RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Get Spiffy Inc. has developed a diagnostics process called "Easy Tread" that it claims can accelerate and improve the quality of tire inspection, thereby enhancing transparency and trust with customers.
According to Get Spiffy — the mobile car care and services company with operations in 45 metro markets — the proprietary Easy Tread device measures tire tread depth and wear patterns with a digital camera that captures over 500,000 data points, creating a "mesh" of data over a 4- by 10-inch rectangular area accurate to approximately 0.25 millimeter with resolution to 0.01mm.
The patented Easy Tread system then creates digital images of customers' tires, which can be shared with the customers in a comprehensive, easily understood visual report.
Research Triangle-based Get Spiffy said it will offer the Easy Tread device for sale to other auto service providers starting in 2024. Those interested can view the product at Get Spiffy's website and get registered for more information once it becomes commercially available
"Integrating visual elements into service recommendations is no longer optional; it's table-stakes for the consumer experience," Spiffy CEO Scot Wingo said.
"With Easy Tread, we're not just telling customers what's going on with their tires; we're showing them. This level of transparency is revolutionizing the customer experience, fostering a higher level of trust and satisfaction."
The debut of this process corresponds with evolving customer expectations for more visual communication in auto repairs, Spiffy said, as highlighted in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Customer Service Index Study, which underscores the importance of visual confirmation in fostering trust between service providers and customers.
The study found that customers who receive photo or video updates are three times more likely to approve recommended work, Spiffy said. In addition, the study shows that dealerships that adhere to said practices score higher than those that skip this visual communication step.
Roll-out of the Easy Tread system also coincides with Spiffy's push to increase sales of tires, a product category the company called on of its fastest growing.
The device itself is a relatively small rolling platform supported by four casters and manipulated by an attached pole. The platform holds the "precision-stabilized" camera that records the images of the tires, which are captured on a tablet held by the technician carrying out the procedure.
"In our continuous dialogue with partners in the tire industry, a recurring theme has been the challenge of consumer trust," Ryan Eade, chief technical officer of Get Spiffy, said. "Our partners expressed that customers often encounter skepticism when it comes to service recommendations, creating a gap that needed to be bridged.
This feedback was the catalyst behind Easy Tread, Eade said.
"We recognized the necessity for a tool that wouldn't just tell, but show the real-time status of tire health, providing undeniable evidence of the need for service. It's about bringing honesty and clarity to a process that was previously viewed with doubt, ensuring customers feel confident in the decisions they're making for their vehicle's welfare.
"With Easy Tread, we're not just offering a service; we're fortifying trust between auto service providers and the people they serve."
Even when the diagnostic report indicates no immediate need for new tires, the visual evidence provided helps customers anticipate future needs, Get Spiffy said, thus ensuring continued driving safety while also fortifying customer relations.
Get Spiffy said it is at an advanced stage of beta testing with Easy Tread through its network of 600-plus auto technicians. The nationwide rollout of Easy Tread is set for 2024.
Among Get Spiffy's investors is Goodyear Ventures, which participated in a $30 million round of venture financing in February for the Research Triangle-based mobile service provider of on-demand car care and maintenance.