As the name suggests, count-up payments work the opposite way count-down payments do. When a customer pulls into a self-serve bay, they typically have the option to use either coin or card. Coin mechs were built to follow the count-down system. This is where the customer inputs a certain amount of money, and the machine will give the customer a corresponding amount of time. A timer will start counting down from the allotted time once the customer engages the tool they want. Count-up works the other way around, and modern card payment mechanisms will typically follow this system. When the customer inputs their payment, the timer will start from 0 and count up until the customer is done. The general consensus in the car wash industry is that count up payments are the way to go.
This method of charging customers is increasing in popularity due to the benefits it offers over the count-down alternative. Generally, count-up systems tend to offer a more pleasant experience for customers. They can also increase the average amount spent, and promote less idling in wash bays.
1. Better customer experience
Generally customers feel a sense of urgency and stress when using count-down systems. Creating a deadline in the customer’s mind and prompting them to wash their vehicle as fast as possible is unpleasant. The lack of control can cause frustration. If a customer is unable to finish their wash cycle within the allotted time, they may leave without finishing and feeling dissatisfied. On the other hand, customers feel comfortable using the equipment when they enable a count-up system since they don’t feel like they have a clock to beat. Giving customers control over the time they need makes them feel like they got everything done at their own pace without having to scramble to the finish line. This will leave a great impression on them.
2. Increased spending
Count-up systems offer a huge financial benefit in their ability to increase customer spending. As mentioned above, customers feel more comfortable when they don’t feel the need to race the clock. This means that when they use a count-up payment, they tend to take the time to thoroughly complete their tasks. Customers having the ability to proceed at their own pace has led to some car wash operators reporting an increased average spend in self-serve bays from approximately $4 all the way up to $12 per wash. This is an easy way to increase revenue without changing any other aspect of the wash bay.
3. Less idling time in bay
Allowing customers the freedom of completing their wash cycle on their own time will also significantly reduce time spent without payment. Even though customers are no longer set up to race the clock, they are still aware of the time they spend in the bay. Since count-up is charges the total time used, customers get through the entire wash cycle without pausing or idling. This improvement in time usage will increase overall throughput for the business and allow other customers to feel as though they aren’t waiting for ages because the person ahead of them keeps scrambling to feed coins into the mechanism.
Using count up for your self-serve wash is a great way to make the experience more comfortable for your customers. Having count up enabled also means you’ll be able to make more revenue due to the decreased idling in your bays and the increased spending. When you’re looking into upgrading your self-serve payment points, make sure you ask for count up alternatives.