two tire technicians checking at something on a tablet

How mobile data capture improves tire customer service across multiple locations

Lukas Moshuber

Product Manager at Anyline

Apr 27, 2022

The US tire retail market is made up of hundreds of independent dealerships that sell and maintain tires for their customers. Some are big and some are small, but for many independent dealers, it’s common to have multiple locations across the country

If most customers visit the same dealership they may visit a different location from time to time – like when traveling, or after moving to another city or state. If they go to the same independent tire retail chain, they will expect the same level of service as what their usual dealer offers. It only makes sense – we all expect the same kind of experience when going to any retail store of the same brand, whatever its location in the country.

A lack of information reduces efficiency and service quality

The problem is that when a customer comes into a dealership to have their vehicle serviced, it’s very unlikely that they will have information on hand about the vehicle’s maintenance history. 

This information is usually written and stored by the repair shop that did the previous service, often on a sheet of paper. And without the availability of this information, tire technicians have less tools to make the right decisions. For example, when were the tires installed on the vehicle? When were they last rotated? And are the signs of wear new or are they present on tires for some time now?

Not having the needed information can mean an overall poorer service for customers: 

  • Technicians might need to check things that were already done,before they start work. Not knowing the maintenance history of a vehicle means a loss of efficiency
  • When we don’t have the right information on hand, misjudgements can happen too easily. For example. a tire that presents the early marks of age could be replaced while still being good for some miles, and more. 

The result is that customers might feel like the technician is relying on guesswork, or even trying out some sales techniques to get a few dollars more out of the service. That’s a poorer customer experience and lower satisfaction.

Why paper-based processes are at fault

A key culprit is the huge digital divide between tire retailers and the rest of the retail industry. Inefficient paper-based processes and inaccurate data entry mean dealerships are held back every day from reaching their potential margins. 

When a customer’s vehicle data is only registered on a paper sheet, it is hard, if not impossible, to share the information from one store to another. Sure, a technician could call someone in the customer’s regular store to ask, but that is highly inefficient. Not to mention that opening hours might be different, especially if they are in a different time-zone..

How Discount Tire uses mobile data capture to bring a consistent customer experience

With approximately 1100 stores in 37 states, Discount Tire is the largest independent tire retailer in the world. Anyline worked closely with Discount Tire to develop and integrate into their processes mobile data capture, which now allows technicians to scan and digitize DOT codes, VINs, license plates and more

This mobile data capture solution also integrates with Discount Tire’s technology system to help eliminate other paper-based processes, such as automating the creation of customer profiles.

All the information concerning customers and their vehicles, as well as maintenance histories, can be easily transmitted

“All this information is shared from store to store, so you can be in one store in Phoenix, Arizona, or you can be in a store in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and our associates are going to be delivering the same consistent experience and have access to the same information.

Von Brady – Omni Channel Mobile Platform Product Manager at Discount Tire.