By now you have probably seen a car wash or many car washes that advertise the 3-minute exterior car wash or a 15-minute full-service wash. This is fast for any service-focused business.

Fast food restaurants added drive thru lanes at their restaurants to increase their speed. The three biggest fast food restaurants and many others have accounted for up to 60% of their revenues coming from the drive thru lane. A 2% increase in new patrons in 2011 was directly related to the drive thru window. Who couldn’t use an additional 2% new customers based primarily on the speed or urgency of the service? We all know it is not primarily driven by the product that they are serving.

What is urgency and how does it fit into your business?

Urgency is:

1) The quality or condition of being a pressing necessity or importance.

This is one of the many messages that you inadvertently relay to your customers every time they choose to use your business. By emphasizing urgency at the car wash all the time, everyday, you’re telling your customers that you recognize that their time is important. You strive to provide a quality, value driven service within their limited time.

How do you train urgency? It should be one of the manager’s primary focuses, whether it’s a busy day or a slow day. As the great Vince Lombardi once said, “You play like you practice.” If you demand urgency only on busy days and all other days you allow your employees to spend extra time getting the car out or sending the car down the tunnel, over time, this becomes the new normal or business as usual for the employees. This is also what your customers will start to expect whether it’s a slow or a busy day. Your customer’s main concern is that their vehicle is given the attention they come to expect and cleaned to their previous experiences. If the last time their car was prepped in three minutes and this time the employees have taken longer, this is when customers start to complain. Customers know what to expect from a time allotment standpoint. You can reduce complaints from customers due to their perception of underperforming employees. Train your employees and customers to practice the theory of urgency at your wash during slow and busy periods and you will increase volumes.

From the Lustra Team – Keep Shining

For more information go to