8 Keys to Nurture Customer Loyalty and Frequency

Cultivating a faithful customer base is no easy task and must be considered one of the most important objectives of any new car wash. But once a critical mass of happy local customers are familiar with the brand and wash process, a wash’s work is still far from over. Maintaining these customer relationships and encouraging both increased loyalty and frequency among return customers is an ongoing objective crucial for meeting a facility’s maximum potential.

 

While closely related, loyalty and frequency are each distinct objectives:

 

> Loyalty refers to an individual customer’s preference towards one car wash (or car wash chain) above all others

>Frequency, on the other hand denotes how often that individual actually visits and uses that particular car wash

 

Both of these factors must be considered when organizing strategy and programming at the wash, as both will have a profound and enduing impact on a car wash’s future.

 

Car Wash Visual Design

 

Strategies to Encourage Customer Loyalty:

 

Emphasize Club and Membership Programs

 

Club and membership programs have been a boon to the car wash industry and are now widespread, and their adoption by a local car wash facility is a potent tool for building loyal decades-long customers. By offering a good deal on a monthly VIP club membership, customers feel as though they belong and become more loyal and locked in. At the same time, those customers who are the biggest fans and who most appreciate and associate with the business will generally become club members over time.

 

Remember, when a customer joins a club, typically with a month-to-month or longer commitment, they are putting down money for the right to have their car washed more often at the wash they prefer and at a better overall cost. This means that that customer is, with few exceptions, exclusively giving their business to one wash—and that means that that customer and their business should be prized and guarded jealously.

 

Establish VIP Lanes

 

Busy days at the car wash make for long lines and wait times that can turn away potential customers. VIP or Cub Member lanes provide a possible solution while also rewarding a wash’s most loyal customers/club members with special recognition and priority wash admittance.

Get the Word Out Through Community Involvement

 

Once an individual customer feels associated with a particular wash, they naturally become more aware of it and more willing to act as cheerleaders and boosters when the car wash comes up in conversation. Therefore, a wash’s leadership should make use of opportunities to build up their community exposure, expanding the wash’s presence in the community through events such as fundraisers, sponsorships, participation in community programs, parade floats, and more.

 

These events also make great topics to broadcast through social media marketing.

 

Deliver Stellar On-Site Customer Service

 

Positive on-site interactions between staff and customers can start yielding loyal customers from day one. Operators must make sure that all wash employees are prepared to do whatever it takes to delight customers, going above and beyond to put smiles on their faces and leave a great impression.

 

Strategies to Encourage Customer Frequency

 

Increase Processing Speed

 

Customers don’t come to the car wash to while away the hours. They want a wash that fits into their schedule and takes up as little time as possible. Review your process from start to finish, including the payment process, prep/presoak, wash equipment, and how long it takes to exit the wash, and optimize.

 

Deliver on Quality

 

Delivering a fast wash is a great incentive to keep people coming back—but only if the quality is equally great. Once customers become used to having a spotless vehicle with minimal effort on their own part, it is much more likely that they will continue coming back more and more often to maintain that appearance. But don’t underestimate the effort it takes to keep your chemicals and equipment in top working order.

 

Modernize with an LPR or Tag System for Your Club

 

Automatic admittance dramatically cuts down on wait times in the queue and can increase a facility’s total output dramatically. While RFID tags are a traditional solution, higher-tech and lower maintenance License Plate Reader solutions (With Wash Club App) is on the rise. This automation makes customers feel special and welcome, reduce the load on your cashier staff, and increases the utility of the VIP lane as well.

 

Expand!

 

Customers will generally pull in for a wash when a) their vehicles really need it, or b) when it is convenient to do so due to proximity. So how to you improve your wash’s proximity to more of your customers and club members? By opening up new locations.

 

This is, of course, not an overnight solution. But expanding with uniform, well-branded facilities spread across a local or regional area can help create a critical density of customers leading to more frequent washes per customer, more market penetration, and even reduced local competition.

 

For car wash detergents, equipment, and more visit the Tommy Car Wash systems webstore. For Franchise information, please visit the Tommy’s Express Car Wash Franchise Information Page. And for information on the NEW Tommy Car Wash Systems Wash Club App, please visit WASH.CLUB

 

Tommy Car Wash Systems

7 Points for Better Car Wash Call Handling

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Incoming phone calls at car washes represent a critical intersection between new customer conversion and customer retention, and poor call handling by employees can be costly to both. Individuals calling into your wash expect to be heard, valued, and respected as their questions or concerns are communicated.

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5 Principles For Managing Local Car Wash Listings on Yelp, Google Plus, Facebook, and More

Yelp for Car Washes

 

Whether local business owners like it or not, online reviews are the new word of mouth and the reputations that companies acquire on sites like Yelp, Google+, and Facebook are having an increasingly large impact on their real world success.

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Improving Email Strategy

Email

 

When you release your first email blast of the year year, how many customers will take the time to open it? According to the email service Mail Chimp, it may not be very many. Across industries ranging from Retail to Sports, Software, and e-commerce the service reports that average open rates for emails tends to be just over 20% , making it likely that roughly 4/5 of your customers are deleting your emails out-of-hand as well.

 

While it is too much to expect that every recipient will open every marketing email you release, here are some strategies to help increase your open rates and maximize the effectiveness of your email campaigns.

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Collecting Car Wash Feedback

feedback

 

None of us know what we don’t know, which makes it vital that car wash owners and operators establish functional methods to collect feedback and stay up to date on the different experiences customers are having at their wash. The benefits of this process are many, and can offer managers a window into their customers’ perspective, and the opportunity to address negative experiences, retain customers, and increase their awareness of otherwise hard-to-spot problems like employee behavior, system glitches, or malfunctioning equipment.

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Text Message Marketing and Car Washes

 

Text Message Marketing

 

According to the most recent figures provided by the Pew Research Foundation, in 2014 more than 90% of Americans had at least one cell phone. This majority is remarkable, and dramatically demonstrates the utility that mobile devices offer. In only a few short years the text-enabled cell phone has become a fixture of modern life, serving as an alarm clock, rolodex, diary, camera, calendar, computer, and much more in a single polished package. These devices are our eyes, ears, and our voice in an increasingly digital world.

 

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3 Practical Ideas for Local Car Wash Content Marketing

Content marketing can be a tricky concept, but when it comes to local car washes this surprisingly simple strategy can yield significant results. In essence, content marketing is all about providing great informational ‘content’ that paints your car wash in the best possible light and transmits the value and message of your wash into different digital spaces.

 

Specifically, the objectives to content marketing are twofold:

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Designing Your Car Wash Logo

Your car wash’s logo and the stationary, decals, placards, and full-size back-lit facility signage that carries it will display your car wash’s message and identity to the world. So what message do you want your car wash to send and how best is a car wash owner or operator to approach the car wash logo design process?

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