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Conquer Your Competitors: 12 Ways To Be The Car Wash Of Choice

In an ever-evolving industry, competition is fierce. It can be difficult to differentiate and establish your brand’s identity. Difficult, but certainly possible. When running a successful car wash, it is often the finer details that make all the difference.

 

Let’s look at 12 ways to help your site stand out from the crowd, attracting new customers whilst simultaneously building trust and loyalty with your existing clientele.

 
  1. Provide a superior wash experience
    Focus on offering both value and speed. Customers utilising automatic washes seek to have their car sufficiently cleaned in the shortest time possible. However, speed should never sacrifice quality. Balance between an expedient, yet thorough wash service is key.
Quality is (2)

2. Never compromise on wash quality to save $
Quality is crucial; therefore, a consistent clean, and efficient wash-cycle is vital. Frequent servicing, coupled with titration testing, greatly reduces the likelihood of unexpected breakdowns and downtime.

3. Ensure easy wash access and exit
A well-designed car wash is a successful car wash. Customers want an easy, stress-free experience. If something is confusing or intimidating, chances are, your customers won’t return. We highly recommend using a specialist who can custom tailor your design & manage the architecture, civil, hydraulics, traffic & acoustic planning for you.

4. Manage car wash traffic on busy days
Don’t let long wait times drive your customers directly to your competition. Not only can excessive wait times create discontent among customers, but they also cost the business through lost revenue and ROI.
5. Be a stickler for cleanliness
The presentation of your car wash is paramount, It directly represents your brand. Your facility should present as clean as possible, demonstrating your pride in both the car wash and industry itself. This means no chipped paint, no broken equipment and certainly no buildup of dirt, sludge, or mould…your customers will appreciate it.
 
6. Avoid mixed messaging 
Simplicity is key. Communicate your offer, value, and promotions with clear, and concise language.
Your signage needs to convey both the value and price of your offer(s), with efficiency and ease.
Presentation of your site

7. Look at things from your customers perspective
Whilst you have sound understanding and experience with the equipment, presume your customers do not.
Take a step back and observe. Examine if your systems run as smoothly as planned and make subsequent user-friendly changes where necessary (E.g.Hard to access wash bays, inconcsistent or over-stimulating signage).  

8. Be active on Social Media and connect with your local community
When it comes to online content, freshness matters. Social media being no exemption. 
Be sure to regularly share updates, promotions and run customer-led competitions. Have some fun with your page(s); set up a catchy company description, and connect with your local community. Social media is the perfect breeding ground to create a sense of community and credibility for your brand. Your customers want to know what’s new, so tell them. 
Check out our social media resources here

Presentation of your site (1)

9. Greet customers with a smile on arrival, and a thank you on departure
It’s not enough to just have an attendant on site. It’s crucial to actively interact with your customers. Show them how to get the best out of the equipment, learn your regular’s names and thank them for visiting.

A simple smile and enthusiasm go a surprisingly long way. Warmer tones are often mirrored by your customers. Creating a memorable experience, and direct reflection on your brand.

10. Staff should be well presented
Just as the presentation of your site is imperative, so too is the appearance of your staff.
As champions of your brand, your team should present in a clean, professional, and easy-to-identify uniform.

11. Be consistent
Great wash quality and value for money will ensure your customers are satisfied, building trust and loyalty in your brand. Whilst a singular positive experience may not produce immediate brand advocacy, negative encounters will result in immediate critiques.  
 
 

12. Identify your point of difference and advertise it
Competition is fierce within the carwash market. Own your brand and pinpoint your competitive edge. Example: “Hot water in self-serve bays”.
It is essential to tout your values, cement them in the community’s mind. Increase your perceived value with your strong branding and advertising.

 

Want more tips to stand-out from the crowd?

Explore our Education Hub
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Car Wash Chemistry – Titration Testing: Blendco Proclean HA & SuperSat

Car Wash Chemistry
Titration Testing: Blendco Proclean HA & SuperSat

chemicals

When washing cars with a touchless automatic car wash, testing the strength & concentration of your chemicals is critical for ensuring a consistent, quality clean. Touch free automatic car washes don’t utilise the added friction from brushes to remove contaminants, so your soaps must be performing at optimal levels for a clean & shiny finish. The other consideration is that you don’t want to be using too much chemical which is both un-economical to your business & can potentially cause damage to vehicles.

How often should you titrate?

Optimally, we say weekly. Do you want to risk 3 weeks out of every month running at the wrong levels & upset customers?

Titration test kits can be purchased from Prowash here.

