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Business Operations

Reality TV that won't rot your brain

October 11, 2010
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Well, it happened. The carwash industry had its first Public Service Announcement on national television thanks to a Modern Marvels episode that aired on the History Channel last December. My whining and subtle coughing *please help us* noises must have paid off.

For those of you who weren’t glued to your TV that evening, I’ll sum up the 60-minute carwash commercial episode as best I can: Professional carwashing is good for your vehicle and better for the environment. Also, there are some pretty nifty facilities out there that clean the trains that haul radioactive waste and the trucks that dump salt on the roads in the winter (imagine how horrible that stuff is for your car!)

The Modern Marvels episode couldn’t have come at a better time. While many Americans are holding tightly to their paychecks and reevaluating their spending habits, this expose on the carwash industry showed just how necessary and important a professional carwash service can be.

Although some of the episode was kind of fluffy, it served its purpose well. The Modern Marvels narrator showcased the impressive Cloister Car Wash facility in Sinking Springs, PA, and not-so-subtly reminded consumers that visiting a carwash is an American tradition and part of every household’s “To Do” list.

This year, it is more important than ever that we remind the consumer just why a carwash is so gosh darn important. Professional Carwashing & Detailing e-News has printed numerous stories on the benefits of maintaining a clean vehicle during the winter months. I encourage you to print these articles and share them with your managers and employees who can use them in sales pitches and in everyday conversations with your customers.

If you’re a carwash that reclaims and reuses water in the wash process, take a note from Modern Marvels and highlight the environmental benefits of carwashing. You might even have the episode play continuously in your carwash lobby if you are so equipped.

Improving profits during an economic crisis requires a great deal of commitment from the business owner. You must put a tremendous amount of energy into attaining new customers, while retaining your current customer base. You should always be trying new and innovative programs that can increase ticket averages and increase customer loyalty and visits. This can all be attained through a well-organized educational marketing campaign. One that incorporates not only signage and advertising, but also your employee training process and management reward system.

If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of the Modern Marvels episode, visit the History Channel’s website (www.history.com). In the meantime, keep educating your customers and your employees. After all, “anyone can steer the ship when the sea is calm,” but, it takes a special type of captain to navigate the rough seas and also prepare for the waters ahead.

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