How to keep customers loyal to your car wash
Regardless of whether you are just opening your car wash station or are already operating a smooth-running facility, having a large customer base is important for the business. Loyal customers deliver regular sales. But how do you gain the loyalty of your customers? There are many options that you can use for your business.
Discounts and special promotions
- A popular means of promoting customer loyalty are cards for ten washes, which the customer can purchase for the price of nine individual washes. Alternatively, you give a free wash per 10 wash card.
- Loyalty cards present another option. Offer your regular customers a wash card on which they can load a credit, which allows them to receive discounts. Regular customers with top-up cards generally pay 50 cents less for each program and immediately receive a discount if they load 50 euros onto their card. Make your offer for regular customers as attractive as possible. For example, all customers who top up a large amount of 200 euros now belong to the "Gold Customer Club" whose members receive special deals and offers. Give your regular customers a special discount on their birthday in the form of a bonus in kind - for example a free underbody wash. Alternatively, just give away a wash. In doing so, you offer your customers added value and keep them loyal to your car wash. Place promotional material and membership applications for your customer club next to the counter and have your counter staff draw customers' attention to these.
- Different washing promotions such as seasonal programs are definitely also a way of keeping customers loyal to your station. For example, in the run-up to Christmas, you can rent a stand in a shopping center where you sell gift vouchers. Or give people who have just bought a new car a free wash or at least a discount to test out your service. Most car dealers are happy to give away a free wash, and the proud new car owners immediately get used to washing their car in your car wash.
- A good option for customer loyalty are volume discounts for companies with fleets, car hire companies or car dealers. Customers such as these are particularly desirable because they return regularly and are not influenced by the seasons or the weather. Be sure to create a customer file in which you make a note of the preferences of these key customers. You can use these for targeted promotions. This way, customers notice that they are valued individually and remain loyal to you.
Discounts are all very well and good - there are many people who can be attracted to a specific location by discounts. However, there is another approach that you can follow. Show your customers that there is another way! Customers who feel comfortable, will gladly come back.
Giveaways and that little bit of extra service
- In addition to the excellent quality of the car wash, many other factors also play a role in whether a car wash customer is satisfied and therefore always comes back to you. Extend your service to give your customers added value that they will not receive in this form at any other station. For example, give every customer who chooses the premium wash a cleaning cloth that they can exchange for a fresh one at any time. Or how about free rubbish bags and window cleaning cloths? However, in order for such a service to cost no more than it brings in, you should first ask the customer if they would like to take advantage of this option.
- In addition to advertising material, there are many other services that you can use for customer loyalty. If your car wash also features mat cleaners and vacuum cleaners, you can then offer this service to your customers free of charge to go with their wash.
- Regardless of the season, car wash customers tend to spend a long time particularly at self-service car washes. So how about a coffee or a vending machine that you make available to the customers? It is often the little things that make customers feel at home at a particular station. Take advantage of these little things for your business.
- The intrusive salesmen mentality puts many customers off. Make your business stand out from the crowd by encouraging your employees to tell their customers the truth about whether they need specific services or not. This is how you make yourself credible and trustworthy.
- You can also give your customers a say by organizing customer satisfaction surveys and taking the incoming suggestions to heart. If a customer feels they can achieve something with their opinion, they will thank you by coming to your car wash when their car needs cleaning.
- For example, you can persuade insecure customers by offering to drive their vehicles into the car wash for them. This avoids accidents that could lead to insecure customers and offers real added value.
Offering the best service is not much good if your customers do not hear about it. Therefore, you develop strategies to help attract your customers' attention to your service. What is more, the process doesn't work absolutely perfectly everywhere. If a mistake does happen, you have to react quickly, confidently and courteously. In this way, you can still turn a critical situation into a success.
Comprehensive information and error management
Whichever option you decide on, transparent communication is always important. Inform your customers not only about promotions, loyalty cards and services, but also about your car wash and the programs available. Update your website regularly and distribute flyers that clearly explain the special features of your car wash or programs.
If a customer is dissatisfied and complains, stay friendly and constructive. Even dissatisfied customers can be turned into regular customers, as illustrated by the following real-life example: A lance was not working at a self-service station. The car wash customer was so dissatisfied with the wash he had bought that he contacted the operator by e-mail and stated that he would never wash his car at this station again. The operator subsequently expressed regret for this unfortunate car washing experience and offered the customer a free wash at the station in question or to pay for a wash at a car wash of their choice. The operator's prompt, friendly and professional response resulted in this dissatisfied customer giving the car wash a second chance and actually becoming a regular customer of the operator.