For more than seventy-five years, family-owned and operated Harrell’s Tire & Auto Service has been the most trusted name in auto repair in the Fayetteville, NC area. Generations of vehicle owners have turned to the proud NAPA AutoCare business for their tire and automotive service needs. It all started in 1945 when Luther Harrell started the company upon his return from World War II. Since then, Harrell’s Tire & Auto Service has built a loyal following because of a long-standing dedication to caring for clients with the highest quality automotive service and integrity every time.
Today, Harrell’s Tire & Auto Service keeps customers coming back to their four modern locations. Expert service from a team of ASE-certified technicians, state-of-the-art facilities, and a time-honored customer-oriented mindset makes the difference. Harrell’s Tire & Auto Service is thriving under the leadership of Charlie Harrell, President, and his son Brandon, the latest generation to lead the family business. Brandon is a successful entrepreneur and an owner of Southeastern Automotive, Inc., a full-line automotive and truck parts supplier. Brandon brings to Harrell’s Tire & Auto Service business expertise and experience using innovation to strengthen customer relationships and create bottom-line growth.
Creating a More Intuitive Website with Advanced Online Chat
Like most businesses, Harrell’s Tire & Auto Service is experiencing a significant increase in website traffic as a result of more consumers shopping online for services due to COVID-19. Brandon sought out a solution to help Harrell’s Tire & Auto Service maintain high customer satisfaction for their existing online customers visiting their website for service and provide a great user experience for potential new customers visiting their website asking questions about servicing their vehicle. Also, given Fayetteville is a military-oriented city, Brandon wanted to create a positive and around-the-clock website experience to better serve his military customers.
Brandon explains the situation: “Harrell’s Tire & Auto Service is committed to giving our customers professional automotive service. We care about their needs the moment they arrive at one of our shops. With COVID, we find more of our consumers moving online than ever. We wanted an intuitive website that could answer questions online and in realtime even when we are unable to be there.”
Using Intelligent Online Chat to Engage Website Visitors
Brandon did his research and discovered Openbay Otis met his needs. 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 answer questions and deliver 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.
Brandon admits he was initially skeptical about the use of an advanced online chat platform to deliver an online customer experience that meets the high standards of Harrell’s Tire & Auto Service. Brandon installed Otis on the Harrell’s Tire & Auto Service website and quickly realized its benefits. “Honestly, I wasn’t convinced a product could have enough intelligence to respond to my questions but it does, much to my surprise. However, I wanted to give the technology a try. We installed Otis on our website and the amount of usage we are seeing from our online customers and website visitors is amazing. Our customers are engaging Otis more than we anticipated. Openbay Otis really does deliver as promised.”
Building Trust Through Personalized Website Conversations
Openbay Otis benefits Harrell’s Tire & Auto Service in many ways, according to Brandon. First, Otis creates a high-quality website experience for Harrell’s Tire & Auto Service online customers. “Otis makes us more available as a company to our customers,” remarks Brandon. “Customers today need a platform to get their questions answered instantly. They are not searching around our website. Otis delivers the information they need automatically, all in one place.”
Additionally, Harrell’s Tire & Auto Service creates deeper connections with online customers and builds trust with Otis. In Brandon’s words, “Customer relationship management is important to us. Otis helps our customers feel appreciated.” He continues, “The number one reason a customer leaves a business is because they feel that the business doesn’t care. Otis’ ability to engage website visitors in personalized online conversations builds trust. And, Otis converts those sessions into more services.” In fact, Brandon’s point is backed up by data. A recent study from Salesforce shows 84% of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business.
Otis also helps Harrell’s Tire & Auto Service meet the unique 24/7 needs of their military customers. “For our business, after hours communication is important,” Brandon adds. “We are near a military base and our customers don’t have access to communications during the day. Otis lets them interact with our business on their schedule. And, we don’t need to call them back when they might be sleeping – we know what they need directly from the Otis conversation.”
Positioning the Business for Growth with Openbay Otis
Brandon finds that Openbay Otis advanced online chat adds to Harrell’s Tire & Auto Service’s bottom line. “With Otis our customer engagement is light-years ahead of where it was years ago. Now, we aren’t missing out on a customer interaction. Otis gets an online customer in the door and does a better job setting expectations before a client arrives for service. Plus, we can go back, review the conversation, and be ready with a truly personalized experience when they come in for service.”
For automotive service businesses considering ways to position their business for growth in today’s digital-centric economy, Brandon offers this advice: “Don’t underestimate the number of customers you are missing because you don’t have Otis. Just because a customer visits your website doesn’t mean they will find the information they need quickly, or take the time to search. Otis is right there on our homepage for a website visitor to interact with. Otis puts our business in the right spot to grow. Find out what it can do for yours.”