3 Tactics for a Successful Car Wash Launch

Whether you are building from the ground up or taking over an existing car wash, you want to create a business that provides both an excellent experience for customers and provides a good return on your investment. Continually providing a great customer experience will ensure your car wash earns a good reputation, and with the right measures in place, you can build a steady membership base.  To provide a good return on your investment, however, you’ll need the right equipment and tools for monitoring your business to keep things in check. 

There are several tactics to employ for both the excellent customer experience and return on investment that aren’t normally first on the list of items to check off of your new car wash list, but they need to be regarded as equally important in the successful launch and ongoing performance of your car wash operation. 

Tactic #1: Greet Your Car Wash Customers with an Uncomplicated, Excellent Car Wash Experience 

User friendly payment kiosks, mobile greeting tablets, digital displays, and quick entry RFID lanes can provide this intuitive, customer-friendly experience at your car wash by improving satisfaction, increasing car counts and customer experience. 

Features of the pay station kiosks should include: 

  • Large sunlight readable touchscreen graphic display  
  • Simple instructions with voice prompts 
  • Ability to offer promotions and other menu options for upsell opportunities and increased ticket averages 
  • Credit card payments and cash handling  
  • Gift Card purchasing and recharging 
  • Membership purchasing and renewals 
  • Consumer based smart marketing (purchase habit promotions) 

Attendants with mobile tablets including license plate recognition – LPR or sticker recognition – RFID set up lanes for unlimited car wash members will help your customers flow seamlessly through your car wash without interruption.  Having the right technology in place will enable your car wash to meet the demands of customers who want the best, and be quickly served. 

Tactic #2: Keep Your Equipment Running with Minimal Downtime 

This may seem like a no-brainer because of course no one wants downtime, but what are the steps and measures needed by a car wash operation to prevent it?  One of the most important things is to have cohesive equipment with the right software that talks back.  What do we mean by that?  Your equipment should be working together and have software reporting to you on performance and alert you when maintenance is needed. 

Choosing the right equipment that you can monitor from anywhere is key.  A few things to look for in your management software that will help you stay ahead so that you can more readily prevent unnecessary closures: 

  • A single software application for all sites with remote access 
  • Reporting tracking of service and repairs 
  • Dashboard for membership/subscription volume 
  • Tunnel controller configuration tool 
  • Operation performance reporting per site or combined (this includes car counts and all wash data) 
  • Employee schedule and weekly weather reporting 
  • Replication status monitor 
  • Policies and procedures data tool 

Tactic #3: Know who your customers are – so that you can give them what they are looking for! 

One of the best ways to know your customers is to study them.  Getting to know your customers through interaction is great, but when your software technology is set up to track the habits of your specific customer base, that is even better.  Use a software systems and tools that can tell you: 

  • What times of day your customers are coming in the most – have your staff ready! 
  • What services are being used most often and why?  Where are the upsell opportunities? 
  • Are there any slowdowns in your equipment? Use your tracking tools. 
  • What kinds of cars are being washed most often, and what colors? 
  • When are you generating the best reviews? You can find out how to get more of them! 

Arm yourself with the industry statistics and do your research – then use your own stats to boost your bottom line. According to FirstResearch, the US has more than 60,000 car wash locations that generate more than $5.8 billion in revenue annually.  The market share is there.  Know how to harness it! 

Here are some 2021 car wash statistics to get you going: 

  • 32% of car owners wash their vehicles in the winter 
  • 66% of Americans wash their cars approximately 13x per year 
  • 51% of auto owners choose in-bay automatics for their convenience 
  • Approximately 38 gallons of water are used to wash a single car (compared to 50-100 gallons for a typical home-driveway car wash) 

Keep reading Micrologic’s monthly blogs for more car wash industry information that can help you build your profitable car wash operation. To find out more about the Micrologic suite of LogicWash® products or schedule a demo, click https://micrologic.net/contact-us/.