Is your pricing competitive? This might be the toughest decision an auto detailer makes. Price yourself low and you’ll be busy … but will you make money? Set your prices high, and you’ll make a healthy profit on each car, but just how many cars will you service?
Businesses we found on Google and Yelp in major cities across the USA were sent this email:
“Full detail Saturn 4 door”
I’m selling my car and need a quote on getting my car detailed inside
and out but not the engine.
The interior is a little gross from my kids and the paint is scuffed
up a bit in some spots. What do you think this would cost and how
long would it take?
The email included three photos of an 8-year-old Saturn sedan in average condition.
Average quote: $215
Highest quote received: $399
Average time of service: 4.1 hours
Longest estimate: Seven hours
Shortest: Two hours
Average response time: 86 minutes
Longest time to respond: 10 hours
Shortest: 10 minutes
56 percent of shops didn’t respond at all.
This was alarming. We were expecting roughly a 25 percent non-response rate. Good news for the “good shops": Half your competitors are lazy.
1. Price matters: Don’t be the high bid, and don’t be the low bid.
Imagine yourself as Erica. Your car might be worth $5,000. A bid of $399 is not appropriate relative to the value of her car. But with an average quote of $215, $100 is suspiciously low. And she would be right to question that quote: It can’t possibly be a thorough service. She’s going to choose the bids near the middle, read online reviews, and probably call two shops before she finalizes an appointment. A few times a year, check in on your competitors’ pricing to be sure you’re where the customers are: The “middle” of the market.
2. Respond to every email within three hours, no exceptions.
Let’s face it … a lot of emails are tire kickers. When I ran Ace Car Reconditioning, only 20-30 percent of them became customers. But not responding is unacceptable. And responding late – anything past three hours – says to the customer “you’re not important to us.” Think of the last time you needed a plumber, electrician, or accountant. Did you hire the late responder? Be sure that all emails reach your cell phone. Check every two hours. Every email gets a response, every time.