Carwash owners are faced with two major factors on a regular basis: How can I deliver a knock-out presentation to keep customers coming back and how can I increase my top ticket sales. Marketing and showmanship play a big role in these answers, and a big change is coming in the way owners market and entertain their customers. Plenty of carwashes do a good job of washing a car, but what people remember is the the show and excitement you create.
How to start a carwash Tip #1: Enhance your menu
Your menu should be approached as your best employee and most efficient sales person. You need to constantly evaluate your menu marketing plan and see what’s working and what’s ineffective and change your offerings based upon your findings. Icon-based service menus are more recognized in our fast paced marketplace and help boost sales at the wash. Carwash owners can use this to help bring awareness and market their services better. Very quickly they can identify with the product in each package and be more inclined to splurge on a top ticket item if the presentation is enticing.
How to start a carwash Tip #2: What to do inside the tunnel
The menu is just half of the formula, the other half lies within the tunnel. Owners need to feel as if each customer just bought a ticket to a show, and once the car moves, the entertainment begins. You need to dress up your arches and make sure the customers know what they’re receiving. Think of the experience through the eyes of the customer going through a tunnel filled with bright colorful application arches and the impact that it creates. (tunnel_arch_1 – tunnel_arch_2 image) New advances in LED light sticks are a great way to provide a grand show inside your tunnel. Incorporating LED color changing lights gives a great facelift to your services. The service could be a clear water rinse, white foam, or multi-color application, these lights enhance the value of the service and grabs respect from customers. When you have a regular essential service like a rinse, you can really create excitement by doing a few simple things and you can enhance the experience with LED animations.
How to start a carwash Tip #3: Upsell your higher ticket wash packages
The example below is a way to bring excitement without a huge investment to a standard service offered at every carwash. When you have eight carwashes in a 4-mile radius adding an extra show to the tunnel experience goes along way and helps to grab those potential customers. Ask yourself: Would I rather have a normal rinse or go to the wash that offers the “green falls monster rinse”? It just takes a little creative energy and a new signs you can make the rinse portion fun for everyone.
- Give the service a fun name instead of just rinse. A good example is: “Green falls monster rinse.” image 1
- Add the corresponding name to your menu and support it with a graphic icon. Image 2
- Support the service with a graphic fixture enhanced with LED animations that illustrates what it does, showing a picture of a green monster rising out of a water fall would be perfect for this example. Image 3
- Incorporate LED light bars that change the color of the water to green to reinforce the name and image. Image 4
At the end of the day, most washes can clean a car to a certain degree, but a successful owner aims to leave a lasting impression by putting on a show that will have customers coming back for years to come.
Light shows not only excite the kids, but it also keeps the adults entertained. Or as Darren Clark, the owner of Blast Car Wash in Sterling Heights, MI, said, "Any carwash can wash cars, but when a customer comes through and says your light show was like visiting Disney World you know you will get him back.”
Bobby Jones is the Art Director of TSS Inc., a company which manufactures carwash signs. For more information, visit www.tsscws.com.