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Ways to Improve Your Car Wash Business

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Car wash owners are constantly looking for the latest technologies and improvements they can find to get a leg up on their competition. Enhancing your business can help you attract more higher-paying customers and earn more repeat clients. You can take so many angles when improving your car wash, from adding to your service menu to upgrading your lot.

At USA SHADE, we’ve helped countless car wash businesses improve their location and earn more customers with attractive shade structures. We’ve been a reliable partner for many car wash improvement projects, and along the way, we’ve learned a thing or two about what works best. Learn more about how you can attract customers to your car wash with enhancements.

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Tips for Improving Your Car Wash for Customers

According to 2019 data, nearly a quarter of car washes have six or more competing wash facilities in their service radius. With so much competition, car wash businesses must continually upgrade and improve to keep up with the nearby competition. Essential enhancements help washes continue to hold market share and earn their customers’ loyalty. Here are five improvements your business can make to stand out in the car wash industry.

1. Create a Loyalty Program

Everyone loves saving money and getting preferential treatment at the same time. In the car wash business, where your closest competitors might be right down the street, a loyalty program can be the secret to keeping your best customers happy. A loyalty program keeps your customers away from your competitors, reduces customer acquisition costs, and makes clients feel appreciated for their continued business.

A loyalty program could give drivers a free wash or an upgraded package after several visits. Another type of program allows customers to buy a membership for unlimited washes. Both systems are effective, giving your customers superior value for coming more frequently or choosing your business over your competitors.

2. Provide the Best Wash

Nothing beats driving to work in a shiny, clean car. If you can provide the most pristine clean and longest-lasting wax, you’ll make customers for life. Vehicle cleanliness is a primary reason 91% of customers choose a car wash. Meanwhile, 75% of customers want their cars to be shiny.

Cleaning cars is the central service you provide, so consider what your business can do to make it better. Can you upgrade to a better wax, so cars stay cleaner longer? Maybe it’s time to replace your spin brushes with ones that can scrub down vehicles a little better. Talk to your customers about what they’re looking for and how you can fulfill their needs with a better wash.

3. Add New Services

Another way to improve your value and make more sales is with upgraded wash packages or add-on services. You could give customers the option to build a custom wash from a menu of extras like undercarriage washes, leather reconditioning, and the like. If you provide perks other car washes don’t or can’t, customers who need these services will come to you first. They also help you earn more revenue by increasing the amount customers pay per visit.

Consider what your clients might be looking for, as it can be different for all types of customers. For example, luxury sports car owners might be looking for extra protection and shine with hand-applied polish and detailing. Minivan owners might turn toward stain removal and interior vacuuming. Your options for service upgrades are limitless and can include:

  • Rust inhibitor coatings for undercarriages
  • Clear-coat rain protectant
  • Pet hair removal
  • Caked-on mud removal for exteriors or interiors
  • Minor scratch and dent repair
  • Vinyl mat washing
  • Tire gloss
  • Interior window cleaning
  • Fragrance or odor neutralizer
  • Tree sap removal

Depending on your business model, you can group these services into deluxe packages or let customers buy them a la carte.

4. Create an Inviting Atmosphere

For most people, getting their car washed is another errand on an already lengthy to-do list. Turn it into something people have fun doing, and they’ll come back more often and even stay a little longer while they wait for extra specialty services. Car washes can create an atmosphere customers love in many different ways.

For some, it’s about making the experience efficient. A line of cars that moves quickly and a lot that’s easy to navigate might be the perfect car wash experience for some customers. Other businesses look to add excitement and fun. They might blast music in the parking lot and surprise customers with a multicolored display of foam or a light show as they travel through the wash tunnel.

You might provide a luxurious ambiance with the personal attention of a hand-detailing service. For this type of car wash, the experience might be in the waiting room with leather chairs, television, and a coffee bar.

You can also attract more customers to your car wash by focusing on exterior improvements. When your building looks freshly painted with well-maintained landscaping, you’ll naturally draw more people to your property.

5. Add Shade Structures

Shade structures are one of the best ways to improve your car wash because they’re multifunctional. They enhance the car wash experience and entice customers to stop by. First, these stylish, prominent canopies add curb appeal to your business. They can also help direct traffic through the wash, guiding visitors where to drive or park.

Shade structures can also add to the customer experience, encouraging them to come back time and time again. For example, a shade structure above the self-serve vacuums can make the experience more comfortable. You’ll get more customers who want to use the vacuums on hot, sunny days.

Meanwhile, shade structures above the drying area can help prevent cars from baking in the sun. When the customer steps back into their vehicle, it’ll be nice and cool. It’s a subtle difference that can help make your car wash the best in town.

Benefits of Improving Your Car Wash for Customers

Improving your customer experience is as beneficial for business as it is for your customers. Some of the perks include the following.

1. Better Reviews and Word-of-Mouth Marketing

When customers drive off the lot happy and in a clean, shiny car, they’re more likely to tell their friends. Some may even ask them where they got their car washed after seeing its superior sparkle.

Excellent service is the best marketing you can buy — especially in the car wash business. Customers take their cars with them wherever they go. When their co-workers and friends see that a car seems to be shiny and clean day after day thanks to a fantastic wax, polish or protective coating, they’re bound to ask about it.

Meanwhile, going above and beyond to delight customers is the kind of thing that can inspire people to leave rave reviews online. They might even post a photo of their freshly washed car.

2. More Frequent Visits

When going to the car wash is enjoyable, customers return a little sooner than they might otherwise. When they get a superior clean and more personal service, they’re more likely to come back than to try out a competitor. You’ll gain more frequent visits because customers will go to you and only you every time they need a car wash.

3. A Larger Average Ticket Size

When you improve your services and add more value to your car wash, customers will consider purchasing upgraded wash packages or additional service menu items. Thus, your average customer spending per visit increases.

When customers spend more on every visit, you can increase your sales revenue without a corresponding hike in your marketing budget. You can also gain the advantage of making more money when times are slow. Car washes may draw in fewer customers on weekdays and during specific times of year. If the customers who still come are willing to spend more, you can count on more consistent earnings.

4. More Drive-By Visitors

When your business looks attractive and inviting from the outside, more passersby are willing to make an impulse decision to stop by. That’s especially true for an improvement such as installing shade structures. Architecturally stylish shade structures draw the eye in and entice customers with the promise of shade. When customers see they can vacuum their car without getting sunburned or have their vehicle protected from UV rays while your employees meticulously hand-detail it, they’ll be more excited to bring their vehicle by on a hot day.

Contact USA SHADE to Install Shade Structures at Your Car Wash

Consider all the benefits shade structures can provide for your car wash. From attractive architectural elements to cool, refreshing shade, we can help you provide a superior customer experience. Learn more about choosing a shade structure and browse our product selection to see all the possibilities for your property. Or, contact a USA SHADE expert to help you design a solution for your unique needs and request a quote today.