Case Study

AAA Automates ½ Million Calls a Month with AI


American Automobile Association (AAA) is a federation of auto clubs throughout North America that provides roadside assistance for its 61 million members. During times of inclement weather, call volumes would spike – leading to long hold times and frustrated customers. By partnering with SmartAction, AAA launched a virtual agent that answers every roadside call and helps stranded motorists, reducing wait times and operating expenses by 66%.

Success by the Numbers

calls automated a month
CSAT on par with
live agents
decrease in cost
per call
reduction in
hold time

AAA Video Still

AAA Western & Central New York Trusts AI Virtual Agents with their Customer Service



With more than 61 million members, AAA needed to find a scalable solution to support their emergency roadside service (ERS). Stranded motorists desperate for help would call in, only to be put on hold while waiting in a long queue to speak with a live agent. Unpredictable weather exacerbated hold times and made contact center staffing difficult, as winter storms would create a sudden spike in calls or chats from stranded motorists.

While it seemed like a stretch to hand over their most precious CX to AI, business continuity challenges put AAA on the search for the best AI-powered self-service solution. This customer service automation needed to help members immediately across any channel. It also needed to deliver the same high-quality service their members had come to expect from AAA’s live agents.



AAA chose to partner with SmartAction for its unique business model that bundles best-of-breed conversational AI technologies with end-to-end support. By leveraging the expertise of the SmartAction CX team to design, implement, and optimize their ERS application, AAA released an AI-powered virtual agent that:

  • Delivers a personalized greeting by using ANI lookup
  • Determines intent and confirms the vehicle linked to the member’s account. If the vehicle does not match, the virtual agent utilizes advanced natural language understanding (NLU) techniques to capture the vehicle year, make and model.
  • If needed, triggers an outbound SMS text with a link that uses GPS to pinpoint member’s exact location
  • Sends an outbound voice or text message with an ETA for full end-to-end support

These capabilities allow clubs to provide end-to-end self-service for ERS calls, offering quick and intuitive service without the need for a live agent.

Patty Kleinfeldt
We’ve been amazed to find out that speaking to a SmartAction virtual agent is as good as speaking to a live agent… at 1/3 of the cost.
Patty Kleinfeldt, Director of Q & E, AAA National


SmartAction handles more than 550,000 ERS calls every month for AAA clubs, providing members with conversational self-service without any initial hold times. When bad weather hits, the conversational AI solution scales so that members have 24/7 roadside support regardless of spikes in call volume.

The virtual agent can mimic every aspect of the live agent experience by understanding the service they need, capturing the vehicle they are driving, leveraging GPS location services, finding and dispatching the nearest service or tow, and even following up with an ETA over voice or text for full end-to-end support.

With SmartAction’s conversational AI solution, AAA achieves a cost-per-call savings of 66% and a CSAT score of 4.5 out of 5, which is on par with their live agents.

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