The creators of Spiffy had an idea in 2014 based on their prior brick and mortar car wash experience and their e-commerce experience that people may prefer the on-demand model for car wash vs. the traditional model and the old-school detailer model. So after some thought, the company and brand were created with an app alongside to test their theory. From there they’ve had some wins and some failures, but in the last 18 months they have really hit their stride – expanding to five markets and growing over 150% y/y. Below is our interview with Scot Wingo, the Founder and CEO of Spiffy:
Q: How exactly does Spiffy work?
A: Our goal at Spiffy is to reduce all friction from the process of having your car washed and free up our customers’ time to do other things. With that in mind, here is how it works. For this example, let’s assume this is someone working at an office park.
1. At office parks we have a regular schedule, say Wednesday. Before Wednesday or the day we are there, the customer uses our app, website or calls/chats to request one of our five services and any upgrades.
2. On the day of the wash they leave their keys in a Spiffy envelope.
3. Our technician arrives and gets the keys.
4. We move the vehicle, saving the spot, to a designated wash area and perform the service using green chemicals, very little water and utilizing a proprietary reclamation mat that is 100% eco-friendly.
5. After the service, the vehicle is returned to the original spot and the keys are returned.
6. This process is communicated in detail to the customer throughout the service using app notifications or SMS messages.
7. After the service and at their leisure, the customer rates the service on a 5-star system and pays through the app (and optionally leaves a tip for the technician).
The home-based service is similar, but requires a little more coordination around the key exchange.
Q: You’ve recently announced Spiffy Care subscription program; could you tell us something more?
A: Yes, when we ask customers what we could do to make using Spiffy even easier, one of the topics that areas of feedback that came up over and over went: “You are at my office every week, what if you just automatically put me on the schedule every month/week/bi-weekly” – that’s how Spiffy Care works, customers sign up for a year and pay monthly to receive our best pricing and priority schedule.
Q: Who are your clients and what market are you targeting?
A: Our customers run a wide gambit of demographics. As mentioned, we service at office parks and residential locations. Our top demographic is female millennials, our second is male millennials and then we have Gen X’ers, etc. The average consumer looks at their phone 64 times a day and their smartphone has become the remote control for their lives – we want to be the ‘car care button’.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: We continue to grow across four dimensions:
1. Existing cities – Our existing cities are growing nicely. For example, Raleigh, our most mature city is growing at 50% y/y.
2. New cities – We have proven that Spiffy ‘works’ coast-to-coast, so we are planning to grow into even more markets.
3. New services – our clients are always asking for new services. For example, we are testing oil change in the Raleigh market and recently announced a partnership with Exxon’s Mobil 1™ to offer premium oil changes.
4. New paths to the customer or channels – Residential and office park work well for us. We are experimenting with apartment buildings, country clubs, retail, medical and hospitality opportunities to see if we can reach customers that way and help them get more time in their lives.