Flow Communications

Screenshot 2023 11 15 at 15 24 25
Carspa customers receive customised WhatsApp messaging when cameras recognise their number plate.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already giving pioneers a boost in many ways, including customer engagement and retention. Flow Communications has delved deeply into what AI means for our business, and more importantly, how it can help our clients’ businesses during times of economic instability.

Carspa is an upmarket car wash that’s been based in Illovo (Johannesburg) for the past 20 years. Many competitors have popped up recently, and with the South African economy weakening more each day, serious innovation was required to attract and retain sufficient customers.

The video below explains how Flow partnered with Carspa to turn things around.

Flow developed an app through which Carspa customers can sign up to get every 10th car wash for free, or unlimited monthly car washes for a set fee. The app (available on mobile, tablet and desktop) targets potential repeat customers by automatically detecting their number plate using number plate-recognition algorithms. This data is then used in different ways to build customer engagement and loyalty.

A screenshot of the simple registration form.

According to Clifford Regenbaum, founder of Carspa, the loyalty programme has helped massively with converting customers into repeat customers. After launching the app, roughly a third of his customers became repeat customers, and one customer visited the spa 39 times in four months on a VIP membership.

Another loyal customer drove into Carspa and immediately received a WhatsApp message that read: “Hey John. Whoopeee, it’s your lucky day – your car wash is on us. Sit back, relax and we will take care of the rest. Please show this message to the cashier. Thank you, and just to let you know, we value your support.”

Even if customers do not sign up for the loyalty programme, thanks to AI, Carspa now has analytics – such as the number of visits per day; the make, model and colour of vehicles; and its top customers – to inform future business decisions.

In 2023 Flow and Carspa won nine trophies between the New Generation Social & Digital Media Awards and the Assegai Awards. At a black-tie function at Johannesburg’s Inanda Club held on 11 April 2024, Flow and Carspa also won awards in the following categories at the Smarties Awards:

  • Real-Time Marketing (gold)
  • Contextual Targeting (gold)
  • Social Messaging/Chat Apps/Text Messaging (gold)
  • Small Budget/Big Impact (silver)
  • Personalisation (bronze)
  • Best in Show (judges’ award)

The TriggerMessage platform developed by Flow for Carspa is available to other retailers, so let us know if you would like a demonstration of it.

There are many other innovative ways that AI can help your business, but make sure you get ahead of your competitors in this regard. If you’d like to know more, drop an email to info@flowsa.com and tell us about your business.

*This 2023 blog was updated in April 2024.

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