Compass, an accident management and vehicle hire service, is celebrating its 20th year in business. As soon as they entered the Australian market, Compass caused disruption. What started as a small family run business in Sydney in 2001, quickly grew into a much-needed service that at the time few had heard of before, but a service that many truly needed.
Their mission was simple: to reduce the inconvenience caused by motor vehicle accidents. This is achieved by efficiently providing replacement vehicles to not at fault drivers involved in a motor vehicle accident. The unique element to the business that initially caused Compass to stand out from other car hire companies is the niche market they service, providing a car to drivers who were not responsible for causing the accident.
Instead of no-fault drivers automatically being saddled with the bill for their car hire, Compass advocates for not-at-fault customers, attempting to recover the hire costs for the replacement vehicle from the responsible party instead.
This was a novel concept in 2001, but due to its success it caught on quickly, and with others following in Compass’ footsteps this method of accident management has become better known and practised today. In keeping with their reputation as innovators, Compass continued developing more convenient ways to serve and grow their customer base. They procured a diverse fleet that is kept in excellent driving condition and comprises of luxury SUVs, small compact vehicles, Utes with tools of the trade, refrigerated vans and even motorbikes.
As demand for their services increased over the years, they said goodbye to normal office hours and launched a 24-hour call centre that remains open to receive claims seven days a week. They also expanded, creating two sister companies that address other needs within the market. Indigo Vehicle Solutions make accident management and mobility services readily available to corporate customers, while Primus Law act as a one-stop shop for litigation related to motor accidents and claims.
In 2019 Compass launched PITSTOP, an online portal for their partners that is available 24/7 on all electronic devices with an internet connection. When visiting PITSTOP partners can make and review bookings, send for a collection and access real time data on each of their referrals as well as keeping up to date with payments and commissions.
Fast-forward twenty years and that one small Sydney office with a handful of employees has grown to a team of approximately 200 people based in Australia, the UK, and the Philippines. Compass currently operate depot locations across Australia and satellite locations in remote areas.
According to Compass’ CEO James Frape their success can be ascribed to several different elements. “I’m proud of the fact that we are the longest standing specialist operator in the Australian replacement vehicle market and that we’ve helped over 280,000 Australians since 2001. But I could never have gotten here on my own, we started as a small family business and now we’ve grown to a family of 200! Looking back on our 20 years in business a few things have become clear to me. I’ve realised that times change, situations change, technology keeps changing, and for a company to keep thriving within an ever-changing world its people also need to be comfortable with change.
Here at Compass innovation is a key part of our DNA. This business was started to disrupt things, to challenge the status quo, and we’ve kept that up throughout the years. Whenever a new opportunity presented itself, we were ready to explore that, to find a way to make it work for our business and for our people. That’s why we embraced a low touch operation that reduced inefficiencies and maximised customer satisfaction and safety.
As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded in 2020 the whole world saw that all companies have to be ready to respond to external factors and to pivot quickly when needed. So, change is inevitable, but we also believe that some things should always remain constant. Although the way we provide service to our customers may have had to change as their situations or needs changed, we will always remain focussed on providing quality products and excellent customer service because we understand our customers’ needs. We also own a fleet of vehicles, so we understand the need to lodge claims quickly. Our customers appreciate our commitment, we can see this clearly in our NPS score of 80,” said Frape.