One crucial component of being a successful auto detail business is professionalism. When you make a commitment to becoming an auto detailing professional, you are making a commitment to delighting your customers. 

Did you know that it’s five times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing customer? If you can figure out how to retain your customer base while also growing that customer base, you will save yourself a lot of time and you’ll be making a lot more money. With detailing in particular, it’s especially important to be thinking about customer happiness, because most people plan to bring in their cars for a detail every 4-6 months

Here are five things you can do to be an auto detailing professional that wins over customers and keeps them coming back:

1. Ditch Paper and Go Digital

Many of your customers are digital – they make purchases, plan their day, and organize their finances from their computer or their smartphone. To them, paper is a thing of the past. Everything should be stored in an online account or emailed; they don’t have a place to keep paper.  

If you want to be relevant to your customers, your business should follow suit and be digital as well. It doesn’t cut it for auto detailing businesses – or really any businesses – to operate on pen and paper any more. Who would you trust more – the business owner who runs things through an app or software and can save things into a database or the business owner who has single pieces of paper? It’s really easy to lose or misplace a piece of paper – especially when you have hundreds of them floating around at the same time. 

According to Genesys research, 9 out of 10 consumers value when a business knows their account history and current activities with that company. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a digital file for each customer? You could refer to it, know what services you’ve performed on their car before, and remind them when to come back for another detail. 

2. Make Your Pricing Transparent and Consistent

As a rule, humans don’t like surprises when it comes to prices. Especially when they’re higher prices. Your customers want to know what they can expect, and what exactly they’re getting for the money they’re paying. According to a survey conducted by Sprout Social, 86% of Americans say transparency from businesses is more important than ever before. They also found that when brands have established a history of transparency, almost 9 in 10 customers are more likely to give them second chances after bad experiences.

If you can give your customer an estimate for your detailing service – with an itemized list of what you are doing and what products you’re using – and then stay consistent from estimate to invoice, you will make that customer happy they decided to come to you.

3. Review Your Online Presence

As you establish yourself as an auto detailing professional, almost all of your potential customers will look up your business online before they come to your shop. Gone are the days where a radio ad or a word of mouth referral from a friend can convince someone to buy a product or service. We live in an age where we have so much information at our fingertips thanks to the internet. 

If a potential customer were to search your company name in Google, what would they find? Conduct an audit on your own online presence. Research yourself like a customer would, and see what you find. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have a website, Yelp listing, or Facebook page? 
  • Are they easy to find? 
  • Are they professionally made?
  • Is the information recent and up-to-date?
  • Is the information clear and helpful? 

You might need to clean up your current sites, or you might want to consider building upon your presence (like creating a website) so you’re easier to find. 

4. Capture Data and Review Performance

All great businesses are intentional when it comes to their success. It takes a lot of intentionality to create good strategies, make good hiring decisions, and make smart decisions. To be intentional and to make good decisions, you need to be able to understand all you can about your business. 

According to a global data and analytics survey conducted by PwC, highly data-driven organizations are 3x more likely to report significant improvement in decision-making. Data-driven decisions can drive optimization, operational efficiency, and strategic growth.

If your business is digital, there’s a good chance you have a lot of data at your fingertips. The trick is to capture it and to make sense of it. Many business software providers have some sort of data and analytics feature that you can utilize. Once you capture your data, you can review your performance in ways like these:

  • Get a real-time view of your business’ overall health
  • Identify your key sources of revenue and continue your growth
  • Measure the ROI of specific marketing and sales initiatives 
  • Review your team’s performance and set performance goals

5. Put Yourself in Your Customers’ Shoes 

It’s important to think about how your customers see you and then make decisions that will put them first. According to a study by PWC, most American consumers point to these things as the most important elements of making their experience positive:

  • Speed
  • Convenience
  • Knowledgeable help
  • Friendly service

When it comes to your auto detailing business, think about whether you are offering speed, convenience, knowledge, and friendliness to your customers when they walk through your door. You’ll come across as very professional, and they will be happy! You want to give your customers a reason to trust you, love you, and encourage them to come back. When you have happy, repeat customers – you’ll make more money.

According to a study by Temkin Group, 77% of customers would recommend a company to a friend after having a positive experience with that company. So not only will one delighted customer probably come back, but they will also help you expand your business by referring their friends to you. The Temkin study gets better: Loyal customers are 5x as likely to repurchase, 5x as likely to forgive, 4x as likely to refer, and 7x as likely to try a new offering! There are many perks to becoming a more professional auto detailing business!

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