Lustra™ Tip of the Month
Dealing with Damage Claims

Damage claims are inevitable when you own a car wash. People are very protective of their vehicles and often inspect them closely after they go through a car wash to see what type of wash that they have received. You can take some necessary steps to keep damage claims to a minimum.

One suggestion is to set up security camera around the wash. They can help prove whether or not the damage was done, plus they are a good security measure to have. Be sure that you have good cameras in place. Having good cameras that produce good quality video can help you prove your case. You don't want fog or water droplets on the lens that can distort the video.

Some damage to a vehicle can happen if the proper precautions aren't taken. Post a sign for your customers when entering the wash of items that may get damaged and how to prevent that from happening. For example, antennas are a common item that gets damaged. Let your customer know that retractable antennas should be put down before entering the car wash.

Create a procedure for damage claims and train each employee on the procedure. You can create a form that lists the date and time of the incident, the customer's contact information, vehicle information, a description of the damage and a photo of the damage. Once all the information is collected, make sure to give your customer a date on when you will be getting back to him regarding his claim. That will help assure your customer that you take their claim seriously and will be working on getting the issue resolved.

When there is a complaint, make sure you personally meet the customer at the car wash. Inspect the damage and ask the customer to explain what happened. Decide from there if their claim may be valid. If it isn't, explain to him how the car wash equipment works and how the damage that was done could not have come from the car wash equipment. Remember, the customer was upset enough to contact you about the damage. Be understanding and helpful and try not to take an "it's not my fault" approach.

Once the issue has been resolved, even if it wasn't your fault, offer the customer a free wash or something similar to show your appreciation for working with you on the claim.

It is also beneficial to develop a relationship with a local repair shop and dealer. If there is a claim that is your responsibility, you can have your customer go to one of these locations to make sure that you are paying the correct price for the damage that is done. This will also allow you to be in the conversation with the mechanic for any repairs. Pay for the repairs directly. This will make the entire process of the claim be resolved faster.

Always keep in mind that accidents can happen and taking care of them quickly and fairly will help you retain that customer.

From the Lustra Team — Keep Shining

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