I have found in my 20+ years in the carwash industry that many customers, upper management and owners value a sense of urgency. Mastering this skill set will help build loyal customers, retain employees and maximize time-management in order to focus on daily objectives. Here are five important areas where urgency matters most in a carwash:
- Pay station: Greeting customers with a smile and waving them forward into the wash, assisting them with carwash package options that fit their needs and budget are key.
- Returning calls and emails: Acknowledgment should be done ASAP. Acknowledgement means you have received the initial message and will be getting back soon to discuss or resolve. A follow-up call or email should happen within 24 to 48 hours with an update or resolution.
- Employee timely review: Critical in validating the importance of your help. Make this a top priority good or bad.
- Scheduled maintenance: The majority of successful, smooth operators I have known practice and master routine/preventive maintenance. They accomplish these tasks by being very organized, educated and disciplined and incentivize their staff when preventive maintenance is followed. Getting a checklist and routine in place will help reduce your unscheduled repairs or downtime.
- Repairs: Should be scheduled according to the component on a case-by-case situation. Ideally, the repair is performed immediately in-house, without shutting down the wash. If it is unsafe to perform the repair during operating hours, then the component should be isolated and scheduled for service the same day/after hours. An action plan should be in place to do the repair on the specific piece of equipment, so wash quality does not suffer. These guidelines can be customized to your wash once your team identifies the wash’s peak performance capabilities.
The following are indicators that your carwash culture understands a sense of urgency:
- Employees arrive on time and are ready to hit the ground running. This means that they are in the work station a few minutes early, in clean uniform, clean-cut and smiling. You see their willingness to complete other tasks on the property.
- Managers tackle office duties during operating down time so that they are in the tunnel or roaming the property when needed most.
- Owners lead by example by re-investing in their site before managers and customers bring to light needed improvements.
Working with a sense of urgency has a positive impact on your results and gives you the competitive edge. Eliminating distractions and honing in on your focus will help in mastering sense of urgency skills. Leading by example will lead to a culture that blends well with the fast-paced carwash environment, resulting in higher quality car counts!
Mark Dominguez has over 20 years’ industry experience and is a regional sales manager for SONNY’s The CarWash Factory as well as a guest instructor in CarWash College. Mark can be reached at [email protected].