Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Make sure you're going the extra mile

August 1, 2012

People stick with what they know and trust. I order the same exact dish from my favorite eatery every single time. I can’t even imagine trying out a similar dish at another eatery. I already know I like it, so why take the chance? The recipe has never changed and the neither has the price…or my loyalty to the establishment, as a result. The eatery even sends me a text message every week, letting me know about their specialty-priced Monday menu. They also text me if the hours are different on a certain day due to a holiday. I also became friends with the site manager. The place seems so familiar to me, I consider it my Cheers.

It’s the same thing with my vet. Even though she’s 40 minutes out of the way, I still make the drive each time with my pet. She’s kind. She knows me. She’s never made me feel like a number. The little things count, too. The birthday card I get from the vet’s office; the calendar at Christmas; and the fact that her staff always goes the extra mile, in helping me out to my car or counseling me over the phone. The same magic is something you have to master as a car care business owner. Customer retention is what will keep you in business. Cleaning a car perfectly will as well, but it won’t help much if your customers start going someplace else. The same kind of loyalty can also hold true when someone has a bad experience at a business. A pharmacy close to home was once extremely rude to a family member of mine. I couldn’t believe it and I vowed I would never go back there. That was over seven years ago and you better believe I still haven’t crossed that threshold and I probably never will.

I know sometimes, things are out of your control, but what you can control is the aftermath. If a customer has a bad experience and they tell you about it, please, by all means, do whatever it takes to appease the situation. Send them a coupon, call and apologize, ask for forgiveness. One less customer can equal hundreds and hundreds of dollars over time.

In other news, now is that time of year when we start rounding up the Top 50 list of carwash conveyors in the United States and Canada. It’s an arduous task, so please help us all out by emailing me at or by calling me at 518-640-9166 with the number of washes that are currently open, along with the name of the chain and the main or first location. This list is based on an honor system as we simply cannot fly out to every location to make sure a site is legitimate, so if you falsely submit a number, we will make sure it is well-known that it was not our fault. The final tally will be published in the September issue of the magazine. Last year, Wash Depot was listed in the number 1 spot. I wonder where the Malden, MA chain, as well as Mister and Auto Bell will fall this year?

Until next month, stay safe and cool,