Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Blog: Products change. What about consumer needs?

July 12, 2013

Be careful how you respond to this simple question.

For many operators, your first answer may not be the best one, at least the best answer if your goal is to maximize your carwash revenues.

“What business are you really in?”

A good and acceptable answer, of course, is that you are in the carwash business.

But that initial statement restricts your vision and mission, doesn’t it?

Wouldn’t it be better to define your business, not in terms of your product, a physical, stand-alone carwash, but more accurately, define your business in terms of the variety of customers that you serve?

It would be better, I think, to state that your wash is a retail business which produces a clean, shiny and dry car every day for many different types of customers.

Why is having a better understanding of what business you are in important?

Experienced operators know and have learned that their products and services may change, but usually very slowly.

Your customers’ needs and shopping patterns, however, change more frequently.  In many cases, these changes in consumer behavior and habits are very volatile and even unpredictable.

For that reason, I urge you to be more creative, and develop a closer relationship with your customers, just as you build a working knowledge of your carwash equipment.

Many believe that having old and outdated equipment at a wash could be a fatal flaw, especially if this chronic problem remains unsolved.

Yet for any operator today, there is a much worse problem; that is, having an old and outdated relationship with your customers.

Begin today to becoming a much more customer-centric operator.

You will learn, then, that your broader focus on your market, on people and not just on your products, will better equip you, ultimately, to wash more cars.