If you own a carwash business, you take pride in getting cars squeaky clean. However, there is so much more to running a successful carwash business than just soap and water.
For your new business to thrive, you need customers, and customers are brought in by good marketing. After all, you’re not the only carwash business in town, so you have to find ways to stand out.
Step 1: Use carwash marketing channels
If you’re looking to market your business, there are plenty of marketing channels that you can use. Of course, each channel comes with distinct characteristics. Some have a better return on your investment than others, and some cost more. You really need to do your due diligence to find out which ones will be a better fit for your particular business.
Here are some specific examples of how to market your new business:
- Direct mailers
- Adverts showcased in local shopping guides
- Radio ads on local stations
- Local TV ads
- Online video Ads
- Curbside displays and inflatables
- Managing your social media management (free posting to social media)
- Social media advertising (actually paying for additional exposure)
- Online pay-per-click (PPC) ads (you’ll be charged per click that redirects to your site via Google ads)
- Online SEO (optimizing of your website so that it is found through search engine results)
- Email marketing (the use of email marketing and public records to reach new and existing customers).
So there are clearly many options open to you. Don’t be overwhelmed though, just take your pick or go through each one until you find what works best for you. Of course, you do need to consider your capacity and budget when making that choice.
Step 2: Attract new customers
Every new business relies on attracting new customers. Your business needs to do more than just survive if it has any chance of success. This can only happen when you have a steady stream of clients coming through your doors.
Let’s have a look at how you can attract new customers:
- Know your customers: This point is a no-brainer. It’s the first step in trying to market anything to your potential client base. If you don’t know what your customer wants, then your marketing will miss the mark.
- Personalize the customer experience: This follows on from knowing your customers. When you identify your exact target market, you can more easily personalize your interactions with them.
When you master the above, you can create a powerful marketing strategy that gives a seamless, intimate customer experience. This in turn results in driving growth and retention.
Step 3: How to improve customer loyalty
Any serious business owner knows how crucial it is to retain customers. The small carwash landscape is a competitive one. If customers are not going to be loyal to you, they will be loyal to another business.
Here are a few ways you can increase customer loyalty at your carwash:
- Provide first-class service: Everyone loves great customer service. It’s a surefire way to keep customers coming back. Make sure you provide fast but good-quality washes and detailing. Use superior chemicals and equipment. Provide a memorable experience by using pleasantly fragranced foam, cut down customer wait times, and attend to inquiries quickly.
- Offer great value: Most consumers love low prices, but that’s not often enough to retain their loyalty. If you offer top-notch services that have perceived value, you will leave a lasting impression. Offer services that cannot be easily replicated by the carwash down the road while ensuring you don’t price yourself out of the market.
- Incentivize with a rewards program: Your carwash will benefit greatly from having a loyalty program that gets customers to keep coming back. After all, who doesn’t like perks and rewards? Offering a free carwash after X number of washes, or giving out military or senior citizen discounts leaves a very positive feeling in your customers. Their loyalty will ultimately mean more for your bottom line.
Step 4: Improve your average carwash ticket
Getting your customers to spend more per visit is vital (if you consider the shrinking or stagnant car counts at many locations). This requires that you take the time to figure out how to increase your average ticket.
So, here’s how to improve your average carwash ticket:
- Put your best foot forward: First impressions really do matter. Make sure you hire staff that will represent your business with a smile and who will be trained in how to properly handle customers. This will build consumer confidence and lead to higher ticket values. If you use an automated pay station, ensure it projects customer-oriented messages that come across as helpful and friendly.
- Showcase a detailed menu: Your signage should be legible, informative and presented in such a way as to encourage customers to buy more. Offer a number of different packages, but don’t overwhelm with too much detail or too many options. Three wash packages along with three extra services are ideal, and use simple package names like “Gold,” “Silver” or “Bronze.”
- Make sales pitches: Make use of signage and staff to highlight managers’ specials and particular packages. Your staff should be trained to promote upsells and additional services or products. Also, you can get creative by offering seasonal or event-specific deals.
- Maintain a spotless site and tunnel/bay: A pristine site and tunnel or bay are crucial to evoking customer confidence. Ensure your foamers are working well, and use LED lighting, inviting fragrances and package confirmation signage at the tunnel/bay entrance.
Step 5: Use email marketing
In the U.S., e-mail is among the most popular digital activities, which has evolved from a networking tool to a valuable marketing strategy. In North America, the use of the email newsletter is a leading content marketing tactic used by B2B and B2C marketers, allowing digital marketers to engage with existing and potential customers in a cost-effective and quick way.
These are some of the ways emails serve as powerful marketing:
- Creation of personalized content: You can use email marketing and public records to create your customer profile and develop targeted content.
- Links that direct traffic to your website: Make sure to have relevant content on the pages that you redirect people to (such as coupons or discount codes). This is a great way to get people to engage with your brand and buy your services.
- Promote your brand to new customers: Statistics show that email is almost 40 times more effective than social media in attracting new customers. You can easily share information about your business and send discount codes and coupons via email.
Email marketing is great for building customer loyalty, driving sales and strengthening brand recognition, so you really should jump onto it if you haven’t already.
So there you have it: five alternative ways to market your new business and reach both existing and potential customers. We’ve discussed many options, but the best strategy is the one that works for you and your business. This article should give you the head-start you need.
Emily Andrews is the marketing communications specialist at RecordsFinder, an online public records search company. Communications specialist by day and community volunteer at night, she believes in compassion and defending the defenseless.