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AAA unveils service tracking app for Apple Watch

The American Automobile Association is rolling out a service tracker application for the Apple Watch starting in Canada and making its way to the United States later this year, in a move to better serve customers who are already dealing with a frustrating situation.

AAA’s customer base is usually using its services in circumstances that are already in distress, so everything the service does is to help ease these customers with their vehicle issues. Introducing an Apple Watch, in which users can seamlessly track the service member’s location, is significantly beneficial to these customers and AAA.

“A 100 year old brand embracing technology introduced to consumers earlier this year, is laudable,” said Meredith Tretiak, director of product marketing at Swrze. “Many bigger brands are still too slow to embrace new technology.”

“Forward thinking brands recognize the need to be where their customers are right now; it is all about building brand loyalty regardless of the technology platform,” she said. “The cost to build apps is still relatively low, especially for a well-established brand like AAA, so the low cost to potentially great reward is a worthwhile gamble.”

Further assistance
The automotive service is nonprofit organization that provides vehicle assistance for members that pay a monthly fee. Customers use the service for unfortunate automotive situations such as mechanical issues, keys locked inside vehicles, running out of gas and various other issues drivers can run into on the road.

Creating the AAA mobile app adds a huge convenience for customers, and in turn creates a positive brand sentiment. The easier a brand’s services are, the more likely customers are to use it and the app coincides with that.

The apple watch application takes that idea to another level. It is ensuring that whichever platforms a customer is prone to use, they will be taken care of by AAA.

The current app right now features the ability for drivers to track their service mechanic on the way to assist them. This is important for the nonprofit organization because one of the more frustrating aspects of needing vehicle service is knowing when assistance will come.

Customers in distress do not want to wait by their automobiles for an undetermined amount of time. Wait times for mechanics to arrive can reach up to an hour, sometimes it can be unsafe for a driver to wait by their vehicle.

Allowing these customers access to the location of their mechanic means that these users can find a safer location to wait until help arrives. Having the feature on the Apple Watch means that driver can see the location of the service assistant in little to no time, without having to fumble for their phone.

Watching retailers
As the initial launch of the Apple Watch becomes further in the past, more and more retailers are jumping onboard. Many of which are paying attention to features that make sense for the smaller technological space.

One example is Office Depot’s Apple Watch application, which offers voice-activated search and an ink-and-toner finder, suggesting that even the office supplies sector needs smartwatch apps to maximize mcommerce potential (see more).

Also, Brokerage firm TD Ameritrade expanded its multichannel user experience onto the Apple Watch to create a seamless experience for its customers and help them get the most out the company’s mobile services (see more).

“Auto breakdowns are never planned and never come at a convenient time, if the Apple Watch app can make the experience any easier it is a very worthwhile offering to consumers,” Ms. Tretiak said.

“The bulk of AAA’s revenue is derived from the services they provide and the Apple Watch app is a brand extension,” she said. “New customers are unlikely to sign up for AAA because they have an Apple Watch app, but if they are in a circumstance where that Apple Watch app becomes invaluable to them in an invaluable moment, they are more likely remain loyal customers.”

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant Mobile Commerce Daily