Expert Tips to Improve Your Car Wash Bottom Line, Boost Throughput and Enhance Customer Satisfaction

July 31, 2023

If you’re like most car wash owners, you are passionate about your business, always looking for ways to optimize your wash and improve the customer experience. Whether you’ve owned your car wash business for years or you’re a brand-new start-up, there are basic things you can do to improve your throughput and your bottom line.

From improving car wash consistency to getting the most from marketing to maintaining customer loyalty, read the tips below to help you outpace your competition and take your car wash business to new heights.

Improve Wash Consistency

Most customers won’t tell you when they are dissatisfied with your business. They’ll just quietly go elsewhere. Therefore, you must deliver a consistent wash and continually do it better and faster, especially in the face of growing competition. Avoid relying on a re-wash guarantee since that technique probably won’t ensure complete customer satisfaction. 

There are many factors that play into wash consistency:

  • Well-maintained and updated equipment that consistently puts out a clean, shiny, dry car and promotes uptime.
  • Tunnel control technology that adjusts for vehicle traits to give customers the best wash for their particular vehicle.
  • An intuitive, reliable point-of-sale that provides quick and frictionless transactions.
  • Well-trained employees who are proficient with your POS, are loading pros and who consistently provide friendly, effective customer service.

Make the Most of Marketing

There are plenty of affordable and readily available marketing solutions to reach your customers. Are you taking advantage of them?

  • Social media: You can use social media to inform customers about equipment upgrades, chemical changes, your unlimited monthly wash plan and more. But you shouldn’t use social media just to promote your products and services. People use social media for connection, education and entertainment, so make sure your content provides those things as well.
  • Email: Email coupons and offer codes giving customers discounts on your services.
  • A customized website and app: Make sure your website and app provide your hours of operation, locations, services and the ability to purchase online. 

Reduce Your Operating Costs

Perform a complete evaluation of your equipment, operational software, chemicals and detergents. Then, talk to your supplier and find out if there are safer and more efficient products they can introduce you to.
Look for ways to reduce water and energy consumption without negatively affecting the quality of your small business. You may need to modify, enhance or upgrade your hardware or software. 

Consider upgrading to EMV. Upgrading to the most secure payment solution helps build customer confidence and reduce chargebacks and fees.

Compile a list of actions that you’ll need to do to minimize the operating cost of your car wash business and include an estimated cost and timeframe to implement your changes .

Manage Your Payroll

For most small businesses, labor is one of the most significant operating expenses. Your payroll costs will depend on the type of wash you own. If you own a full-service or manual wash, you’ll have to hire staff members to meet demand. In contrast, 50-foot automatic wash tunnels can process more than 500 cars per day without an attendant.

Investing in point-of-sale (POS) software and self-service kiosks can keep cars moving with self-pay options, license plate recognition integration and cash flow management. Payment kiosks connected through cloud-based POS systems can help you maximize your site’s profitability and keep payroll costs to a minimum.

Take Your Car Wash Business to New Heights

If you’re after next-level revenue growth for your car wash business, using the tips above will help get you there. 

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