Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Reactivating old customers

August 5, 2009

One of the best strategies for marketing during a recession is also one of the least utilized by most small businesses today; and it’s really no secret. In fact when I mention it, it will seem quite obvious.

Most businesses make the costly mistake of neglecting their inactive clients. Customer Attrition happens to just about every business. You can expect it to happen to yours over time. Attrition is simply the number of customers who stop doing business with you.

Why customers stop doing business with you

Typically, customer will stop doing business with you any of the following reasons:

  1. They had a bad experience with your service;
  2. They no longer benefit from your service; and/or
  3. They were pleased with your service but something has happened in their lives that has sidetracked them for a period of time.

Your job as a professional car detailer is to follow up on these former customers and find out what their reasons were. If they fall into category one, it may be hard to get them back. It’s not impossible, but you’ll have work hard to build their trust back.

Many times however, attrition has happened because of reason number three. They simply have other distractions going on in their lives. Think about it for a moment. How many times have you let a gym membership lapse or a subscription run out with remembering to renew it? People lead busy lives and often don’t do business with you again because they’ve just forgotten. Don’t take it personal.

If you haven’t already, take that list of customers who’ve fallen by the wayside and contact them. Find out why you haven’t seen them lately. One of the best ways to keep customers from leaving in the first place is to stay in touch with them on a regular basis. Consider implementing a greeting card campaign where you send out one personalized greeting card per month to let them know you appreciate their business. I have written a report on how create a greeting card referral system for your business. You can download a free copy at

It's inevitable though that you will have customers who leave. If you lose 15 percent of your customers in a given year, then you have to add 25 percent just to get a 10 percent increase in sales. Often times, it's easier building this business back from former customers, than by prospecting new ones.

Jonathan Taylor is the owner of Strategic Marketing Solutions. You can reach Taylor at