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Helphire targets claims management

Credit hire firm Helphire is piloting a number of initiatives that will pull it further into claims management.

The initiatives include providing bespoke sales teams to operate at dealer groups. Pendragon and Sytner have both signed up to this service.

Last year Helphire launched estimate conversion request, a branded customer follow-up service which has signed up 65 bodyshops.

This summer, after a nine-month pilot, it has launched estimate request service, where Helphire diverts non-fault accidents to dealers’ bodyshops. It already has 110 dealerships on board.

Now, the company is piloting a scheme called hot key transfers where customers who call a dealership after an accident are put through to Helphire’s call centre in Northwich.

Alan Gilbert, Helphire Automotive Division managing director, says: “We handle the call and facilitate the process from our call centre which is branded as the dealership.”

He believes the service will convert more callers into customers for the dealerships.

Helphire is also in talks with bodyshop estimating system supplier Audatex about creating a link with its computer system to produce “prototype estimates”.

This initial estimate would contain details about the customer and the car and would be completed when they contact Helphire at the start of the claims process. The estimate would be sent to the bodyshop so it doesn’t have to re-key the information.

“We hope to have this in place within the next three months. We first need to have a template form from Audatex,” says Gilbert.

Helphire’s main focus is accident management and raising customers’ interest in its services. It has just launched a registration facility where customers can sign up for accident management services on the dealer’s website. “We’d expect to get 70-80% of retail customers signed up to the service,” says Gilbert. “If we then get more than 5% return after they have had a prang, it will be a success.”

Other touch points where the accident management message can be reinforced are during MoTs and service reminders. Helphire is also signing up groups to its text message service where customers are prompted to store its emergency number in their phones.

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