SoS announces partnership with AAA MI, Huntington Bank to increase access to online services, share best practices
MAY 29, 2014
Most customers will be able to get tabs, renew driver's license online at AAA branches in three communities to start
MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. – Customers will have access to the most-popular Secretary of State online services at select AAA Michigan branches and Huntington Bank will share its customer service best practices through a new partnership, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson announced today at the Detroit Regional Chamber's Mackinac Policy Conference.
"This public private partnership – called ExpressSOS Connect – will bring even more convenience to our customers by giving them one more way to access our most-popular online services," Johnson said. "Most customers will also be able to take advantage of our Print-N-Go feature by printing their receipt and carrying it with them as proof until their tabs, driver's license or state ID come in the mail.
"And Huntington is sharing its best customer service data and best practices with our team, which will help us improve our branch operation even more."
AAA Michigan plans to provide customers with access to the Secretary of State's online portal at ExpressSOS.com through computers and printers at their branch offices in downtown Detroit, Livonia and Grand Rapids by early fall. Signage and other materials will showcase what online services are available. The pilot project is expected to eventually expand to all of AAA Michigan's 31 locations.
"AAA Michigan is excited to expand our branch office services to include select Secretary of State services," said Randy Williams, AAA Michigan vice president for field operations. "Our more than 1.4 million members look to AAA for guidance and support on automobile-related issues, so it is a natural fit that we partner with Secretary Johnson and open our branch locations to ExpressSOS service.
"We think our members will find added value through this partnership, and appreciate the Secretary's vision for expanding public access through the ExpressSOS partnership program."
In a tribute to the policy conference's ability to bring business professionals with government leaders, the idea for the public-private partnership actually began during last year's conference when Johnson spoke with Huntington's Mike Fezzey about ways they could work together.
Fezzey is Huntington's representative on Johnson's Business Roundtable, which is tasked with finding ways to promote public/private partnerships and improve customer service while stretching every tax dollar further.
"It's a tribute to the policy conference's ability to bring business professionals and government leaders together," said Fezzey, Huntington's southeast Michigan president. "It's also a testament to common sense and making sure that we're all contributing to Michigan's turnaround in any way we can.
"We expect this relationship to grow as we find more ways to do business in ways that benefit our customers."
Johnson and Fezzey realized Secretary of State branch transactions are similar to what a bank sees daily, so SOS staff are touring the bank's Holland-based call center and sharing consumer-behavior data to see how they may implement additional best practices. Bank customers may eventually see some ExpressSOS.com materials or even be able to access the online services someday, Fezzey added.
At ExpressSOS.com, most users can renew their tabs, change their address, order copies of vehicle registration records and even sign up to be an organ donor on Michigan's Organ Donor Registry. Since its launch in 2011, more than 4.8 million transactions have been done on ExpressSOS.com, helping increase convenience and shorten lines.
Already, libraries across the state have become access points for patrons to access Secretary of State services online in an effort called ExpressSOS Connect-Libraries. The Secretary of State's office also sends out regular news updates to libraries with information their users may need, ranging from election reminders to changes in election or driving laws, traffic safety tips and information about how to access Secretary of State services.
The efforts are part of the secretary's focus on improving customer service and a way to help the 21 percent of Michigan homes without broadband access at home. Other efforts have included MI-TIME Line, which allows customers to get inline online before heading into a branch, and a pilot project that put self-service kiosks at two Meijer stores so customers can get groceries and renew their tabs in one trip.
Johnson said she hopes to work with other businesses to develop similar partnerships as part of her efforts to increase convenience and customer service.
"Our efforts are geared to make it easier and more convenient for our customers," she added. "That's what we mean when we say we're the on-line, no-wait Secretary of State."
For more information about branch office locations, hours and services, visit www.Michigan.gov/sos. Sign up for the official Secretary of State Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/michsos and Facebook updates at www.facebook.com/MichiganSoS.
Customers also may call the Department of State Information Center to speak to a customer service representative at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424).