The client is an aggregator for SMEs providing tire and car wash services. It currently has a clientele of over 10,000 automobilists and over 300 corporate clients with their own motor pool.
A mobile app for automobilists and a B2B solution for those servicing them
The company already had a mobile app for tire service personnel. The client, however, was planning to take their service to the next level, namely, by introducing handy tools for their direct customers (tire service centers) and a mobile app for automobilists.
Thus, we had the three following tasks:
- Design and develop a B2C mobile app which regular people could use to book appointments at a tire service or a carwash, or reserve a spot at a seasonal tire storage facility.
- Design and develop a B2B solution: both for legal entities with large motor pools and servicing centers for B2C and B2B clients.
- Create our own backend powering the mobile app and the B2B solution and integrate it with the framework of the existing mobile app.
A service that works for B2B and B2C clients as well as the car servicing businesses
This one became our first full-cycle project in car services. We faced three completely different tasks at once plus a tight schedule: the company reached out to us in March, while all the finished products were scheduled for release in the early to mid-fall of 2022.
Over the course of seven months, the Surf team has designed and developed a web-based b2b solution for business partners and a client mobile app for iOS and Android. We wrote the backend, integrating all the existing and necessary frameworks into it.
We have also created and are currently managing a sizable backlog, which covers the period up to 2023.
With the B2B solution, our client’s partners can style and edit their tire service or car wash centers, edit their bios, and set or edit their business hours. They can also add promo codes, view appointment and order data, style and edit the list of services, view reports, manage their clients’ appointments, add employees, and edit their data.
B2B clients (corporate clients) can book tire service and car wash appointments. In the upcoming releases, we’ll be adding seasonal tire storage. In addition to that, B2B clients will be able to affect payments, enter promo codes, view photos of the services being provided, etc.
Administrators and managers working for the aggregator can add, activate, and deactivate service centers and users; edit their data; and book appointments for clients.
With the mobile app, B2C clients can search for service centers and see how much a service costs for their specific vehicle; pick service centers on the map, filtering them by specific parameters, time, and proximity.
Concept and final design
We put together design concepts for the mobile app and the B2B solution.
Our point of reference in designing the mobile app was the bright and rich brand identity created by a topline design studio. As for the B2B solution, our designer suggested a more classic and soft palette because being exposed to bright colors could put a strain on corporate clients.
As a result, the design not only stays familiar but also becomes functional.
A B2B solution for servicing companies
We needed to develop a B2B solution targeting two types of audiences:
- legal entities (clients with their own motor pools) booking appointments,
- partners providing services to legal entities and regular people.
These audiences have different user flows, hence the great number of features required. While working on the MVP, we created over 30 features; here are some of them.
Managing service centers
Corporate managers can view lists of available service centers, add more centers, activate, edit, and delete them.
Each center has to have a business partner specified (a person it belongs to), along with a photo, a list of services, business hours, and extra options available, such as, for example, a lounge, Wi-Fi, coffee or tea, air conditioning, and pets allowed.
Updating business hours in service centers
Through the admin panel, managers and administrators in service centers can edit business hours for each station separately or for the entire center, opening and updating the slots for appointments. Besides that, they can also add breaks to help clients get a better understanding of the actual business hours.
Building a corporate client base
Managers can register corporate clients, view their appointments, and grant or ban access to specific service centers and services.
Corporate clients have access to all information about their business and employees. They can manage their motor pool and book appointments, signing their employees up for a specific service.
Booking an appointment
Corporate clients, managers, administrators, and employees in service centers can book appointments. The appointments can be viewed, edited, and deleted. The company providing a specific service should attach a photo of the result when it’s done, which the client entity can view in their user profile.
Down the road, our plan is to add dashboards to analyze business metrics at service centers, integrate an accounting system to generate invoices, and add a digital document management system. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg—that’s how great the scale of this project is.
A mobile app
To develop the mobile app for B2C clients, we’ve chosen Flutter, a cross-platform framework for building multi-platform applications on a single codebase, thus saving up to 40% on development and substantially cutting back on the time to release.
Below you’ll find the key features that make booking a service much easier.
Picking a service center on the map
Once in the app, users can open the map, pick whichever service center suits them, and view the list of services provided there. Centers can also be filtered by various parameters to find the perfect match.
Once they pick the service center, users then choose the service and book an appointment.
Users can hand in their tires with or without the rims for seasonal storage; the client has an entire class A facility dedicated to tire storage. To track storage status, we’ve added a corresponding field in the app. Down the road, we’re planning to add an option for extending the storage period.
In seasonal storage users can also view photos of the items handed in for storage.
If the storage period is substantially overdue and the next payment is not made, the tires are removed from storage, and the user is temporarily banned from booking the service.
In addition to that, users can legally refuse to collect the tires from storage and give them away for recycling free of charge.
To see how much a service costs for a specific model of a vehicle, users can add their car or motorcycle in “My garage”. A vehicle card in the app shows a model, make, license plate number, and wheel size.
Customers can simultaneously store two sets of tires: the summer and winter ones.
Before we suggested any integrations, we had thoroughly examined the services, weighed up their pros and cons, showcased the results, and addressed the technical questions. Eventually, the client chose the most relevant options.
So far, we have integrated the product with SMS and email notification services. In the short run, we’ll be adding push notifications, tire and car catalog updates, and integrating a digital document management system, a BI system, and warehousing.
Client interactions made flexible and transparent
To make it all in time, we met our client halfway and skipped the pre-design prod. As a result, we had to learn a lot of it on the go, changing the plan as we went along and detailing the business flow together. We held brainstorming sessions, discussed features, integrations, and the customer journey, and found new ways to approach those together.
All the communications were transparent: we granted the client teams access to our enterprise services so that they could track changes in the project at all times and see what prod of development this or that functionality was at.