a special skill to provide high-quality automotive service to the nation’s first automobile owners has, over the decades, transformed into an ability to adapt to meet the automotive service needs of each generation.
Today Hogan Tire is a successful eight location operation led by owners – and brothers – Ed, Tom, and Bill Hogan. Ed and his brothers proudly continue the tradition started by their grandfather. They ensure Hogan Tire provides each customer with a personalized service experience backed by the latest technical expertise, equipment and training. To do this, they follow the example set by their father and grandfather: “Never be afraid to try something new to meet the needs of our customers.”
Priority Business Need: An Online Upgrade
Recently, Ed and the Hogan Tire team started a project to improve their online business. Ed explains, “At Hogan Tire we’re always trying to upgrade how we do business. We know our customers are online more than ever. This is especially true as the Millennial generation has grown, and even more so since COVID.” Data supports Ed’s point. According to census.gov, the US consumer spent 36.7% more online in Q3 2020 vs Q3 2019. There are more digital consumers than ever before.
Their first step to updating the Hogan Tire online business was to add TireConnect. Once in place, Ed sought out a software solution that integrated with TireConnect to give his customers the modern service experience they expect. “Once TireConnect launched, we discovered we needed to take the Hogan Tire digital service experience to the next level. Online forms were not measuring up,” shares Ed.
Ed’s research led him to Openbay Otis, the 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. Otis is available to quickly 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. Additionally, Otis includes a tire catalog, able to retrieve tire pricing and availability information, and book installation service appointments. All within chat, in real-time.
Creating A Personalized Service Experience Using Advanced Online Chat
Ed installed Openbay Otis on the Hogan Tire & Auto Service website that is powered by NetDriven. For Ed, Otis helps Hogan Tire meet the needs of today’s digital consumers.“Otis makes it possible for us to deliver a personalized online service experience through conversations. With Otis, a new or returning customer can go online, engage in an intelligent two-way chat, receive a custom estimate, and book the appointment – all on the spot, 24/7.”
In addition, Ed found Otis ability to integrate with Hogan Tire’s other software solutions leads to better end-to-end experience for digital consumers. “Otis synchronizes with our other systems to create a connected online customer experience. When a consumer engages with Otis, the information is sent automatically in our POS system and to MyShopManager which automatically issues an appointment reminder. This lets us give our customers seamless service that is instant and tailored to their specifications.”
Ed adds that Otis’ ability to work with TireConnect and MyShopManager helps the Hogan Tire team operate efficiently. “Everything is tied together without human involvement. The process operates automatically, and our team can access the information and connect with a customer whenever we want to.”
Growing Service Bookings Through Openbay Otis
Otis is delivering results for Hogan Tire. “We see a big impact from Otis,” says Ed. “Appointments booked online have more than doubled with Otis in place because Otis makes scheduling easier than ever for our customers. Using Otis, our online customers can take action on their own schedule at any time, pick the time that works best for them, and get an instant confirmation.”
Ed expands on Otis’ positive business impact. ”Otis helps us provide even better customer service because it creates an online experience that new and returning customers are familiar with. Plus, the fact that a customer can pick the time that works for them and then get a confirmation quickly gives them the confidence in doing business with us. And, finally, Otis captures customer information in advance to help our team prepare for a more personalized in-person service visit.”
Hogan Tire clients also give Otis high ratings, states Ed. “Customers truly value the customer service experience Otis offers. For example, we just received a 5-star customer review on our website because Otis made scheduling ‘accommodating’ for them.”
Positioning Hogan Tire For Success With Digital Consumers
Ed offers advice to other automotive tire and service business leaders who are evaluating solutions to accelerate their digital growth. “Otis is truly unique. Otis advanced online chat is the only tool that engages website visitors in personalized conversations. And it delivers custom automotive service quotes and schedules service appointments instantly and automatically. In fact, Otis is so valuable we consider it an additional online salesperson that can assist the customer for us, 24/7, automatically. Otis is always closing for us.”
Ed shares his final thoughts on the benefits Otis brings to Hogan Tire: “We’ve been in business for over 100 years because we keep changing with the times. Adopting innovative Openbay Otis positions our business for success with today’s consumers. Otis is worth the look to see what it can do for your business.”
Want to learn more about advanced online chat? This article from Openbay founder and CEO Rob Infantino explains the benefits of the latest chat technologies. Or, listen to Rob discuss online chat platforms with Tire Review Managing Editor Madeline Winer.