Using a POS System for a Car Wash Business
The car wash business is a unique blend of retail, customer service and mechanical all rolled into one. Once you have set up your business, attracting new customers, keeping existing ones, and making a profit is what it’s all about. Help your car wash business to grow with a POS (Point of Sale) software system that allows your customers to pay and checkout easily, and be swiftly on their way once their car is clean.
The two main factors that influence a customer’s choice of carwash are (i) quality of clean and (ii) speed. While the proper equipment, the right staff, and correct training all contribute to both the quality and speed of your service, another aspect comes to the fore- and that is a good POS system. Making sure that your customer can easily select the product they want, order it, and pay for it quickly and efficiently is another key aspect of making their car wash experience as quick and efficient as possible.
Below we look at the ways a car wash POS system can help both the customer and the business owner.
Self-service or full-service management system
As with any industry, automation is on the rise in the car wash sector. The first step has been the introduction of POS systems at the point of payment. This has helped to legitimise the business and service for the customer, as well as ensuring accurate billing and timely payment collection for the provider. However, the industry is beginning to go even further. In order to increase vehicle through-put, and minimise waiting times for customers, some car wash business has turned their POS station into self-help or self-service stations. This means customers can independently select the wash product they need, enter any applicable loyalty club data and pay. The entire system and remaining staff are notified in real-time by the POS station and software and the service is effected as per the order- with almost no wasted time for the customer or business! Some advanced car wash markets like the USA are going even further, integrating RFID (radio-frequency identification) recognition technology and software into the mix. Loyalty scheme or monthly members (who pay a fixed fee for a certain number of washes per week or month) affix an RFID tag on their windscreens and the car wash’s scanners read it and automatically open the car wash lane, updating all the back end systems automatically. Getting cars through the wash bays as fast as possible is in the best interest of both the business and the customer.
Customer Loyalty Schemes For A Car Wash Business
With the margins on the car wash business being historically quite lean, it’s very often a numbers game. When it comes to increasing your volumes, getting your existing customers to return regularly is half the battle won. This is where customer loyalty clubs enter the equation. Without an effective car wash POS software system, it is very difficult to successfully run a loyalty scheme. Loyalty programs work in two ways for a business: on the one hand, they encourage repeat business and customer loyalty, and on the other hand, they help businesses capture data from customers who agree to membership of the scheme. With this data, specialised offers, car wash reminders and follow-ups can be designed and automatically sent, allowing an element of CRM (customer relationship management) and marketing to enter your car wash business! Without an automated POS system, the management of a loyalty scheme is tricky, and many of the business advantages are lost.
Connectivity to the businesses back-end system
When selecting a POS software solution it is ideal for it to link back into, or be integrated with your back-end business management or accounting software. In this way, it is much easier to track busy versus slow times, the profitability of key periods, staff planning, marketing campaign effectiveness and even blocking out equipment maintenance times. Wherever information is connected and automated, the less room for error there is.
On the face of it, running a car wash can seem like a very one-dimensional business. But in the competitive world of today, where time equals money, customers want to be on their way as fast as possible. The competition is stiff but the inclusion of a powerful POS system can give your car wash business the competitive edge it needs to grow and be profitable. POS systems open up a range of automation and marketing opportunities alongside the ease and accuracy of your month-end bookkeeping!