When your best customer is your least favorite customer.
There are times in retailing when your very best customers become your least favorite customers. Like, when what you wanted to sell the most of becomes what you sell the most of: Unlimited.
Don’t get me wrong. Unlimited car wash programs can be awesome; and they can work. They can create excitement and traffic and build lots of sales. They are especially great for high-volume tunnel washes that can crank out the volume. However, that can be difficult to do with rollover, self-service washes that don’t have the throughput of the bigger tunnel washes. You know this.
When I started my car wash 30 years ago, I built my sales 25 cents at a time. And, I controlled my expenses that way also. Every single nickel I could save in power, water, chemicals and equipment meant more profit and success. Every expense pushed into self-service or out of the operation means more profit – and more opportunity for growth.
That’s why a cell phone app makes so much sense operationally.
When a customer comes to a car wash with a cell phone app they are taking on almost all of your transaction expenses – and then some.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) outlines lots of procedures for keeping people safe by slowing the spread of COVID. There are loads of examples and plenty of good direction on the CDC website; many specific to retail outlets.
Obviously, the CDC offers guidance to retailers when exchanging paper and coin money like: do not touch your face afterward, asking customers to place cash on the counter rather than directly into your hand, etc. The CDC also encourages retailers to clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces such as workstations, cash registers, payment terminals, door handles, tables, and countertops on a routine basis.
I’m not sure but they need to be paid for doing it.
I was talking with my buddy who spent decades in the supermarket business about how new consumer payment technologies cost money and affect transaction costs and margins. I know several car wash owners who are hesitant to use an app to promote their business because of the percentage transaction fees.
I never thought I would resist touching a payment key pad in a Target store, want to sanitize my hands after paying for my house paint at Home Depot, or thought twice about keying in my zip code when I am purchasing gasoline. The only “don’t leave home without it” item in my life right now is a pump-dispenser of hand sanitizer in my truck.
The car wash industry has long fought the battles of payments and how to build loyalty within a business. Years ago it was the battle to take loyalty cards. And even today, credit cards are not standard across car washes in the US. And now, the latest battle is to go mobile.
If your goal is to increase your brand awareness, social media is one of the best ways to spread the word about your business. Facebook provides a huge wealth of users, 1.94 billion to be exact, and the capability to reach them with little effort. Measuring brand awareness can be tricky though.
Marketing has been a really hot topic in the car wash industry lately and creating a marketing plan helps you build the habit of getting content ready to be able to share with your followers. Even if you don’t currently have social media or email marketing, starting this habit can help you start your social media or email marketing campaign on a great foot.
Social media is more than posting about your breakfast, kids and politics — it’s a real opportunity to take your business to the next level. And while some folks have steered clear from social media out of fear of unwanted negative comments or the time commitment it takes to figure out a content strategy that works, you’ve got back up!
Tunnels can certainly take on a high volume of cars in an hour, but they do have their limitations. Whether you have self-serves, in-bays, vacuums, pet washes, or all of the above, there are ways to revitalize your business by focusing on areas the tunnel simply can’t.
Having vacuums and other profit centers such as shampooers, fragrance machines, and pet washes onsite can create more revenue for you in ways a tunnel alone simply can’t. Most locations have space to add these additional profit centers, and should. With most vehicles that come on your location, they could be spending an additional $2.00-$6.00 on these services.
It’s no secret that tunnels seem to be taking over the car wash industry. While they are able to send 50+ cars through an hour, there are several benefits the attended or unattended self serve car wash has over the tunnel folks. Whether you have self-serves, in-bays, vacuums, pet washes, or all of the above, there are ways to revitalize your business by focusing on areas the tunnel simply can’t. We are going to dive deep into a three part series around how to help the unattended areas of the car wash industry.
There are many reasons to attend any one of them, from having a break from your day-to-day commitments, the appeal of going to a new city (possibly), and being able to take a bigger look at the industry. While living out of a suitcase for several days doesn’t appeal to everyone, attending a trade show can benefit you and your business. Here are three reasons why you should attend a car wash trade show.
What we have seen in the industry is certainly gaining ground on those numbers. Cash is going away, and digital is here to stay. The ever growing trend of living in a digital oasis is certainly growing, and we believe there is a lot to be said for keeping up with the times. Here are the latest payment trends to look out for in 2019 and beyond.
To sum up our last blog, experience, business accounts, and Generation Z are the major factors to payment changes in 2019. These are the things any car wash operator should be aware of and keeping in mind as they create new payment opportunities for their business.
Customer experience has fast become a top priority for businesses and 2019 and beyond will be no different. But, why are so many companies focusing on the customer experience? And what happens to companies that choose to ignore it?
When it comes to washing cars, some would think it’s all simply about getting a clean vehicle in and out as soon as possible. However, the full experience of your wash can make or break a customer in no time flat. Whether you’re a self-serve location, in-bay automatic, or a full service wash, experience is key when it comes to not only earning new customer trust, but keeping that trust throughout the wash process.
Consumer data is one of the biggest tools we have as business owners to help us build our business. As a marketer, I once had someone say to me, “If you can’t measure, then don’t do it!” That statement has rung true with every campaign, email, or piece of content I work on today. What I didn’t realize in my youthful years of marketing, is that this statement rings true for any element of your business, whether you are B2B, or B2C.
