Carwash operators leverage the power of smartphones

Smartphones meet smart operators

Mobile technology is enhancing the customer experience and offering convenience.

On April 3, 1973, the first handheld cell phone call was made by Motorola engineer Martin Cooper in New York City. And, while this new communications device would take a few more decades to reach mainstream status, along the way the first smartphone was designed by IBM and sold by BellSouth in 1994 — the IBM Simon Personal Communicator. This early smartphone offered email, calendar and fax capabilities.  

By the early 2000s, more and more people started using personal cell phones. Today, a large number of Americans (97%) own a cell phone, according to Pew Research Center. The same research firm notes that while in 2011 only 35% of Americans owned a smartphone, this number had more than doubled 10 years later in 2021 to 85%.

Research also shows that younger generations not only own more smartphones than the 65 and over  crowd, but they are also more dependent on the technology for online access. 

According to a study conducted in February 2021 and published on www.statista.com, nearly half of survey respondents average spending five to six hours on their phones daily, not including work usage. Another 22% noted spending three to four hours on their phones daily. 

Apps have changed the way we are doing business and pleasure. Whether it’s streaming live television on the go or at home, checking email, texting and on and on, your customers’ eyes and thumbs are busier than ever before.

Many industries, including carwashing and detailing, have been able to capitalize on the mobile and app trends in recent years, such as with marketing campaigns and customer processing and payment. The convenience for all involved is immeasurable compared to past transactions and experiences. 

In this month’s lead feature, the author shows how new technology advancements are making mobile e-commerce more accessible and powerful. In order to match consumers’ enthusiasm for using new mobile tech, including smartphones, it requires a continual investment in carwash operations technology. Those washes that are changing with the times are smart as well.

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