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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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Marketing Strategies For New Car Wash Businesses

Marketing Strategies for New Car Wash Businesses

People spend a lot of time & money setting up their new Car Wash site but don’t always spend equal time thinking about the marketing strategies for their new car wash businesses.

It’s really important not to forget that at the SAME time you’re building the physical foundations for your site that you should also be starting to market your car wash to the public. There’s quite a lot of info in this post that both new & existing operators should find beneficial. Buckle in – it’s worth your time to read this in full!

new-car-wash-business-australia

Pre-Opening – Build

This is a critical time to start letting the public know that a new offer is coming their way. Get potential customers excited about what you’re building – let them know EXACTLY what is happening on your block of land as you’re starting construction. Tell them how your business is going to benefit them.

Action Points:

Put banners up during the build process (see below for content ideas).

Approach local communities, clubs & businesses. Spread the word about the upcoming car wash. Give out some free washes to generate community excitement.

Create a discounted foundation wash club membership offer  – if applicable.

Start a Facebook page – share progress images, explain your offer & convey services.

Laserman – this is an option for CWW customers where available. You really can’t miss him!

laserwash-360-plus-laserman-carwash-worldBanner Ideas:

New Car Wash Opening Soon!

Laserwash Car Wash Coming Soon!

No time to wash your car? Car Wash Coming Soon

Advertise EXACTLY what your offer is: Touchless Automatic Car Wash – Self Serve Bays – Dog Wash COMING SOON!

Clean your dirty car here soon – Opening November!

(We can supply images & logos to all Carwash World customers to help with this).

Advertising Options

This all depends on your area & your demographic but you may wish to look at the following options to incorporate them into the marketing strategies for your car wash business.

However you choose to target people there’s one main thing to consider. You need to have a compelling offer. A compelling offer has a CTA (call to action) – get people excited to try your car wash. Your offer will depend on your entry system but discounted foundation wash club memberships & free wash days for the first days you are open work very well.

Car Wash Marketing Tips

Also ensure you explain to customers why you’re better & different. Talk about your Automatic car wash. People would like to know it’s a touchfree Laserwash, has no friction & is safe for car paint. Explain the types of waxes or chemicals you use, tell them how you protect environment using recycled water.

Action Points:

Print medium – potentially a flyer drop or brochures to hand out. Leave on cars in car parks etc, leave with local businesses & groups.

Radio advertising – advertise free wash days if applicable (see below) or a $10 introductory pricing offer.

Social Media – this is an inexpensive way of promoting your new business as well garnering interest in your upcoming offer. Start your Facebook page – Coming Soon. Advertise what your offer will be, talk about soaps, waxes, why washing at a car wash is better for the environment (see ACWA’s driveway to waterway initiative to encourage customers to think more about where chemicals go).

Grand Opening

We recommend a minimum of 2 days FREE washing. This is your opportunity to test the equipment – gets as many cars through as possible. It’s crucial for new owners to get a feel for equipment, adjust chemical delivery & train staff. It gives us & you the opportunity to work together to tune the equipment making sure we’re producing the highest quality clean. CWW keeps a technician on site for 2 days to work through this with you.

Actions Points:

Ensure the staff on these 2 days are approaching people pulling into the self serve bays & encouraging them to try the new automatic car wash for free instead.

Ongoing Promotion

Once you’ve been open for a while you’ll get a feel for how the business is tracking. You’ll want to then think about driving sales during your slower periods. For example, if Tuesday afternoons are quiet, run a promo.  Some suggestions are ladies day, pensioner day or if your name starts with a letter of the alphabet, get free vacuums with any Laserwash purchase.

Action Points:

Create Seasonal & Event Calendars – set up a marketing calendar that focuses on seasonal events such as Mothers Day, Easter, Fathers Day & then make sure you document local events such as fairs or car rallies that could encourage ways to promote your car wash.

Car Wash Marketing Ideas

Partake in community events & fundraisers – sponsor a local sporting team. Show that you’re active within the community – this gets buy in from the locals & in turn they help advertise/support your business.

Digital Advertising

Create a simple website – even a single page website for google ranking. Advertise your services, location & contact details.

Social Media – Facebook is the most critical SM platform. You can boost posts & promote your business directly to a very refined target audience. For example, you can promote only to people who live within a particular kilometre radius of your business, who have an interest in new cars & are between the ages of 25-65.

Set up a Google Business Listing – this is CRUCIAL. This is where your business shows up on the right hand side of a google search page. People can also leave reviews here & whilst some reviews could be negative, you need to see it as an opportunity to get better.

Sign up to free local business directories – this helps with Google ranking & helps customers find you.

Complaint Handling

The greatest asset your car wash can have is superior customer service. Every customer is an opportunity to grow your business. How you deal with issues or problems is critical. Always look at things from a customer’s perspective. If it’s confusing, difficult to use or just not up to standard – fix it right away. Reply to reviews & complaints with empathy, offer to fix the issue as best you can & assure the customer you want a positive outcome for them.

Actions Points:

Train your staff. Every customer should be acknowledged. This is simple retail, yet is often forgotten by businesses. Your staff should have a desire to ensure your customers know how to use the equipment & are getting a quality clean.

Respond to reviews & complaints immediately. Often unhappy people are placated instantly when you offer them a solution.

Have your out of hours contact phone number clearly posted on site. Sometimes things go wrong, often when the attendants are not working. Don’t make it hard for customers to contact you about an issue.

If social media is all rather new to you – here is an older blog post that has some tips for car wash owners:

https://carwashworld.com.au/managing-social-media-for-your-car-wash/

If you have any other questions – feel free to Contact Me: sarah@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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