Is Offering A Free Car Vacuum Service At Your Car Wash Profitable?


free car wash vacuumOur society is one of excess. You can interpret that how you will, but the truth is we often want more. When it comes to business, it’s logical to charge for every service.

Business isn’t that simple though. Things like customer retention, loyalty programs and incentives add up in the long run. The keep coming back as – you guessed it, profit.

Today we’re going to look at the viability of free vacuuming at your car wash. Is it worth it? Will it pay off? Most importantly: What’s the right way to go about it?

People remember how you make them feel

Free is a bad word. Utter it and be cursed with hordes of cheapskates. Admittedly, it isn’t the best term but there is a better way.

Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Never will they be annoyed that you’re giving them something extra for visiting. Most customers will appreciate and remember the gesture. After all, they just gave you their money!

Customer service has grown important over the past 20 years. There are professionals dedicated to improving the customer service experience. Adding bonuses to services goes a long way to setting you apart from the rest. That brings us to our next point.

This town ain’t big enough for the both of us

The competition. If your car wash is the only one in town, complimentary vacuuming will just make people happy. If you’ve got competition however, it could be the deciding factor.

Another consideration is quality. Never, ever depend on ancillary services to make your money. Your car wash should be bringing in profit by, you know – washing cars. If service is lackluster, throwing in a freebie or two won’t save it.

The corked bat

If you want to take your customer service to the next level, good on you. If you want that to mean more money though, here are some guidelines to consider:

• Time limit: Vacuuming should be timed. 5 minutes is pretty standard. It also isn’t enough to be painfully thorough. Most folks will want more time now that the vacuum is in their hand. Charging an extra dollar for more time is a great way to justify it.
• Consider the form of payment: Coin machines are frustrating. It’s an extra step for the customer to have to make change. Consider a point of sale that takes plastic. It’s well known that people spend more when using credit cards.
• Convenience: Include an auto-cashier if you can. Also, come up with a way for a customer to redeem an unused vacuum tokens as a discount from the wash price. That alone can bring more people in.

Kill them with kindness

It’s tempting to charge for everything; after all it’s the sweat off your brow. There are subtle ways to go about it though and in the end, they only make you look good. It’s just a question of how you go about it.

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