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Are You Washing Your Customer’s Cars?

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Sticking with my theme lately of “Is That Really Marketing?” I wanted to have a quick conversation about one of the best things you can do to market your auto repair shop, and that’s washing your customer’s cars.

Brian, washing cars is customer service, not marketing.

As my son would say, “BET!”

Call it what you want. Washing cars is marketing. Washing cars is customer service. Customer service is marketing.

Making Customers Happy With An Otherwise Boring Transaction

Think about it. A customer comes in for something like factory-recommended maintenance. A major service can be quite expensive. And for a customer who takes care of their car, that maintenance service isn’t going to make the car run better. It’s just going to keep the car running correctly. So from their perspective, there is no noticeable difference except that their wallet is lighter.

Here’s your opportunity to do something to their car that they will notice. A simple wash, vacuum the interior, and wipe down the exterior with some spray shine – and the customer will get an unexpected surprise when you pull the car around to them.

Even your long-time customers who have come to expect a car wash will still appreciate it and comment on how great their car looks.

In our shop it wasn’t uncommon to do $4000 of work to a car and the thing the client talked about the most was the car wash.

Ok, I get it, but how is this marketing?

Easy. This is the kind of stuff that gets your customers talking to their friends about you, leaving good reviews, and becoming raving fans of your auto repair shop.

It’s Relatively Inexpensive Marketing

One of the best parts about washing cars is it’s relatively inexpensive to do. It can be done by a shop helper or porter. It’s a great first job for a high-schooler (most of the washes are done near the end of the day), and it’s a minimum wage to slightly above minimum wage position.

One of our clients was telling me about how he hired a guy to wash cars and figured out that he has a natural talent for working on cars. They started giving him simple jobs like oil changes and they let him apprentice with their other techs when he wasn’t busy washing cars. So it’s also a way to grow people within your organization.

What Are You Waiting On?

Seriously…. This is one of the best things you’ll ever do at your shop. Don’t drag your feet. You can get started with less than $100 in supplies and you’ll start seeing the results in no time!

about the author headshot Brian Walker

About The Author

Brian Walker

Brian Walker is the Owner and CEO of Shop Marketing Pros, a marketing agency specializing in marketing independently owned auto repair shops. Brian is a Mercedes Benz Master Technician and has owned multiple shops and served as the Mechanical Division Director for ASA-NC.

He's a mechanic at heart who loves fixing things that are broken which is why he love marketing so much. Digging in and figuring out why a business' marketing isn't working is a lot like it was when he was elbows deep into a car that no one else could fix. When you figure it out, there's nothing else like it. To get to do this for auto repair shop owners combines his passions, and he couldn't be more excited about helping shop owners.
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