Improving recovery and increasing prevention

Improving recovery and increasing prevention


Challenges and opportunities

The Automobile Association (AA) has the largest breakdown and recovery fleet in the UK. To keep their services relevant to members, the AA asked Engine for help in redesigning their service proposition and roadside offer.

Engine redefined the AA’s service role, shifting the emphasis from recovery to prevention. We used the new vision to develop strong propositions to educate, support and engage AA customers.

What we did

To develop the new service proposition, Engine explored the AA’s existing operations and capabilities. We visited call-centres, shadowed mobile vehicle technicians, watched cars being fixed and spoke to members on the roadside. Engine also interviewed key stakeholders from across the business and hosted a series of design workshops with motorists to unearth their views on how the AA could support them beyond just roadside assistance.

We used the customer insights to develop service design principles and a series of personas that represented different customer types and needs, from new drivers to young families. We then created a variety of motoring scenarios, such as the school run, extreme weather, getting lost at night, and used them in combination with the personas as inspiration to brainstorm new services and propositions in co-creation sessions across the company.

A new overall service vision emerged, to shift perceptions of the AA away from being purely a rescue organisation, towards an organisation that helps its members prevent the need for rescue.

This could be achieved by:

  • Anticipating and avoiding problems

  • Managing repercussions when things do go wrong

  • Helping members to become more knowledgeable and informed motorists

  • Helping them to save time and money

  • Helping members feel valued and protected.

Existing AA services were assessed for hygiene factors, making sure the basics were in place, and the new service ideas were mapped against the business’ capabilities to establish a clear set of development priorities.

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The ideas were developed into nine final propositions that brought to life the new service vision. These were prioritised and aligned with existing business developments to produce a high-level implementation roadmap with interdependent work streams, over a five-year timeframe.

The propositions were piloted and rolled out across the business, showing real improvement and impact, including:

  • AA Service & Repair: A fleet of mobile technicians to carry out car servicing for customers at home or work. Over 450 garages signed up to the AA servicing network.

  • AA Zone: Online forum for advice for customers and to share experiences. With over 12,000 members, 2,000 customers recently completed a survey about the state of their local roads.

  • AA Loyalty Rewards: A rewards scheme for members to earn a range of valuable services.

  • AA Motorbike Patrols: The AA now has 50 patrol motorbikes providing cover for central areas in Glasgow, Sheffield, Leeds, London, Manchester and Birmingham. This rapid response improves service for members and reduces urban congestion.

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