SAN ANTONIO — It was a year ago that members of the Point S Tire & Auto Service network decided they would invest in a new technology platform and launch a new marketing campaign to drive customer growth and retention.

Not quite a year later, the marketing cooperative has unveiled its All-Trac Platform, an online store and customer management program whose purpose, members say, is to continue growth in the expanding digital marketplace.

According to Walter Lybeck, CEO of member-owned Point S, the proprietary All-Trac Platform provides online scheduling, reputation management, declined service management and other time-saving resources for tire dealers.

“Our industry finally seems to be trying to figure out how to serve customers well online,” Mr. Lybeck said during Point S’s annual dealer meetings, being held Feb. 14-17 at La Cantera Resort & Spa in San Antonio.

“It’s imperative that we not just follow trends of exceeding customer expectations when it comes to tire and service needs, but pioneer communication tools and operational-management resources for our members.

“The All-Trac Platform represents our commitment and development of proprietary assets for the co-op.”

Steve Helstrom, director of information technology and operations at Point S, said the platform was developed with two purposes in mind:

  • Provide experiences that customers demand, with an online portal and ease of scheduling service; and
  • Provide accessible, practical tools that members can use from reputation management and creating new sale opportunities with declined services.

Point S experienced its most successful year ever in 2018, adding 18 locations to the group’s network and expanding into four markets — Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska and Tennessee. The move into the latter two states builds on Point S’ partnership with Nussbaum Distributing Inc., which distributes tires within a 150-mile radius around Memphis.

While the dealership cooperative declined to release a specific number of locations, Clint Young, Point S director of sales and development, said there are more than 200 in 20 states. The co-op also increased sales by 10 percent over that timespan.

“We’ve already begun servicing dealers in Memphis and recently completed an expansion in our Salt Lake City warehouse to better meet the demands of the region,” Mr. Young said.

Mr. Young also touted the Net Promoter Score (NPS) — which measures member satisfaction — that the group had in 2018: 69. Just a few years ago, Mr. Lybeck said, the score was negative seven.

“Some of the new locations we’ve brought in are referrals from members,” he said. “The score puts us in the same gold standard category with companies such as USAA Insurance, Costco and Netflix.”

Meanwhile, the phrase of the marketing campaign is: No Stress with Point S.

“We wanted to take the emotion of everyday stresses and emphasize how Point S provides rational, actionable differentiation in the industry,” said Devin Barr, Point S/MBT marketing director.

“Our commitment to the customer is an easy, stress-free experience. We’ll highlight our desire to win online, and how we make grudge purchases like tire shopping easy and more convenient,” Mr. Barr said.

Point S said the campaign will promote three key areas:

  • Online scheduler (part of the All-Trac Platform: The fully integrated customer-friendly scheduler will give customers control of their schedule and service, the group said;
  • One-hour tire promise: A promise that customers will be serviced in an hour or less when the appointment is scheduled online; and
  • 30-day satisfaction guarantee: A commitment to customer satisfaction with a stress-free return, for any reason, if the customer isn’t satisfied with the new tires.The conference features a shareholder state of the union, several preferred partner presentations, seminars, a vendor show and a general session.

Mr. Lybeck said Point S has made “huge strides” in defining how the co-op benefits the independent dealer with its programs as well as recognizing and serving the needs of today’s customers well.

“While we pay our bills with shipment of tires to our members, the power of our group is much greater than that,” Mr. Lybeck said. “This is a co-op of independents investing in the future of the independent.”

This article was originally published on Tire Business.