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  1. #1

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    You have to find a way to get your customer to believe they cannot get by without your services. No duh, right? How do you go about it though?



    Share what you do to keep your customers not only coming back, year after year, but also bragging to their friends about you.



    This is how I try to do it:



    1. Show up on time, or call if running late. Customers do understand if a previous appointment or traffic has you behind, they do not understand if you can`t be bothered to let them know.



    2. Ask specific questions about the customer`s expectations. Do they have any areas of their vehicle that really concern them? Are they primarily interested in a durable finish or one that blows them away? Paying attention to what the customer wants then exceeding it makes them very happy. I have one customer whose main concern is clean windows. I make sure everything else looks topnotch but I really do over his windows well because it doesn`t matter how nice his fenderwells look if there are streaks in his windshield.



    3. Get to know your customer`s personally. Spend some time just talking to them. Learn their spouse`s/kid`s names. Pet their dog. Mention the local sports teams, etc.



    4. Keep track of your customer`s last details/wax jobs. Let them know a couple weeks in advance it is time for another wax/detail. If the current wax job is holding up well, let them know that and it would be okay to go another few weeks before rewaxing. Not only are you being honest, but you are putting their interests before yours. Maybe you won`t get the extra $40-75 above the wash job for waxing that week but the customer will appreciate you being straight with them. It will pay off in the long run. If your customers trust you, they will continue to use your services and not hesitate to pass your name along.



    5. Try to top yourself with every detail. Always try to improve. Stay on top of the latest products and techniques. Develop a good relationship with your vendors because they will then be more likely to give you a heads up when something new is coming out that will make your job easier and your details better.



    6. Every once in a while, do something extra for your regulars. Not something that takes an hour to do but maybe clean the floor mats or apply a spray wax after a stretch of rainy weather. Just a little something extra occasionally as a thank-you for their continuing business.



    I got a very nice phone call today. A customer`s wife just bought her father-in-law`s 99 Navigator and she said as soon as she got into it, she thought of calling me. Not that it was filthy or anything but she wanted it clean and properly waxed to start off with.
    www.scottwax.com

    I test for Optimum, Clearkote, Meguiars

    Authorized Opti-Coat Pro installer
    Likes Cameronswmp9 liked this post

  2. #2

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    Very good advice Scott. :xyxthumbs



    Ever notice how friendly the people are on the phones of QVC or the home shopping network? They treat each person as a "friend". And the little things like that have big effects on people.



    once agin good write up

  3. #3
    Wasatch's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info Scott.

  4. #4

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    Scott, as always you are right on the money. I do just about everything and more of what you said, and my customers seem to love me. I have been pushing this business more to the side for my fiance to run as i have multiple other opportunities that will elevate me to an executive career very fast, but most of my regulars wont have anyone but ME personally touch their cars. I tell them that i will be sending someone out, and they get real nervous, and aske me to come do it on my day off, and that they will pay more to have just me LOL.



    I am going to add my comments to what you typed:



    Originally posted by Scottwax





    This is how I try to do it:



    1. Being on time is very crucial. No one wants to stand around waiting for you to show up. I always call if i will be more than 5 min. late. anything under 5 min could be considered a difference in clocks. I also like to call or e-mail a day before the job to confirm the time and make sure that everything is all set. I have my customers contact preference stored in my quickbooks, so i know wether to call or to e-mail.



    2. Alot of my customers really dont know what they want, so i give them a good compromise based on how often i know i will be there, and based on the type of vehicle, or what season it is up here in the north. P21s for summer vs collinite for winter is a good comparison (although i have like 50 other LSP`s). Just like your customer that has the glass thing, i have one who only checks the buckle on the seatbelt. She hates if there is any dirt on it. She will have her entire SUV detailed just so that the seat belt buckle gets wiped clean



    3. Get to know your customer`s personally. -- I couldn`t give better advice. I know some of my better customers on a first name basis, including the kids and dogs. They really appreciate it if you can ask them how this is going, or how was the trip etc... and it is really nice when they ask you about things that you mentioned, and they remembered. Feels good to build a relationship like that. It also helps in other places though. I cant work for the winter in NY, and my customers know it. I recieved job offers from several, and 2 i am taking. One is an IT computer servicing job with ATM machines. Great pay, easy work (if you know how to do it), and flexible hours. I will be doing that for a month or 2. Then the reason that i am passing the business to my fiance. One of my top end customers is the managing partner and CFO of a consulting firm. He is asking me to join his staff full time. Of all of the resumes of top business men and women that he had at his disposal, After talking with me the whole time i did his porsche, mercedes, and wifes lexus truck, he decided that i would be a good fit. WOW, just talking to a customer is pulling me into the world of executive business!! That is why i think becoming friends or at least acquantiances is a great tool in running your business.



    4. Keep track of your customer`s last details/wax jobs. --- SO true, everything that you said in this paragraph. I use a summary sheet at the beginning of the week to see what i have going on, and what i have done for them in the past. It lets me know what to sell, and what to avoid. And like you said scott, they always appreciate you saving them money.



    5. Try to top yourself with every detail. -- Yep. And if you cant top yourself, NEVER slack. Always do as good or better than you did the previous time. Once they get something great, they have to expect it. If you have staff, make sure that your staff understands this too, you could spend years building a great business, and it could take one mistake by a staff member to throw you into a downward spiral!



    6. Yep, I always like to take care of their winter or summer wheels and tires once they make the switch, or i will wash one of the other cars. etc... a little goes a long way!



    Some things I would add too:



    7. Sometimes even your best customers might hit a spot of financial trouble. Most of the time they just dont call you, but sometimes they do, and they still want you to come out, but paying for it that day may be hard. When you build a trust, and sometimes i do it even with brand new customers, you can asses that it will be a low risk, and offer them an alternative payment setup. I have offered on occasion a 25% or 50% now, and the rest next month. They really appreciate the understanding, and you can bet that they will be continuing business with you from that day on!



