Sea Tow Streamlines Customer Service & Localizes Their Marketing with Geopointe
Company: Sea Tow Services International, Inc.
Sea Tow Services International, Inc. is an expert on-water assistance company that provides boating safety services for recreational and professional boaters across the United States, and internationally. They offer boat towing, port escort services, environmental remediation, petroleum spill assistance and automated radio check services, just to name a few. In other words, they are the AAA of the sea.
Sea Tow’s previous mapping solution was archaic and slow – not suited for a major service provider. As such, they needed a more optimal mapping solution that integrated with their entire internal process, from customer service to sales. As it turns out, Geopointe was the one solution that met all of their needs. Here are a few of the optimizations Geopointe was able to provide Sea Tow.
Custom Search Coordinates
While many industries use decimal lat-long coordinates, the boating industry uses DMS (degrees, minutes, seconds). So, when a customer calls in for assistance, they provide DMS coordinates. As such, the Sea Tow team needed a mapping solution that was agile enough to customize the search bar to use DMS coordinates and a development team that was proficient enough to implement this specialized need.
Luckily, Geopointe was able to meet both those requirements. With a powerful Geographic Searching & Analysis feature already in place, the Geopointe development team went to work and made searching from the map using DMS coordinates an available option. “That particular enhancement you did for us was a big deal. Because that’s how it’s communicated to us so we don’t have to do a conversion every time we get a service call in our call center as we’re trying to get information as fast as possible,” said Sea Tow CFO, Jim Foley.
Seamless Integration Process
Sea Tow’s old mapping solution was old, static and slowing down their entire process. Most of all, it wasn’t able to integrate with more advanced CRM solutions, like Salesforce. So, when the Sea Tow team elected to move their process into Salesforce, they knew it was time to explore the Salesforce AppExchange to identify a mapping solution that could integrate with their entire operation.
Unlike some other mapping solutions, Geopointe is solely a Salesforce app and easily assimilates with companies operating on Salesforce. It also factors in all the nuances that go into a Salesforce implementation, making it easy to adopt both products as a package. That, combined with Geopointe willingness to accommodate Sea Tow’s complex customizations made the decision a no-brainer. “It’s integrated with everything else we’re doing,” said Jim. “There was one other competing solution, but the company [Geopointe] just seemed stronger, and their support and willingness to work with us was exceptional. Especially because we had such a complex use case,” said Jim.
Custom Service Territories (AORs)
Sea Tow has a franchise-based business model, and each franchise has an assigned area of responsibility (AOR) to ensure that when problems arise on the water, there’s always a response team nearby. But, to efficiently divide those territories, they needed a mapping tool with dynamic territory shape editing features that could be utilized directly from the map.
With an extensive list of shape customization features, Geopointe fulfilled this need, and then some. First off, the Geo Library allowed Sea Tow’s team to access shapes with locally relevant boundaries (e.g., ZIP codes and counties) directly from the map. Then, using those predefined geographic areas, they were able to customize each AOR using the Visual Shape Editor. Those two features allowed them to evenly distribute AOR territories to each franchise and assign service response teams from the call center without any hiccups in the process. “So when someone comes in and says ’I boat in Southold, New York,’ the Sea Tow Operator can see who has that territory [AOR],” explained Jim.
Localized Sales & Marketing Process
These days, consumers tend to support companies that come across as authentic and local, rather than corporate and contrived. As such, Sea Tow wanted to adapt to provide a localized feel to their customers to boost their sales. “Our business model assigns each customer to a local franchise. We’ve learned that it’s the local experience that builds leads, keeps members and sells,” said Jim.
To accomplish that, they needed a solution that allowed their call center to identify sales opportunities from service calls, distribute leads to each franchise based on the customer’s location and send them localized marketing material. Geopointe fit the bill. “Now, when someone joins or renews, there’s a Geopointe automation process to assign every customer or lead to an AOR territory so that the confirmation page and all substantive marketing communication comes from a local source [franchise],” said Jim.
Fast & Efficient Response Times
When a petroleum spill takes place, or a customer gets stuck at sea, a quick response time is of the utmost importance. Service calls come in from across the globe, so quickly finding customers and the service team closest to them required a dynamic searching solution capable of quickly painting a picture for their customer service reps. “We’re in Southold, New York right now, there’s snow on the ground and 30 people in the call center. It’s impossible for them to know the entire country,” said Jim.
Once again, Geopointe’s Geographic Searching & Analysis feature was able to fulfill Sea Tow’s very specific needs. Using this feature Sea Tow is able to perform searches nearby a particular point, within the boundaries of a polygon or over a broader area. “Based on the polygon we get from Geopointe we’re able to find the nearest resource and do a hard transfer from the boater to the local resource. It speeds up the process and provides a better experience to the person that’s feeling vulnerable on the water,” said Jim.
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