In recent years, smartphone enabled technology has opened the door to a vast array of new business opportunities that can re-define the customer experience for a host of situations. Whether it's identifying a more convenient way for customers to select clothing and shoe sizes in store and online, enabling homeowners to monitor their homes to prevent break-ins from intruders or even enabling remote consumer health/well being assessments, it's never been a better time to start up a new digital technology enabled business.
Smartphone enabled technology is fostering what may be likened to a startup "gold rush" and is being used to dramatically re-engineer total customer experiences for rituals that have remained essentially unaltered for decades. Take the stressful and time consuming challenge of finding a parking space in a major metropolitan area. Many consumers are so daunted by this prospect that they avoid the use of a personal automobile altogether and instead use mass transit, hire a cab, Uber or Lyft. For those brave enough to accept the challenge, there are smartphone apps like Streetline's Parker (www.streetline.com) that can help drivers to identify unoccupied parking spots. There is also Parking Panda (www.parkingpanda.com) which enables customers to reserve parking spaces near their desired location. While the operations enabled by these applications can be complex, they represent only evolutionary enhancements to the current customer experience. And then, there is Luxe. Luxe (www.luxe.com) changes the metro parking game altogether by providing on-demand car valet services. The developers of Luxe looked at the challenges of parking a car in a metropolitan area differently than others and engineered an overall superior UX. It's an Uber-like app that enables drivers to both drop off their car with a valet and to pick it up when and where they want.
Automobile rental giant Hertz sees the synergies of aligning itself with Luxe and last month announced a $50MM investment. While details have not yet been announced, it's possible to envision how Luxe would add value for rental car customers traveling in an out-of-town metropolitan area. Some speculate that the Luxe solution could represent such a sufficiently strong value proposition that it could even encourage customers to rent a vehicle (like Hertz) versus choosing to hire an Uber or Lyft. My point is that our ability to significantly enhance our customers' experiences is often constrained only by our imaginations. If we take a fresh look at existing and suboptimal customer experiences, we can be inspired to innovate bold new solutions. It truly is a brave new world.
"Connecting You With The Right Solutions" BFS Innovations, Inc.