    8. Always Always Always stand behind your work. If a customer has a valid complaint, FIX IT. and fix it asap. Taking the ten min. to drive out and wipe off a window you missed, or a fixing spot that may have some polishing haze still left will leave a good taste to the customer, and instead of telling their friend that you did a bad job, they will tell them that you "accidentally looked over a spot, but came back out immediatly to fix your ommission" and that is great customer service.

  5. #5

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    I dropped off a customers car once and left some haze on the drivers door, he called me and said he was throughly impressed but he had one complaint(the haze). I drove back to his house and buffed down the car and reinspected everything. He was throughly impressed and now I do his vehicle weekly.
    Sean L. Searls

    03 Mitsu. EVOVIII

  6. #6

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    Scottwax is on point. Good thread.



    i do follow up calls based on my clients` nature of work. I have 1 client who`s a real estate agent and is way to busy to have his car cleaned, so every month I call him just to check up if he requires services.



    My more frequent clients, i give a little extra service. Nothing major, but just a little. Even if it means an additional discount. But I make it a point that it`s just "this 1 time, you`re car wasn`t that bad." so they don`t expect again in the future. It works...



    I do pick up & drop off service in the east end of Toronto. Most of my clients trust me enough to hand over the keys and I see them a couple hours later.



    I only do 1 car a day to ensure nothing is overlooked and rushed. My clients don`t mind as the car is either dropped off at my garage at 8am and picked up by 5pm or I pick up at 8am and drop off before they leave for work.



    Honesty. Some have come to me have carpets shampooed and I look and there`s nothing really to lift out. I`m honest to them and say, you don`t need it, come see me in spring after winter.



    Just my 2cents.
    Premier Auto Detailing



    BMW `00 323i

    Mercedes Benz `88 190E 2.3

  7. #7
    NEW AGAIN's Avatar
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    GREAT Advice ! I would like to add taking in your customers vehicle for maintenance service [oil change, minor repair service,Inspection] @ an hourly fee works also. Scott good rainy day $$$$$$$$$$

  8. #8

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    Originally posted by newagain

    GREAT Advice ! I would like to add taking in your customers vehicle for maintenance service [oil change, minor repair service,Inspection] @ an hourly fee works also. Scott good rainy day $$$$$$$$$$


    That`s aweseom newagain. I`m working/learning that right now but only for Bimmers as that` what I`m familiar with. Oil changes, tire change/rotations.



    I`m tired of looking for work every winter. :xyxthumbs
    Premier Auto Detailing



    BMW `00 323i

    Mercedes Benz `88 190E 2.3

  9. #9
    Detailing Rottweiler 1 Clean WS6's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Scottwax

    I got a very nice phone call today. A customer`s wife just bought her father-in-law`s 99 Navigator she said as soon as she got into it, she thought of calling me. Not that it was filthy or anything but she wanted it clean and properly waxed to start off with.


    That right there is the very foundation of building and keeping a strong regular/repeat client base. The minute their vehicle gets dirty YOU and your services pop into their mind.



    Excellent post Scott! :xyxthumbs
    Mike
    Sweating the Details Mobile Detailing Service
    Owner/Operator

  10. #10

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    Originally posted by newagain

    GREAT Advice ! I would like to add taking in your customers vehicle for maintenance service [oil change, minor repair service,Inspection] @ an hourly fee works also. Scott good rainy day $$$$$$$$$$


    Excellent idea. I have taken a customer`s car down to Discount Tire to get a tire fixed when a customer didn`t have time....of course, getting to drive their S600 was even better than the $40 he paid me for my time. I just never thought about it as an add-on service. It would be a real time saver for some of my regulars if I did that kind of stuff for them.
    www.scottwax.com

    I test for Optimum, Clearkote, Meguiars

    Authorized Opti-Coat Pro installer

  11. #11

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    9 - Deliver high-quality service every time.



    10 - Always exceed the needs of your customer.



    11 - Constantly look at everything from the customers` point of view.

  12. #12
    NEW AGAIN's Avatar
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    #10 & 11 is a waste, Reason you NEVER spoil a customer once thats done then it`s over. They will expect FREE stuff all the time Do your job well thats all you need to do.

  13. #13
    I'll figure it out....
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    For most folks taking their car to the bodyshop is a tramatic

    experience. Most would not think to bring thei car here, so

    we try to make their car`s visit worth the trouble.



    At my dad`s shop, we tend to just trow in freebies after work

    is done. Even if the job is only a panel repair, we`ll do an

    interior vacuum, wipe down the door jambs, a throrough

    washdown, cleaner wax etc. For ful paint jobs, we tend to go

    all out with full interior details, and if there is time spruce up

    the engine compartment as well. After delivery, we send a

    nice card to remind them to bring the car back for a full wax

    or sealant treatment. And when they send us referals that

    get work done, we do a express detail on their car for free.

  14. #14

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    Originally posted by newagain

    #10 & 11 is a waste, Reason you NEVER spoil a customer once thats done then it`s over. They will expect FREE stuff all the time Do your job well thats all you need to do.


    It depends on the customer. I have customers who tip every single week and also a large tip during Christmas. I`d be a fool to not do a little extra for them every once in a while.
    www.scottwax.com

    I test for Optimum, Clearkote, Meguiars

    Authorized Opti-Coat Pro installer

  15. #15
    NEW AGAIN's Avatar
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    Those customer [YES] Because they respect your work and extra EFFORT. But you what I`m talking about Scott.



    I just donated A free Complete Detail to one of my customer Charity went for $525.00 that I will do for free. They are GREAT customers and I understand what you are stating Thanks

 

 
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