ProClean HA & SuperSat Titration Test Procedure

(First presoak pass) 

  1. Collect soap sample from auto wash and leave for 10mins for foam to settle. 

  2. Pour sample into glass test tube until completely full. (Liquid only no foam) 

  3. Pour glass test tube into plastic test bottle. 

  4. Add 4 drops of blue indicator to the test bottle. (Sample will turn blue) 

  5. Fill the orange marked dropper to the top line with 1X Titration Acid (orange label) 

  6. Slowly add the titration acid from the dropper to the test bottle, (swirl bottle to mix) 
    STOP adding when colour changes from blue to yellow 

  7. Count down from the top line starting at 0 to the new liquid level in the dropper. 
    Each mark is 10 drops, you can estimate drops if in between marks. 

  8. Target titration for ProClean plus is between 30-40 drops. 
    Target titration for SuperSat is between 45-60 drops

Paul Davies
Not at the right drops & not sure what to do? We have our own resident Soap Technician. Give him a call & he can answer your questions:
Paul – Soap Technician
0419 668 987

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Car Wash Chemistry – Titration Testing: Blendco Rhino Brite Plus

Car Wash Chemistry

Titration Testing: Blendco Rhino Brite Plus

chemicals

When washing cars with a touchless automatic car wash, testing the strength & concentration of your chemicals is critical for ensuring a consistent, quality clean. Touch free automatic car washes don’t utilise the added friction from brushes to remove contaminants, so your soaps must be performing at optimal levels for a clean & shiny finish. The other consideration is that you don’t want to be using too much chemical which is both un-economical to your business & can potentially cause damage to vehicles.

How often should you titrate?

Optimally, we say weekly. Do you want to risk 3 weeks out of every month running at the wrong levels & upset customers?

Titration test kits can be purchased from Prowash here.

titration kit

Rhino Brite Plus Test Procedure

(First presoak pass) 

  1. Collect soap sample from auto wash and leave for 10mins for foam to settle
  2. Pour sample into glass test tube until completely full
    (liquid only no foam)
  3. Pour glass test tube into plastic test bottle
  4. Add 4 drops of blue indicator to the test bottle
    (sample will turn yellow)
  5. Fill the yellow marked dropper to the top line with 1X Titration Alkali (yellow label)
  6. Slowly add the titration alkali from the dropper to the test bottle, swirl bottle to mix,
    STOP adding when colour changes from yellow to blue.
  7. Count down from the top line starting at 0 to the new liquid level in the dropper.
    Each mark is 10 drops, you can estimate drops if in between marks.
  8. Target titration for Rhino Brite Plus is between 25-35drops.
Paul Davies
Not at 25-35 drops & not sure what to do? We have our own resident Soap Technician. Give him a call & he can answer your questions:
Paul – Soap Technician
0419 668 987

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Welcome Paul Davies – Chemical Specialist

Bringing over 25 years technical car washing experience, Paul is out on the road & ready to support you. He specialises in effective chemical delivery for car wash businesses. How he can help:

  • Titrate & test chemicals to ensure premium performance
  • Run cost analysis calculations to identify true cost per wash
  • Assess your car wash site to give you tips on maximising your sites ROI

More technical coverage for you

As we grow, so does the amount of vans we have on the road available to you.
Alongside Paul, we have 2 new service technicians joining our technical team.

Lee – NSW Service Technician 
0412 330 034
Adam – SA Service Technician
0419 810 558
Enacon Car Wash - Norwest

BEFORE

AFTER

Our New Home!

We’ve moved into a great new office & warehouse space in Dural. You can pop in for a visit, we make great coffee & always have biscuits.

Carwash World

Need to Know Info

Don’t forget there has been an update to the existing crimped funnel type drum cap on all Blendco 6 gallon drums/pails. This has been upgraded to an improved standard screw cap.
Blendco have created an informative video that shows the pail stinger change over process: 

WATCH HERE 

(This video has a lot of detail, however, if you want to just watch the actual change over please skip forward to 1:45)

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6 Ways to Make Your Car Wash Stand Out

6 ways to stand out against your competition

As any industry grows, more players come to the game. This can seem daunting but it’s also an opportunity to focus on how you can create a better offer & show why you’re better. You all know that quality, well-maintained equipment & premium chemicals are a must, so this list talks about some more unique ways of standing out.

1. Above & beyond…

Deliver extraordinary customer service. It’s not enough to have an attendant on site. They need to actively go up & interact with your customers, show them exactly how to get the best out of the equipment & learn the regular’s names. Finish off by thanking them for visiting the car wash.

Above & Beyond
Kind gestures...

2. Kind gestures…

Hand out cold waters on those hot summer days. It’s hot on the forecourt & a cold water will never go unappreciated.

