It can be a chore to clean vehicles by hand; that’s why people go to the car wash, to make this task easier. But your wash is not the only game in town. People have choices: there are self-service, in-bay automatic, full-service, flex, and express exterior washes. In most markets, there are several competing locations for each of these wash formats. Try these seven suggestions to attract more customers to your wash:
1. Take Advantage Of Late Hours
Customers want services on their schedule. Make sure your car wash is open for as many hours as possible. If you operate a self-service and/or in-bay automatic wash, you can stay open 24 hours daily with no problems.
Full-service and exterior washes might want to poll their customers to see how long they would want the business to be open daily.
2. Loyalty Programs
In its simplest form: buy five get one free. Since everyone has a smartphone these days, you can offer a digital loyalty program. By using a digital stamp card, you’ll not only benefit current customers, but you’ll also attract new customers. Unlimited wash clubs or subscription programs not only encourage loyalty, they also ensure recurring revenue for the wash.
3. Encourage Online Reviews
Consumers will check out online reviews before trying out a new place — it applies to car washes, too. Encourage your current customers to write positive reviews about your car wash business and the customer service they’ve experienced there. When asking for reviews, be sure to offer some incentive (e.g., a discount on their next car wash). And, you can even ask people to post reviews on your social media pages (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
4. Learn To Accept Criticism
It’s almost unfair how much damage even a single bad review can do to a business’ reputation. If you see a bad review online, don’t ignore it. Respond to the critical review right away. Ask the reviewer to explain what the problem was and how you can make up for their disappointment, and then offer to make the situation right so that you keep a customer and mitigate any damage that might have been done.
Referrals are also a great way to get the word out about your car wash. Yes, word-of-mouth is still a reliable and effective marketing tool. People place faith in the opinions of those they know and trust. And, just like with encouraging online reviews, you can offer incentives to customers who make referrals.
6. Create Physical Attraction
Full-service and flex washes will want to create a waiting area that is clean, comfortable, and attractive with such amenities as magazines, TV, free WiFi, beverages, and snacks. All washes can benefit from a clean and attractive site. In this regard, landscaping can do wonders. And don’t forget the foam and light show in the tunnel.
7. Social Media
Social media is a big attention-grabber: you can engage with customers, as well as potential customers, as you post photos, videos, etc. about your wash. By posting to social media on a regular basis, you’ll encourage users to follow you and check in from time to time — especially if you provide content that is entertaining and/or educational.
By employing one or more of these suggestions, not only will you bring more customers to your wash, you will also retain these customers for many years to come.
Kristin Herman is a writer and editor at UK Writings and Academized. She is also a contributing writer for online publications, such as Boom Essays. She writes about the latest trends in marketing and social media.