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MOTOREX Magazine 2014 101 EN

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REPORT Photos: TCS Switzerland knows it can depend on roadside assistance from TCS patrols at any time of the day or night. The service is called out over 300,000 times a year. Maintaining this pace means keeping everything in the background running like the proverbial well-oiled machine. TCS PATROL: ASSISTANCE ON CALL Anyone who travels Swiss roads knows the TCS’s distinctive breakdown assistance vehicles well. These helpful patrols respond to an average of 300,000 call-outs a year. To keep up, they need sharp senses and flawless organization in the background … When 205 cyclists gathered in Geneva in 1896 to found the Touring Club Switzerland and encourage cycle touring, mobility by automobile was little more than a vision. And the TCS, today Switzerland’s biggest motoring club with some 1.6 million members, was little-known. Nowadays the intricately structured not-for-profit organization provides a wide range of services for the far-ranging interests of its members. OBJECTIVE: GET BACK UNDER WAY What TCS is not and can never be is a competitor to commercial repair shops. Instead, the TCS roadside assistance service is geared entirely to one goal: to get members back on their way. This ambitious goal is achieved in 86% of all cases because the causes of a breakdown are often minor. Anyone who has experienced the relief of getting back on the road to Rimini with the whole family aboard 10

“Touring Club Switzerland, Nina Meister speaking” – call center staff in Schönbühl take between 80 and 100 calls a day. Vehicles are converted and fitted out for breakdown service at the central workshop in Emmen/Lucerne. State-of-the-art communication systems are the key to a quick, highly efficient response. and a trunk full of holiday luggage after having a faulty fuel pump relay or ignition cable that has been gnawed by martens replaced will swear by the number one name in roadside assistance. If all efforts to get a vehicle running again are in vain, the TCS will tow or carry it to the nearest garage or dealership. ALWAYS READY (TO HELP) TCS roadside assistance is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When a member dials 0800 140 140 after a breakdown, accident or even theft, what happens next is like the pickup note in a performance by a perfectly rehearsed orchestra of many hundreds of musicians. Whether in German, French, Italian or English, TCS call center staff use a structured routine to take the call, always being sure to let the caller know that responders are eager to help and on the way. Their competence often has a soothing effect on people in a disagreeable situation. In an average year, the center receives over 500,000 calls. “Obviously, there are a lot of similar cases, but each call-out still has an individual component”, notes Michael Flury, Head of the Vehicle Assistance Center. After a call is received, a dispatcher assigns the call-out to the nearest available patrol car. TCS roadside assistance is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. STAYING CONNECTED ON THE ROAD The TCS has 620 responders, including 220 TCS employees and a further 400 on call with contracted partner garages. Using a sophisticated deployment map that has been continually updated over the years to ensure it is state of the art, all the information responders need for a callout is sent directly to their Toughbook (laptop/tablet). The Toughbook is constantly connected to the control center and is the key to a rapid and successful response. The robust device displays the following information: MOTOREX MAGAZINE 101 I APRIL 2014 11



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