3. For the love of kids…

Lollipops for kids & treats for dogs. It goes without saying that people love their kids & their animals. If you show them some love, you create loyalty for life.

4. Feedback…

Address customer pain points. Seek feedback & take action on criticism. Don’t assume it works well – ask the people who pay to use your facilities.

5. Socialise…

Be social in every way. Get active in your local community, help raise funds for charities & show up on social media. Share local events, lost dog posts & celebrate your customers.

6. Make them smile…

Surprise & delight customers. Hand out free fragrance trees, wet towels or hold a sausage sizzle on the weekend.

Carwash World Difference, we're just a phone call away

Time to Titrate

The warmer conditions are here & these environmental changes often require alterations to your chemicals. We recommend you titrate monthly to ensure superior chemical delivery.

Get your Titration Test Kit from Prowash here >>

Titration

What We’ve Been Up To…

Car Buffs at Raymond Terrace waved goodbye to their aging M5
to make way for a LaserWash™ 360 Plus
Splash N Dash in Merimbula removed their LaserWash 4000 to
upgrade to the LaserWash™ 360 Plus

Want to know more about what the LaserWash can do for you & your car wash business?
Watch videos of it in action, see it’s ROI generating features & optional extras.

Don’t forget the fundamentals of Car Washing

Click here to check out our Simple Social Media Tips for car washes

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Effective Car Wash Menu Board Signage

Effective Car Wash Menu Board Signage: It matters!

You’ve financed, planned & built your car wash. But how much energy have you dedicated to your car wash signage, in particular your car wash menu board signage. The menu board at your car wash is critical to get right. Think of it as a 24 hour sales person. The menu needs to quickly & simply convey both the value & price of your offer to your customers.

Your car wash menu board signage firstly should:

  • Be appealing
  • Be clear & simple
  • Align with your brand
  • Communicate the value & difference between the different wash packages
  • Include any usage terms & conditions 
 But that’s not all- there’s some little details that will make all the difference & we encourage you to speak to your designer to incorporate the following points into your artwork: 
 
  • Aim to only have 3 wash packages, or less – research shows more than 3 creates customer confusion over the options
  • Your top wash (the most expensive) should always be first on display – top or top left, the same way we read. The text should be larger than the other options on your board.
  • The top wash package should also be highlighted in a contrasting colour to draw the eyes attention to it & increase conversions of this wash package.
  • As a rule, if people are in a rush or feeling pressured to make a decision they will opt for the most noticeable.
  • If you have a wash club or loyalty programme, advertise it somewhere on the board showing the potential savings for regular washers.
  • Avoid any pointless information – your customer is concerned about what they are getting & what it will cost them, nothing more.
  • No clutter. Avoid excess images & colours.

Below is an example of an effective car wash menu board signage that we recommend for our Carwash World customers that follow the tips above:

We cannot stress enough, owning a car wash is owning a retail store. You need to make this process as simple to understand as possible while explaining the service & the value the customer can expect to receive for their money spent. Simplify the process! We always suggest no more than 3 wash packages & don’t go overboard on pointless details that your average Joe customer won’t understand. If you’re not sure how your car wash stacks up as far as ease of use & offer goes, invite 10 acquaintances who don’t use your wash to try it out. Ask them to fill out a 10 question survey & give feedback on how they found everything. Chances are, there are things you thought were pretty straight forward that are confusing for your customers.

‘Discovery exists not in seeking new lands but in seeing with fresh eyes.’

We have pdf versions of these suggested menu board templates for Carwash World customers.
Send us an email marketing@carwashworld.com.au

 

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Increasing Your Car Washes Earning Potential & Retaining Customers

Increasing your car washes earning potential & retaining customers

These are 2 things that should be high on your agenda as a car wash owner.  Increasing your car washes earning potential means maximising the ROI of every square metre of your car wash site. If you’re washing 60+ cars, per day, regularly in your current Laserwash 360 (or other automatic car wash) or you run a self-serve only set up, you’re going to want to do your homework after reading this post.

Car washing is changing. Customers are demanding a faster, more efficient service. The offer is starting to evolve.

Owners are being pushed to think about

WASHING MORE CARS, FASTER. But how?

 

Additional Automatics = Fast Cleaning + Happy Customers + Fast ROI

The trend of 2, even 3 autos on a site is increasing at pace. A car wash business with 2-3 touch-less automatics in Australia is becoming the norm, removing customer frustrations at having to wait in lines. We’re seeing increased turnover by approximately 30-40% almost immediately with the addition of an extra Laserwash 360+. Experienced owners know they’re leaving themselves exposed to the competition by not adapting their offer to suit the needs of the consumer.

