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Marketing and Advertising

Communicating with customers

In the digital age, customer communication matters.

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Rich DiPaolo is the Associate Publisher – Editorial of Professional Carwashing & Detailing magazine.

What is the value of customer communication? Whether on-site or through digital channels, many customers today want to be heard. And, as poor customer reviews are more likely to find their way onto the various apps and review sites out there compared to positive reviews, carwash operators must make every effort to address any concerns related to the wash, including its level of service and employees, across all platforms.

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Once you address customer concerns with actionable solutions and let them know, these customers will likely return to the business with loyalty. Reasonable customers know that businesses aren’t perfect, and when they feel like they’ve played a part in moving a business ahead with a suggestion or idea, it’s satisfying, and it can lead them to make referrals as well.

Related: Wash Wisdom: How to handle negative reviews on Yelp

Handling customer complaints so they don’t escalate is a skill that most managers can learn, but it’s preferably not on-the-job training. In fact, all workers, especially managers, must participate in ongoing problem-solution training to effectively handle customer complaints.

Ideally, customer issues should be resolved fully while the customer is on-site. However, in reality, many customers will often not show any signs of being unsatisfied or disappointed until after leaving your business. Some will let these feelings fester, carrying the negative emotions to an app or website.

Your employees play a big part in making sure customer satisfaction is achieved while on-site. A greeter or cashier as well as an exit area attendant offer two important checkpoints with customers to help divert a negative experience.        

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In addition, customer outreach communication strategies, including email and text messaging, apps, active websites and push notifications, can be used as an extension of your business’ customer communication efforts. Systems and processes to track, respond  to and monitor feedback from customers may also prove to be beneficial.

When communicating with customers, especially in today’s digital age, it’s important to be informative and helpful rather than intrusive and vexing. When done right, customer communication and feedback can be invaluable in helping to improve and grow loyalty at your carwash.

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