Palm Valley Auto Wash, Litchfield Park, AZ
SiteWatch® Portable Touchscreen Terminal Helps Full-Service Wash Process Vehicles 3 Times Faster
Challenge: To enhance customer satisfaction and avoid long lines at the tunnel entrance by speeding up the transaction process.
Solution: Have greeters use the SiteWatch Portable Touchscreen Terminal to enter wash orders on the lot without having to return to a fixed pre-sell terminal.
Sometimes even the best things have a downside. That's what the owners of Palm Valley Auto Wash discovered recently. The Arizona full-service has enjoyed rapid growth since it was founded five years ago, thanks to its quality work and friendly, professional service. That's good -- but there was one thing that concerned the wash's management: the line outside its tunnel entrance seemed to grow longer with the passing of every busy Saturday.
"We've been very pleased with the way our business has grown, but we weren't happy with the long lines that went with this growth," said Julia Harry, general manager of the carwash. "Aside from taking up too much of our customers' time, the lines were costing us business, because some people would drive by, look at the cars stacked up outside the tunnel, and decide to keep driving. We owed it to our customers, and our business, to do something to get the lines moving faster."
Portable Touchscreen Terminal Streamlines Sales Process
For Palm Valley, the solution to this challenge was found in the SiteWatch Portable Touchscreen Terminal. Greeters at this high-volume Arizona wash now use DRB Systems' hand-held unit to enter every vehicle's license plate number into the computer system out on the lot. The Portable Touchscreen Terminal generates two receipt tickets, one for the customer to take to the cashier, another for the tunnel entrance employee to use to program the wash.
"We give frequency discounts and run club plans and prepaid sales off license plates, so entering every vehicle's plate number is essential," said Harry. "Under our old system, the greeter would have to read the customer's plate number, go over to the terminal to enter it, come back and talk to the customer, return to the terminal to enter the order, then come to the customer's vehicle again with the two wash tickets."
With the Portable Touchscreen Terminal, all of this back and forth movement is eliminated. The greeter now enters the license plate, talks to the customer, inputs the order and prints the ticket using the hand-held terminal -- all without leaving the customer's vehicle.
In addition to streamlining the sales process, the Portable Touchscreen Terminal has significantly reduced the number of greeter keystroke mistakes. "Before, when greeters had to go back to the terminal to enter license numbers, they'd sometimes get two digits reversed or enter a wrong number," said Harry. "These mistakes always seemed to happen when we were busy, because there was more pressure on our greeters. We used to have two or three mistakes every Saturday. Now that our greeters are able to enter license numbers right there at the car, we no longer have these memory lapses."
Greeters Now Sell More Extras
Thanks to the added efficiencies that have resulted from using the Portable Touchscreen Terminal, Palm Valley is able to process customers three times faster, according to Harry. However, she points out that added speed is not the only benefit that has resulted from switching to the hand-held unit. Since greeters no longer have to spend time moving back and forth between the vehicle and pre-sell terminal, they're able to devote more attention to the customer. This has allowed greeters to focus more on talking to customers, so they can provide better advice and generate more add-on sales.
"A higher percentage of our customers are buying extras today, because our greeters are doing a better job selling," said Harry. "Having the customer histories right there at their fingertips allows our greeters to make more knowledgeable suggestions; they're no longer offering a detail job to someone who just got one last week. This has improved the level of communication between the greeter and the customer."
The Portable Touchscreen Terminal has also created a favorable impression on Palm Valley's customers. "Our greeters get a lot of nice comments on the hand-held units," said Harry. "It lets people know that we're a forward-looking business."
Although Palm Valley purchased the Portable Touchscreen Terminal to speed up its sales process during busy periods, Harry says that her greeters use the unit all the time, even during slow days. "It's become second nature for our greeters to carry the Portable Touchscreen Terminal around with them," she said. "The terminal is very reliable, and it saves a greeter steps even during slower periods -- it makes everyone's job easier."