‘Now is the Time to Make a Change’: How BlueSky Tire & Auto Service Gives Today’s Consumers First-Class Service Using an Intelligent, Automated Chat Platform

“Our vision is to do business the way today’s consumers want to do business,” says George Kingman, President of Advanced Shop Leadership. “This led us to Openbay Otis, the innovative and automated intelligent chat platform from Openbay.” George brings decades of leadership and automotive industry expertise to ASL. He currently serves as Managing Partner of BlueSky Tire & Auto Service. And, he has served as Executive Director of the Dealer Strategic Planning 20 Group, in addition to steering the innovative Bridgestone Lab Stores, leading new retail concepts and strategies.

George formed ASL in 2020 to bring together members with past 20 Group and consulting experiences to help grow profitability through operational excellence. To achieve this, ASL focuses on solutions for the complete business from financials, team culture, and training to the customer experience.

“Every business is different and each has different needs,” explains George. “We figure out the opportunity, and turn the opportunities into improvements to create tangible results for our clients.”

George has built a broad perspective from his exposure to many companies. One conclusion George has drawn is that “the entire industry is at least a decade behind in general. The old ways of doing things are gone.”

ASL helps clients align with changing customer habits. Most recently, this includes adopting new technologies to transform a business. “We believe tech-based products will separate ASL clients from the others. By using the latest technologies, automotive service shops can build stronger processes, forge amazing customer relationships, and be profitable.”

It’s no surprise George has adopted this same approach for BlueSky Tire & Auto Service. BlueSky is led by two of his former Bridgestone Lab Store Leaders, with two locations in Duluth, GA and Glenview, IL. BlueSky Tire & Auto promises it’s customers service and repair that rivals the dealer, first-class customer care, and honest pricing and transparent communication that is as “clear as the BlueSky.”

The priority for BlueSky is to use technology to “create the store of the future in our store, today.” George explains the approach. “Our vision for BlueSky is to do business the way today’s customers want to do business. We need to adopt technology so we don’t become dated.” Geroge continues, “my years of experience show there is churn with customers over time. Technology and new processes can help an automotive service business leader cross generations and stay strong into the future.”

George knows the needs of his customers, especially the younger generations. He sought out a technology solution to deliver a customer experience that exceeded expectations.

“Today, BlueSky’s core customers are millennials. I’ve seen a generational gap among owners to understand their needs. We work hard to know what matters to them. They have busy lives, they are working, and many have young kids. Millennial consumers need to find a way to squeeze scheduling — and then the actual appointment — into their busy day. We want to take care of them by creating a convenient experience and to make scheduling easy.”

Data supports George’s strategy for BlueSky. Today’s consumers expect a business to be available in a way that’s convenient to them. In fact, according to Salesforce ‘State of the Connected Consumer,’ 64% expect a real-time response. And, it’s not just for GenY. The expectation is similar for Millennials (66%) and Boomers (62%). Additionally, McKinsey & Company research shows that during the pandemic consumers moved dramatically to online products and services. Digital customer interactions accelerated as much as 3 years in a few months.

George’s research for a technology solution to deliver convenience to BlueSky’s digital-first consumers led him to Openbay Otis. Otis is the intelligent, automated 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. It is available to quickly answer questions and deliver the information they are seeking in a chat-like format. Otis 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.

BlueSky Tire & Auto Service uses Openbay Otis intelligent, automated chat to deliver a customer-friendly mobile and desktop service experience

Using Otis, BlueSky Tire & Auto Service website visitors have an experience that meets their expectations and needs. Otis’ intelligent, automated messaging platform delivers personalized, two-way conversations, instantly, via chat — the way they prefer.

“Our website is how we say ‘yes’ to business digitally. It’s there to grow our business, and Otis helps make this possible. It creates an easy experience for the customer. They can schedule an appointment, get an answer to their unique questions, or text the shop,” says George.

Once installed, Otis began to create value for the BlueSky business by turning website visits into service revenue. George shares that ”because Otis engages in a way that’s easy for the client, it allows us to convert more website visits into service appointments. And, Otis serves a website visitor quickly. I like that I can let those people who prefer to chat vs making a phone call to get a quick answer on our business. It keeps the client in a direct connection with us.”

Additionally, Otis helps BlueSky operations run more efficiently. Otis frees up staff time to focus on the in-person experience and creates a more connected online-to-offline customer journey. “Otis allows our team to spend more time in person and not on the phone because Otis has many of those ‘would be calls’ covered,” says George. “Our team can spend more time on the true experience and deliver a much richer interaction. Plus, with Otis, we can talk with the customer knowing what is important to them through their conversations.”

Finally, Otis improves BlueSky’s digital spending efficiency. In George’s words, “Otis takes the traffic we send to our website and converts it to open up the bottom of our digital funnel. It strengthens our digital plan and its effectiveness.” This is an important benefit as BlueSky has increased digital marketing to capture consumers who moved online during the pandemic. “If we do our digital advertising right, like starting a new YouTube campaign, we need the right website experience to engage and convert website visitors. If we don’t, it’s just like giving them our phone number, having them call, and we’re not there to answer.”

Ultimately, Otis is helping BlueSky Tire & Auto Service grow. “With Otis, a client gets an instant resolution — at any time of the day — and we get a satisfied customer into our bays,” says George. “Our locations see an uptick in scheduled appointments, and we capture customer contact information for the future.”

Ultimately, Otis is helping BlueSky Tire & Auto Service grow. “With Otis, a client gets an instant resolution — at any time of the day — and we get a satisfied customer into our bays,” says George. “Our locations see an uptick in scheduled appointments, and we capture customer contact information for the future.”

George offers his final advice to automotive service business leaders who are considering adopting new technology to meet the needs of today’s consumers. “When others ask me about Openbay Otis, I explain that we gave it a try because it delivers the service experience today’s consumers want, and now is the time to make a change. With Otis, our customers can have an immediate conversation and take action on their time frame. By better serving our customers, Otis positions BlueSky to grow now, and into the future.”

Learn how Openbay Otis can create efficient operations and elevate the online customer service experience. Contact Openbay today. Want to learn more about intelligent, automated 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.

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