Proper Auto Detailing Business Methods
Many auto detailers like to say they’re the best, but they have no idea about simple auto detailing business methods that could completely enhance and improve every aspect of their business operation. Others like to offer cut rate detailing services for hardly any money just to make a few bucks. Here’s the thing to watch for with car detailing. If you are the detailer, make sure the customer knows you are insured and that you are the person doing the work or at least supervising it directly. Nothing is worse than having a bunch of teenagers doing the detailing and then having to explain to the customer why something wasn’t done correctly. Also, it pays to actually do the work you say you are doing.
Here in our area there was a local detail shop that made the news with a bizzare story. Seems the shop owner thought it was a good idea to have two teenagers that worked for him pickup the customer cars and then drive them through a car wash before heading to the shop. They were getting paid $150 to detail the car. Problem is after doing this for a while, the customer caught on when one of the stupid teenagers left the receipt for the car wash in her car. It cost them $25 for the “Supreme” wash and they didn’t do anything else on the car. Sounds ridiculous, right? The customer called a local TV news station and they followed the teenagers when they picked-up her car again and did the same exact thing with the car wash. Got it all on tape. When confronted the shop owner still demanded to be paid even though they had proof of what he had been doing. It was really bizzare. He’s out of business now. Had this shop owner setup basic auto detailing business methods that followed industry best practices and maybe some additional business ethics, he would still be in business today.
Let your customer know that the services you are doing are exactly what they are expecting. Make sure you have a check-in sheet so there are no problems with damage you find after washing or moving the car. Promote the fact that you have basic Auto Detailing Business Methods and Best Practice minimums that consider mandatory to follow. Do you have garage keepers liability insurance? General liability won’t cut it, you need garage keepers liability to cover the vehicle while in your care, custody and control. If you have it then advertise the fact that you are fully insured and that your potential customers should call around and verify that other shops are fully insured with the Proper Insurance before they take their cars to any fly by night shop. Ask your insurance agent about this or check out our page on liability insurance for more information.
If you don’t think insurance is important enough to protect yourself, consider it as a marketing ploy. Like I mentioned above, this is how we used it. A basic part of our auto detailing business methods system is to include the fact that we are insured and also educate customers about the types of proper auto detailing liability insurance. Not many shops in Western Pennsylvania are actually insured. I heard that from my customers all the time. So we really pushed the fact that we were insured in all our advertising and marketing. It’s important so you might as well make your customers aware of it so they ask your competitors for proof before going to them.
The question I would ask everybody is this. Why would you deal with a shop that doesn’t understand professional auto detailing business methods or even simple professional business ethics. Why would you want to mess with a small, local shop that may or may not have proper insurance coverage and probably pays teenagers under the table to detail cars cheap? At our shop we have written auto detailing business methods and we comply with our industry best practices. We offer a safe and very professional service that you can depend on to get the job done right the first time. We also maintain full insurance and trained employees, not summer help.
When your customer gets their car make sure the services you sold them are completed to YOUR satisfaction. If you are like me, you are most likely more picky than they are. So go over it like it’s your car and you’ll find anything wrong before they do. It takes a few extra minutes that you probably don’t think you have, but it’s better than dealing with a ticked-off customer after the job is supposed to be finished. This is one of the basic customer satisfaction tenets of professional auto detailing business methods and definitely considered industry best practices.
If you are the end user customer reading this, then you know what to look for now when dealing with your detail shop owner. Your car is your baby, so make sure everything is exactly how you want it done. Otherwise you are doing the shop owner a disservice by telling them you like the job they did. If you don’t like the job and you neglect to mention anything about this when picking it up how can you honestly be upset with the detailer. Part of being a satisfied customer is actually saying something about being unhappy with the service provided. I hear that from friends all the time how they were at a restaurant and didn’t like something but didn’t say anything about it. So now that restaurant owner thinks the food he’s serving is great and is going to lose more customers. Tell them about it and let them make you happy so you come back and tell others about their business. Make this one of the first features listed in your auto detailing business methods guidelines book and follow it religiously.
Detailing a vehicle is a hard, labor intensive process. Window tinting installation is another service that is generally considered hard work. Even though you strive for perfection, things get missed, sometimes often. Phones ring, other customers walk in and you always have problems with poor attitude employees who would rather be home sleeping off their hangover than doing their job. So make sure you the shop owner are looking at every inch of that vehicle before the customer gets a chance to see it. If you have specific auto detailing business methods that follow industry best practices and you make your employees buy into the concept, it will reduce the amount of issues you have with your people. And if you are the customer, give your detail shop owner a chance to fix any problems that might arise. He would rather keep you as a happy customer than have you telling ten other people about his bad service.
If you have a great local detailer that you work with, let us know. There’s a good chance that their shop has their own auto detailing business methods that follows industry best practices and we want to know about them. We are putting together a link page of local shops across the country that will be searchable by zip code or city.