Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Dress for Success

Lustraâ„¢ Tip of the Month

June 10, 2010

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You're waiting to enter the conveyor of Express Car Wash A. You are greeted by Rock Star Rick wearing his favorite faded rock-band t-shirt with sponsor logos from his favorite beer manufacturer. At Super Car Wash B, you are greeted by Neat Nick in his black pants, and white shirt. His shirt is adorned with the car wash logo and he's wearing his headset to communicate with his fellow Neat Nicks dressed in the same uniform.

JD Powers and Associates in their survey titled "Customer Perceptions of Uniforms in the Workplace" says you will:

  1. Prefer to do business with the employee in the uniform.
  2. Feel more confident in the quality of service you will receive when dealing with the uniformed employees.
  3. Be more likely to return to the car wash with uniformed employees than one without.

The report found that uniforms are also an opportunity to advance an organization's brand. What do one of the most successful, respected and largest carwash chains and one of the highest volume car washes in the country have in common? Uniforms

The definition of uniform is:

  • Always the same; showing a single form or character.
  • Consistent: the same throughout in structure or composition.
  • Clothing of distinctive design worn by members of a particular group as a means of identification.

Talking about Dress Code and uniforms, and their 36 locations, Sally Dahm of Mike's Express Washes in WashTrends Magazine – Winter 1997 article "Dressing Up The Team" by Matt Makowski says, "It's definitely part of our branding. We're in the clean business, and we want to make sure all of our associates and managers look very professional and clean as well."

At Cloister Car Wash in Pennsylvania, a detailed employee manual outlines appearance and dress code. As quoted in Professional Car Washing and Detailing, owner Mike Moutz says, "An unkept employee does not convey the right image to our customers. We're in the business of selling clean."

Other Dress Code Advantages

  1. A dress code can help weed out job applicants who wouldn't be comfortable in an environment of consistency.
  2. Uniforms remove the worry of having to have uncomfortable discussions about inappropriate attire in the workplace.
  3. A uniform gives an employee a personal connection to the car wash and allows them to take pride in their image.
  4. No one likes to enter a business and feel out of place, like they are bothering the employees. Making the effort to present themselves to the public in uniforms tells customers they are valued.
  5. Uniforms set customer expectations at a high level, and make the customer feel important. Knowing the staff cares about their appearance helps the customer feel the staff cares about giving good service and that they are willing to listen and care if the customer doesn't receive the service they expect.

Businesses know the customer that doesn't complain is the customer that doesn't come back. If you don't receive the service you expect, will you be more likely to present your case to Rock Star Rick at Car Wash A, or Neat Nick at Car Wash B? The psychology of uniforms says Neat Nick will look more approachable and you will be more likely to present your case, and more likely to return.

By: Jeff Price, Lustra Regional Sales Manager

For more information go to Lustrabear.com.