Are you maximising your sites potential?

First things first, you need to know your numbers. Above we mentioned the 60+ sweet spot that indicates a car wash is potentially ready for an investment into an additional auto car wash. We generally see an increase in approximately 30-40% turnover within months for sites who add a second auto. During busy periods, these sites have the potential to wash 200 cars with ease.

Do you know what is your dollar turnover in your self serve bays on average, every hour? This is an ideal starting point to assessing whether an investment into a second Laserwash 360+ could work for you. Even if you were charging above the industry average of $2 per minute for the services in your self serve bays, with lost time (customers making selections etc) you’re potentially going to be generating around $100 per hour.

A premium Laserwash clean, sold at a conservative wash price of $15 per hour, at an average of 12 cars per hour would potentially generate $180 per hour. Now you need to consider, is there potential to increase the income of your self serve bays – generally the answer is no. Not significantly enough to rival the turnover of the Laserwash automatic car wash.

Reinvesting into your business creates growth. Removing the customer frustration of waiting in line creates repeat loyal customers who value your offer. Something important to acknowledge is the fact that sure, you know the numbers currently being washed in your automatic but you have no way of knowing how many customers you LOSE each day to drive offs. Not everyone has the time or inclination to wait in line.

The initial outlay of a new automatic car wash needs to be a calculated financial decision but when you’re investing in the most reliable, premium touchless wash option on the market today, the Laserwash 360+, we know most customers are getting an ROI easily within 12-18 months. This investment strategy is also a way to ensure that you keep out any potential competitors in your area. Trust me, when people drive past your car wash & there is always a long queue, the first thing people are thinking is, that car wash is always busy, that’s a good business to get into. Don’t leave your business exposed.

Want to run the numbers with us?

We know exactly what turns a car wash business into a success & it’s actually fairly simple formula. That’s why so many car wash owners trust Carwash World.

Send us an email: marketing@carwashworld.com.au



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10 Car Wash Business Commandments

Is your car wash business delivering on our Top 10 Car Wash Business Commandments?

 

Owning a car wash can be a lot of work. Staying on top of employees, marketing, social media and ensuring your equipment is delivering the best possible wash to name just a few responsibilities.

In the interest of not complicating things, we’ve put together a list of 10 Car Wash Business Commandments that you should be trying to focus on to ensure that your customers are satisfied and you’re profitable.

It really doesn’t matter whether you’re running a single in bay automatic or a 40 foot tunnel – these non-negotiables stay the same.

  1. Focus on offering both value and speed – customers who use automatic car washes are looking to have their car sufficiently cleaned in the shortest amount of time possible.
  2. Keeping your site super clean and well maintained – just because it’s a facility to clean your car doesn’t mean it should look dirty. In fact, it should look as clean as possible to show how much pride you take in your car wash. This means no chipped paint, no broken equipment and certainly no build up of dirt, sludge or mould.                                 
  3. Clear signage, great lighting & quality cameras – communicate your offer, value & promotions with clear, concise signage. Great lighting is a wonderful marketing tool & also makes your customers feel safe. Quality cameras are also a must.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
  4. Ensure equipment is simple to use for customers – yes, YOU use the equipment every day but your visitors do not. If something is confusing or intimidating (ie hard to access wash bays, triggers on hoses that get stuck) chances are people won’t come back.
  5. Don’t have too many wash options to chose from – customers want choice but not too many. Research shows that too many options leads people to feel overwhelm. We suggest no more than 3 options for your automatic car wash – ditch the cheap, budget wash & watch your profits grow.                                                                                                                                                 
  6. Maintaining & servicing your equipment – you have spent a considerable amount of money on equipment so you must service regularly to avoid unnecessary breakdowns or repairs. Downtime = Loss.
  7. Making sure your chemical delivery is on point – especially important for a touchless car wash but also relevant to any car wash. Running test washes & making tweaks to chemicals regularly is a must.
  8. Creating relationships with customers – building & maintaining a relationship with customers is imperative for repeat business. Utilise your attendants & their customer service skills as well as social media to communicate how much you value their business.
  9. Invested staff – your employees need to have synergy with your brand & offer. They need to hold the businesses values front of mind. It’s important that they have been trained to have a broad knowledge of the equipment & the product delivery.
  10. Strong offers & promotions – keep things fresh & inviting by creating deals your customers will get excited about & to entice new customers. Discount codes, giveaways on Facebook & Unlimited Wash Clubs are all excellent ways to add more value.

No matter how busy you are in business, if you simply ensure you focus on the 10 Car Wash Business Commandments above you’ll have yourself a popular car wash that the locals love to visit.

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