60+ Years of Service
Assistance Services Group (ASG) has developed and managed highly customized assistance service solutions to Canadians since 1955. From 1955 to 1992 ASG had pioneered the development and delivery of roadside assistance services while operated during this time under the name National Auto League Inc. (NAL)
Since 1992, ASG has focused on diversifying our assistance service solutions with a focus on the specific needs of various Canadian industries allowing for the delivery of scalable solutions to the automotive, health, insurance, legal ecosystems. These customized solutions are supported through the constant implementation and enhancements of both the technological and employee touchpoints.
ASG has always taken pride in being a white label organization that focusses on the needs of each client as not only a corporate partner but as an extension of the client being serviced.
Review our history by service industry: Automotive | Healthcare | Legal
In 1989 NAL was rebranded as Oracle the Assistance Group. At this time, we pioneered and launched the first private label roadside assistance program that came with the purchase of a new automobile which set the auto manufacturer apart from the others while competing in the Canadian market. This revolutionary concept was included in extended warranties and added significant value to the relationship between the brand, the consumer, and the dealership.
Oracle the Assistance Group became part of SYKES Enterprises Inc. The Canadian division was titled: Sykes Canada Corporation. This brought immediate global best practices and processes to a local level, enhancing the service delivery.
Always looking to innovate and offer technological enhancements, Sykes Canada became the first roadside assistance provider in North America to launch an electronic dispatch application connecting the contact centre directly with the dispatch offices of towing providers. This significantly improved response times to customers in need of assistance and the accuracy of our claims process.
Embracing the philosophy of being a white-labeled organization, Sykes Canada entered the BPO space providing dedicated customer relations work of a tier-one program for one of Canada’s largest auto manufacturers. This partnership continues to this day. As the first Canadian outsourced program of its type, this demonstrated the confidence our partners had in not only our ability to support their brand, but to become a true extension of their brand by creating a homogeneous environment built on open communication and a focus on attaining the goals of our corporate partner.
In January 2007, Sykes Canada underwent a name change to Sykes Assistance Services Corporation to reflect the company’s focus towards global assistance service provision. The amalgamation of subsidiary companies Clinidata Corporation and Kelly Luttmer and Associates Ltd. as divisions of Sykes Assistance Services Corporation (SASC.) transpired.
In July of 2007, after extensive development, SASC launched a fully customized and deeply integrated GIS application into our CRM application. This provided the greatest level of location-based confidence for the customer service representatives, the customer, and the service provider. Utilizing spatial data, SASC is able to pinpoint the closest retailer, and confidently audit distance requests and claims upgrades leading to an enhanced control level on claims costs.
SASC also launched a very unique telephone triage technology labeled “Virtual Hold.” This provided the customer with extra flexibility that enabled them to continue on with their tasks while their position in the telephone queue was held for the next available customer service representative. It is also used for when a consumer understands in certain weather conditions that service might not be immediate, and their need for assistance is not immediate. This technology provides the ability to pre-book a call back with a customer service representative at a preferred time and number.
Through a methodology of technological innovation, SASC was once again a leader in the realm of Telematics support. While working closely with a corporate partner, we were the first roadside assistance company to launch a fully integrated telematics support program. This was a giant leap in managing vehicle information that allowed for the transmission of vehicle diagnostics and mechanical issues that may have occurred along with the ability to provide detailed reporting.
Looking to the future we looked at providing alternative methods of requesting assistance. From this vision came the genesis of the first on-demand customer-facing roadside assistance web portal.
SASC developed the first mobile roadside assistance app for the Blackberry OS. Utilizing the vehicle telematics philosophy, placing the control of the roadside request into the smartphone user’s hands was a natural progression.
We launched an end-to-end accident event program beginning with initial tow requirements and including a full accident event management process. Reducing cycle times, primary/secondary accident tow, impound release. ASG’s Accident Event Management program is aimed at solidifying the Customer Relationship by providing security and peace of mind to all auto insurance policyholders. Unlike other Vendors, our Accident Event Management services provide a complete self-service communication suite through digital channels to deliver a fast, flexible, and simplified adjusting experience. The outcomes for our clients; reducing cost, decreasing fraud, and decreasing cycle times while increasing policyholder satisfaction leading to overall greater efficiency, consistency, and profits.
