Customer retention tips for frequent car wash users

frequent car wash users australia

Tips for running a successful car wash business.

When running a successful car wash facility, customer retention should be one of the business owner’s priorities. By identifying the frequent users, focus can be placed on improving the services and products that drive these customers to visit your facility and, importantly, return again and again.
Studies in the U.S. indicate that a quarter of car wash customers buy two-thirds of the washes.  Who are these customers at your facility?

Who are frequent car wash users?

Their vehicle is an important and active part of the frequent car wash customer’s routine.  In Australia, these can be segmented into three categories:

  1. professionals – their car is a work tool
  2. executives – their car gets them from A to B and must make a good impression
  3. car lovers – these customers are passionate about their car and want it to look good

Catering to the needs of your best customers

So, how do you ensure your facility caters to the needs of these three groups of car wash users? Easy! Look at what drives them and ensure you fulfil these needs. Price may not be the deciding factor for these customers – quality and efficiency are usually the biggest drawcards.

  • Keep your equipment regularly serviced and well-maintained to avoid breakdowns.  If a busy professional is inconvenienced by an out-of-order machine, they will go elsewhere. Broken machines are a major inconvenience for any professional who relies on their vehicle to undertake their job.
  • Keep equipment brushes clean to ensure a quality wash every time. Poor wash quality is likely to see your most important customers take their business to another facility where the wash quality is to their requirements.
  • Complimentary services and accessories save valuable time. The addition of complementary accessories like self-serve vacuums, deodorisers, pressurised air, etc, saves the professional time haven’t to visit another facility.  Offering the convenience of having everything they need in one place, will keep them coming back due to the time saved.
  • Provide an enjoyable experience. With car washing an integral task for these customers, how can you make the experience less of a chore and more enjoyable? This may include suitable coverings to protect them from the rain, sun and wind.  Are staff available to assist them should something go wrong or if they have any questions (it can also be a great customer relations tool)?  Keeping your facility clean and tidy sets a good impression.
  • Efficiency is key. An efficient wash experience is paramount for these busy professionals (heard the expression ‘time is money’).  How can you streamline or minimise the time they spend at your facility to get them back on the road faster?

Attracting more of the same

Once you’ve established who your frequent customers are, you can use targeted advertising and marketing strategies to attract more of the same.

Suggested marketing strategies include: 

  • build relationships with professional associations
  • establish agreements with fleet and car rental companies
  • create a loyalty system

As a car wash business operator, it’s important you address the needs of your customers by adapting to their way of thinking.  Once you’ve done this, it’s then a matter of putting the necessary changes and systems in place.

Need help? Contact our friendly team for assistance.  We’re here to help.

Further reading


Car wash customer retention tips

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We can assist in all aspects of the growth and success of your car wash facility, automotive dealership or car rental business including site assessment, car wash design, machine installation, service and repairs, and, importantly, ongoing support to ensure the success and growth of your facility.

We are Australia’s leading suppliers of car wash equipment.  We have been offering Australia-wide sales & service since 1968 and were the first suppliers of automatic car wash systems in the country. Since, we have always been able to pride ourselves as offering a highly professional level of service and support to our clients.

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