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How Can I Increase My Car Wash Revenue?

Posted on 05/30/2017

Whether you are just joining the industry or you have been operating your wash for years, there is one thing that every car wash operator agrees on – the more revenue, the better. Who wouldn’t love to earn some more money?  AdobeStock_76039770 copy.jpeg

When it comes to your wash, there are multiple different ways you can increase your revenue. Knowing your current state, then establishing a goal and a plan to get there are easier than you may think! Read on for some ideas to increase your revenue!

There are three main ways to increase your wash revenue:

  1. Increase the average amount a customer spends per visit.

    Increasing spend per visit (measured by average revenue per car) can be done many ways. Using your auto teller or service advisor to educate on new or better offerings, and ‘buy up’ promotions can help customers learn about and experience higher value wash offerings. Did you know that menu design, package layout, and price point management also impact how much money a customer spends at your wash? By using proven marketing and design techniques on your menu, you can encourage your customers to select your higher value wash offerings, and increase your overall average ticket per car. 

    You can also increase your average ticket per car by offering high quality add on products. According to the 2016 ICA Consumer Study, your customers are willing to spend more for extra service products, and they tend to buy brands that they know and trust. Let’s take Rain-X® Protectant as an example. Adding a quality product with high consumer brand recognition like Rain-X® to your wash means you can charge an additional $2 or $3, allowing you to increase your profits!

    [Click to read more in Boost Your Revenue Today: How to Make More Money at Your  Wash]
  2. Increase the frequency of visits your current customers make. 

    Did you know the average consumer only washes their car 4-6 times a year? Make sure you capture every wash opportunity, and encourage customers to wash more frequently. Loyalty programs are a great way to keep customers coming back – anything from a pre-purchase bundled offering to an unlimited wash program will see an increase in repeat visitors. You can also use social media to market your wash. Not only is posting on social media a great way to remind your customers that your wash exists, but it’s also a perfect opportunity to encourage loyalty. Try offering a time-sensitive ‘social media only’ deal – for example, a free wash upgrade that is only available for a certain amount of time. Your Facebook post might look like this: “We’re offering a free Rain-X application upgrade to anyone who uses the code ‘FACEBOOK’! Be sure to stop by soon – the code is only good today.”

    Feel free to experiment – you will likely find that certain offers appeal to your customers more than others, and that a particular time limit or a certain time of the day will drive more visitors than others. This is also a great way to encourage your customers to follow you on social media, and to track the ROI of your social media efforts!

  3. Gain new customers.

    Gaining brand new customers to your wash is important to long term success in your wash, but it often comes with a catch – it is much more expensive to gain a new customer than it is to keep a current one! Consistent outbound communications, like direct mail, Groupon or local advertising can have impact, but can have limited ROI unless you can turn that “promotion customer” into a regularly purchasing loyal customer. The most effective way to gain new customers is through “referral marketing” – in other words, your happy customers telling their friends, family, and coworkers about your wash. The easiest way to accomplish this is by focusing on pleasing the customers you already have! In general, the highest average ticket and most frequent visit customers are the most satisfied and most willing to advocate your business to their network. So focusing on strategies with #1 and #2 above actually help you gain new customers as well!

If your goal is to increase your revenue and minimize your costs, the most easily implemented tactic is to start with number one – increasing the amount a customer spends per visit. Your menu design, package offerings, and price points are critical to this process, so be sure you know the best industry practices! Check out Boost Your Revenue Today: The Essential Guide to Making More Money at Your Wash for how-tos from our team of expert car wash marketing designers, along with actionable tips from Chelsea Beyer, Sr. Vice President of Sales and Service at Zep Vehicle Care.

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