Our infrastructure expanded to service multiple auto manufacturer telematics service offerings all designed with unique integration features and communication services. This enhanced our ability to triage of vehicle services and ensured people were on their way with minimal delay.
Partnering with a number of OEM clients, SASC launched white-labelled Apple iOS and Android OS roadside assistance mobile applications. This expanded our offering to the communication channel of the customer’s choice.
Further expanding the mobile service offering, SASC launched a unique branded app + voice experience for customers who initiated their roadside request with a smartphone. Receiving a text message, customers utilized the power of a GPS location feature that digitally transmitted their coordinates along with basic vehicle information which enhanced and expedited their experience with the customer service representative.
SASC expanded the automotive customer care offering launching another large-scale tier 1 program for a Canadian automotive manufacturer that includes their tier 1 financial services support.
We acquired and integrated one of Canada’s first health management call centre businesses, Clinidata Inc. Clinidata’s involvement in developing electronic medical records, paperless clinical trial applications, pharmacy information systems, online continuing medical education and as a pioneer in nursing tele-practice meant that the acquisition and integration created Canada’s first assistance services company.
This new decade saw the team implement several large-scale provincial Telehealth services. In 2000, we opened four new Telehealth sites and expanded the healthcare team to include over 350 registered nurses.
We were the successful proponent in a request for proposal to operate a physician’s after-hours program. This program grew to support over 8,000 family physicians and their patients in Ontario that provided telephone triage, poison information, problem gambling support and various public health services for organizations in both the private and public sectors in Canada.
Clinidata Inc. was amalgated as a division of Sykes Assistance Services Corporation (SASC.)
We launched our CareCoach® behavioural counselling services with the implementation of the British Columbia Quitnow by Phone program. As one of the first programs in North America to offer a stepped care model for cessation, our CareCoach model was expanded to support both public and private sector wellness and disease management initiatives through motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioural counselling techniques.
We received an Industry Partner of the Year Award from the Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ontario because of the work that we performed to support clinical research into the use of mobile patient monitoring applications targeting people with Type II Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome.
We also started to work with the National Research Council of Canada on the commercialization of a set of tools to identify disease outbreaks and early onset of significant public health events in Canada using our telephone triage data.
We invested once again in technology to significantly upgrade our voice and data networks. We purchased and implemented a health system integration appliance designed to support integration between our clinical systems and our partners in the acute and primary care sectors.
We proudly developed and implemented a breastfeeding support line, giving mothers 24/7 access to specially trained registered nurses.
Also in April 2014, our Telehealth services achieved accreditation from Accreditation Canada. This accreditation was followed by an in-depth review, resulting in our winning Accreditation with Commendation for Telehealth services.
We introduced our new video-based virtual care solution, chat for healthcare and our first foray into them-health arena with our CareCoach® Mobile app.
We began an association with Hambro Legal Protection PLC, a subsidiary of Hambro Insurance in the United Kingdom. We developed specialized expertise in the area of legal assistance services and with the purchase of Lawline Canada, we expanded our legal assistance business into various national employment assistance programs.
We made a direct investment in the workplace health and wellness market through the acquisition of Kelly Luttmer & Associates, a Calgary-based provider of occupational health, disability management and employee assistance programs.
Based on the burgeoning issue of personal fraud and identity theft, we worked with customers in the Insurance Industry to develop a suite of services and educational programs to help people deal with identity theft.
Kelly Luttmer and Associates Ltd. was amalgamated as a division of Sykes Assistance Services Corporation (SASC.)
We rebranded to become “Assistance Services Group, a SYKES® company.”
The Canadian head office is located in London, Ontario where we operate a large-scale contact centre along with our administrative offices. Other Assistance Services Group sites are located in Moncton, New Brunswick and North Bay, Ontario.
Work from Home
In addition to our bricks and mortar locations, we have developed policies and processes to support the almost-complete virtualization of our contact centre environment, which is key to our ability to respond to poor weather, public health emergencies, and disruptions in the public transportation and power networks. By supporting our agents, coaches and registered nurses in their own secure home-based locations, we have been able to improve employee satisfaction and our overall ability to scale to meet unexpected demand.