Pay stations at car washes have come a long way since they were first installed in the 1970s and 1980s. Even today, however, technology has continued to advance, both on the inside and outside of pay stations themselves. Here are three of the most recent advances in car wash pay station technology that you can look forward to seeing or installing yourself over the next few years.
Advancements in technology and security mean that modern electronic car wash payment systems offer your customers a variety of benefits, including faster and more convenient payments, as well as greater security over their transactions. That’s why businesses looking to invest in an electronic payment system will want to consider three key factors: Speed, Security and Convenience.
Pay stations have evolved significantly over time and now feature high-quality LCD screens. These new displays provide far more information than older, cruder models. Customers can choose to watch a short video about how to use their touch screen, or simply follow prompts on screen when prompted. Moreover, these new units include a small camera that allows customers to scan their credit card while they drive through and then automatically charges them without requiring them to stop and dig out their wallets. This provides customers with greater flexibility and convenience than ever before.
Easy Payment Options
If a customer is running late, don’t pressure them to make a decision right away. Research shows that one of the most effective ways to get someone to make a purchase is by easing them into it; people tend to be very comfortable with decisions they’ve made on their own. Instead of pressuring customers into making immediate decisions, develop payment options like an extended payment plan or monthly payments so customers can pay you over time. Also, offer convenient auto-pay options so your customers don’t have to worry about writing checks or remembering when their next payment is due. This will make your business seem more professional and trustworthy than others in your area and lead to more repeat business.
Good customer service goes a long way and can give your business a boost when it comes to retention. Most customers probably won’t even need to contact you, but offering amazing service will help differentiate you from competitors who take a what you see is what you get approach. It’s also worth considering how easy your business will be for your customer to contact—and whether that convenience makes it easier or harder for people to come into your place of business. On one hand, lots of options (like various ways to reach out, an email address on every page of your website, social media links) make it easier for customers to get in touch with you, which might lead them from online interactions directly into your store.
Convenience and Ease of Use
Paying for a self-serve car wash can feel like you’re paying for every single fluid ounce of liquid that gets sprayed on your vehicle. Since most stations have a separate sensor for each different kind of service, it often means paying multiple times to get your entire car clean. When one of these sensors stops working, it can mean lost business and irritated customers until it’s fixed. All-in-one payment stations make self-serve services more convenient and easier to use by combining several transactions into one device. It’s easy enough to select a service on an all-in-one machine—just touch a button or swipe your credit card—and then you simply insert coins or bills into a slot as needed.
Protect Your Investment
When you invest a lot of money into your business, it’s natural to want to protect that investment by making sure you don’t lose anything. When that investment is your car wash equipment, protecting your investment can mean something as simple as installing reliable components and parts from reliable manufacturers. When it comes to pay stations, reliability isn’t enough. You also need an easy-to-use system that doesn’t slow down throughput or distract employees with complicated steps to make payments. In fact, these days, convenience is one of the biggest selling points for most customers; if you have an easier time buying what they want than paying for it—you can avoid them getting frustrated and going elsewhere.
Security and Protection
We may think of cars as little more than metal and plastic, but our vehicles mean a lot to us. Protecting these prized possessions is a top priority for most drivers, and with good reason—each year we see hundreds of stories detailing stolen or damaged vehicles. However, paying with cash at a self-serve washes can often leave you vulnerable to theft. When using a cash payment system you need to physically hand over your money and there’s no guarantee that your change will be returned to you. This means that it’s entirely possible that someone could simply walk away without paying, leaving your car unattended while they make off with their ill-gotten gains.
How Your Customers Benefit
You might think your customers don’t care about new developments in pay stations. After all, they just want to get their car clean and have a pleasant experience at your business. But look again. Advances that benefit customers directly or indirectly also benefit you by helping keep traffic flow consistent, reducing employee costs and improving sales through more efficient transaction processing. With an overview of available technology, a little creative thinking and maybe some web browsing, you can decide what’s best for your own business while keeping your customers happy. __________________________________________________________________________
Other Issues to Consider
The most basic technology that comes to mind is an EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) payment terminal. These systems allow customers to conveniently swipe a credit card through a device and then pull directly forward into a bay for automatic payment and vehicle cleaning. As you can imagine, there are numerous benefits for both customers and business owners when considering equipment like an EFT system, including: Cashless transactions Drive-thru convenience Customer loyalty Mobile payments Optimized employee efficiency For more information about how your business can benefit from professional pay station systems,
Busting Myths About Pay Stations
When it comes to car washes, most people think that their only benefit is convenience. Many people still associate them with old fashioned models like coin slots and rubber cups. However, that’s not true anymore – modern day pay stations offer a range of advanced features. Take a look at some of these features below