If you think operating a successful car care business “ain’t nothing but a carwash,” think again. By providing more to your customers, such as additional profit centers, promotions and programs, an array of services and sensory features, the opportunities for more cash flow are seemingly boundless. And, as competition continues to surge, those extras could be the difference between a customer frequenting your facility or patronizing another wash nearby.
For Rock-N-Wash®, customers can’t help falling in love with its vast assortment of services backed by a fun-filled, rock-n-roll theme.
All you need is suds
With a love for rock-n-roll music and classic cars, Sylvain Blouin, founder and owner of Rock-N-Wash®, had an idea to merge his passions into one.
In 2013 he turned his dream into reality, launching Rock-N-Wash® in Edmonton, Alberta. “I was tired of the corporate life and wanted to do something different, create a culture and have some fun for the rest of my life,” explains Blouin.
And, with a theme dedicated to the shoe-tapping rock-n-roll that consumed the 50s and 60s — which today still resonates with generations, young and old — Blouin is definitely having some fun, and so are the customers.
“We operate in a ‘dinosaur’ industry. In our local market, self-serve carwashes have been designed and operated the same old-fashioned way for decades,” says Blouin. “It’s OK to create something different, leverage today’s readily available technology [and] have a theme to generate a positive customer experience.”
The evolution of the rock-n-roll carwash
The retro vibe at Rock-N-Wash® is not only carried out in the overall design of the site but also through incorporating bright LED lights throughout the facility, rock-n-roll music playing in the background and drive-thru self-serve bays. What’s more, the carwash has a feature wall painted robin egg blue and decorated with vinyl records and 8-tracks.
The hail to the era of rock-n-roll doesn’t stop there. “We host drive-in movie nights; we have weekly Cruise Nights during the summer months; we offer a Sani-Dump Station for RV [drivers]; we have a 50s and 60s retro waiting lounge for our detailing division; [and] we have disco balls in our self-wash bays,” adds Blouin.
Once you create the “wow,” asserts Blouin, the rest comes easy. “We have been growing by word of mouth,” he continues. “Customers are now asking for a Rock-N-Wash® facility to the north and west of our local community.”
It’s not surprising that Rock-N-Wash® customers are hoping for more locations. In addition to perfecting the ambiance of the 50s and 60s, the carwash also gracefully ties in modern components to ensure optimal convenience for patrons.
The facility features a touchscreen kiosk, email receipt options and LED rope lights which communicate when bays are vacant or in use.
Moreover, the carwash incorporates various green features to help lessen its environmental impact. “We use 100 percent LED lights; we use a biodegradable chemical; [and] we designed six oil and grease separators to trap any kind of vehicle hydrocarbon, diesel [and] oil fall out,” notes Blouin.
Rock around the bay
In addition to a rocking theme and contemporary features, Rock-N-Wash® works hard to ensure it stands apart from the rest. “We offer four big truck and RV bays. We can accommodate the biggest legal RV or truck units,” explains Blouin. “We provide greater water pressure, a heavy-duty degreaser, a fire hose, a foam cannon degreaser and, [as mentioned], we even have a Sani-Dump Station which clients can leverage for free during the summer months if they wash with us.”
The carwash even offers fleet services and programs, which Blouin asserts is all about building relationships. “Once a company decides to bring all of their vehicles to your business, it’s a commitment on their part,” he adds. “They trust your services above any other competitor in the city.”
When working with fleet accounts, the carwash will take time to educate the customers on all of its services and show them how to use the Foam Cannon in the truck bays. Likewise, continues Blouin, the carwash always incorporates detailed, robust reporting, making sure to send fleet customers electronic receipts as soon as their driver hits stop on the kiosk screen.
“Many of our fleet clients have converted from coins and/or tokens. They did not have a solid reporting or tracking of their fleet washes,” says Blouin. “Our system ensures that 100 percent of the wash expenditure goes toward a company vehicle and not toward a personal vehicle.”
Providing fleet services was a no brainer because Rock-N-Wash® loves crafting relationships with local companies, notes Blouin. “We find that their employees actually return on the weekends with their personal vehicles once they know [our] quality and service,” he explains.
To keep customers coming back the carwash features an expansive variety of extra services, such as air for tires in each self-serve bay, foam wax, dry carpet shampoo, fresh scent dispensers and more.
“We take the time to show them how to wash a car properly, the benefits of presoak [and] how to use the foam wax and liquid wax combo,” reports Blouin, adding that wash quality and a clean facility are also crucial for repeat business.
However, above all, “You must create a positive, fun experience,” he asserts.
Do you believe in magic?
For Rock-N-Wash®, creating good customer experience and maintaining strong relationships are essential. An entertaining theme may be the beat and extra services the lyrics, but community outreach and promotions produce the harmony, bringing everything in tune.
The carwash offers two loyalty programs and monthly unlimited packages. And, Rock-N-Wash® also frequently offers discounts and promotions.
Running specials and offering loyalty programs aren’t the only ways the carwash maintains a steady customer base. Rock-N-Wash® also launched a detailing division to address the requests and needs of the area. And, the wash received the 2015 Readers’ Choice Award from the Edmonton Journal this past November, which was voted by the community; in appreciation, the carwash offered an additional 25 percent value for free on any gift card amount for the entire month of December.
“You have to be prepared to give back. I know it sounds cliché; however, you have to take action and be different,” says Blouin. “We have to recognize that there’s a lot of people out there that cannot afford to wash their vehicle(s) frequently or, [really], at all. As such, we have to offer specials/discounts that [are] aligned with the current state of the local economy.”
Additionally, Rock-N-Wash® hosts several events throughout the year and even provides a food truck on-site during the summer months. “We sponsor local school trips. We donate to silent auctions. We give empty bottles to bottle drives. We do fundraisers, and we host BBQs for local clubs,” shares Blouin. “We are active in our community; and, in return, the community is active with us — once again, building relationships.”
To communicate its promotions and events, Rock-N-Wash® will utilize its website and social media platforms. “We tell the community what we do, post pictures of on-site activities, inform [them] of upcoming events, etc.,” continues Blouin.
However, what makes Rock-N-Wash® such a success is its determination to always be unique and have some fun. “Don’t follow the herd. Be different and focus on building long-lasting relationships,” advises Blouin. “A clean vehicle is an expectation; how it’s obtained is where we, as carwash operators, can create a fun, positive experience.”
Most importantly, concludes Blouin, “Keep on grooving.”
Be sure to peruse through pictures of Rock-N-Wash®, provided below.