Mat cleaners have come a long way from the 1960s, when they became popularized during the transition from thin rubber matting to carpet mats, but didn’t always accomplish the job they were designed for, said Bud Abraham, president of Detail Plus Car Appearance Systems. Mat cleaners have improved greatly in quality in recent years, said J-KO Company owner, Jon Kolquist. Every year he said that companies make improvements and advancements in the cleaning technology involved in the equipment.
Here are some mat cleaner tips for different service types:
- Most full-serves will offer mat cleaning as a value added service, Abraham said, for usually $1 or $2 for a shampooing.
- “A lot of people start out with one machine," said Kolquist, “and then they find out on the busy days that’s not enough” and end up getting another two or three machines for that location.
- “It’s really important that the full-service people don’t sell a mat shampoo to a mat that is really trashed unless it is pressure washed first, and then dried in a mat cleaner,” said Abraham.
- If your wash is charging for a shampoo, Abraham recommended that you train your employees to ask things like, “Would you like us to shampoo all your floor mats for an additional $2?
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- Mat cleaning will either be a value added service, or an additional charge, usually for the same price as that of a mat shampoo at a full-serve.
- Offer a free mat cleaning with the purchase of a specialty wash package or other item, said Kolquist, to attract new customers.
- Offer free service to create a buzz about the machine. “That’s the fastest way to get your customers to use a mat cleaner,” said Abraham. If the customer likes the service the first time around when it’s free, they’re more likely to pay for it the next time they visit your wash.
- The mat cleaning is usually a pay service, which is done by the customer personally using the mat cleaner, Kolquist said.
- A standard amount of time to give a customer for a $1 or $2 mat cleaning, would be two minutes.
- It is important, said Abraham, that the machines are in a place that is visible to potential customers, or they are unlikely to receive much use.
- For additional exposure, Abraham recommends that you can put signs in your self-serve bays to inform your customers that you offer mat cleaning services.
Mat cleaners are a reliable service that can add value to a wash or be used as an additional revenue source. When marketed correctly, your wash will benefit from this piece of equipment that is a major component of a successful wash experience.