This holiday season, we want to help you give back to your customers with a few ideas on holiday loyalty bonuses.
Having loyalty options has a wide range of benefits for your customers, and you!
Is your biggest customer complaint about pre-authorization holds?
Then pat yourself on the back, you are running a great washing business!
It’s not easy to keep customers happy and returning. Taking credit card payments in an unattended car wash situation is tough.
Whether you already have car wash business accounts, or you’re just thinking about adding them to your business, it’s time to seriously consider adding more. Why you ask? Well, just look at the data.
Our customers who have added car wash business accounts have gained a revenue increase, on average, of $7,000 a month.
That’s not a typo, and you read it right, that is per MONTH. That’s an extra $7,000 you didn’t have before – and that is just an average. If you really go after adding those accounts, you can double, triple, or possibly even multiply that number by 10. We’ve seen it happen. Business accounts can mean big money for your business.
The one thing I hear over and over from operators is that “social media is hard”, or “car wash marketing is too complicated”, or “I don’t know how to do it”. My response to them, every time, is “it doesn’t have to be”.
If you’re reading this and have that same response to the question of “do you have a Facebook page”, then you are only hurting your business by not being active on your page.
Operators nееd tо аdарt thеіr mаrkеtіng аnd аdvеrtіsіng strаtеgу tо а busіnеss аrеnа іn whісh mоbіlе dеvісе activity іs skуrосkеtіng. Mobile activity is rising more and more each year so it is important marketing tactics meet the needs of those who are on mobile.
We have put together some great tips for how to build your mobile marketing and make your customers see you in the new age of technology.
Having an up-to-date car wash website can help you in more ways than you think.
Car wash website SSL Certificates and Google…
First of all, let’s face the fact that Google has a scary amount of power for a move like this to happen. However, for businesses who own and manage a car wash website, Google and their SSL Certificate debacle have certainly caused a stir.
The self-serve car wash has been in existence for decades in the United States. Since the idea of self-serve gas pumps became ever more popular in the 1930’s, self-serve car washes were quick to follow suit. Most customers were willing to pump their own gas in order to save themselves a few cents on the gallon. The idea sparked the same for the car wash industry.
The idea that a customer can wash their vehicle the way they want to has a certain intrigue. There’s no worry of scratches or machines causing damage. A customer can control their costs with some self-serve bays starting at only $2.00 today. Plus, the ability to wash any vehicle without restrictions can give customers the freedom to wash when they need to, and not in their driveway.
Car wash email marketing is something all operators must consider when thinking about any kind of marketing strategy. It is the granddaddy of the internet. Car wash email marketing can provide you ways to communicate to your customers in interactive and positive ways. As one of the most powerful elements in any marketing toolbox, it’s definitely something you should pay attention to as a business owner.
We have always had an ever changing economy, and to go along with it, an ever changing payment trend. From the rise and fall to bartering items such as conch shells, live animals, grain and ivory, to the payment methods of tomorrow. How we pay for things continues to evolve now more than ever.
Time and time again our customer data has shown the earning potential of RFID is much higher than a card based programs. This is because even when you offer an unlimited program, the average number of times that person comes in for a wash during the month is 2.3. TWO times a month they’re coming in.
While it may seem that many people are hesitant to use their phone for payments, the trend is certainly moving forward.
The market for mobile payments is growing quickly in the United States and is especially growing in Canada. Smartphones have replaced Canadians’ maps, alarms, translators, and personal trainers. Wallet’s surely could be the next big thing to be replaced.
For years, companies have been trying to perfect the way a loyalty program can best fit their customers. There is no exact or perfect equation for creating a loyalty program. However, there is a lot of evidence saying no matter how you do it, you can benefit from simply having one available.
Loyalty program success in the car wash industry can certainly have its challenges. Many business owners don’t even know where to start. However, as a business that has thrived in the loyalty business for nearly 30 years, we have some easy tips to help you be successful without having to sacrifice all of your time, money, or resources.
While taking cash may still be critical to some of your clients, we can guarantee it’s not critical to all of them. By not accepting credit cards, you are missing out on a great chunk of business. In fact, some of your cash clients might be REALLY happy if you added credit card acceptance to your business. In the nearly 30 years of running a loyalty and credit card acceptance platform, we can proudly say we’ve never had a customer who has regretted adding cards to their business. Whether it has saved them time, money, or frustration. It has been a win for customers across the board.
Getting your car wash business up and running can be difficult. When you have spent weeks or months setting up all the tools you need for your business, you simply want to start successfully. One easy way to get moving on the right foot is to promote using car wash fundraisers with your local schools, businesses, or local charities.
Credit card fraud today seems about as common as McDonald’s locations. Whether it’s a personal credit card, or another company whose information has been hacked. It’s no secret that it happens and consumers and companies alike pay a lot of money to protect themselves from such occurrences, rightfully so.
As global warming and water crisis have risen over the last several years and decades, so has the idea of being more concious about our environment in the car wash. The number of businesses moving to be more environmentally friendly is growing. Each of us has an individual impact we can be proud of. Each business also has a small amount they can contribute to being a positive influence on mother earth.