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  1. #1
    Senior Member Coach Steve's Avatar
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    The Importance and Value of Weekly Maintenance Customers

    As a one-man operation working out of my converted home garage, I'll service between 175-200 vehicles per year. This includes, cars, trucks, vans, suv's, motorcycles, golf carts, utv's, RV's, boats, personal watercraft, and a porcelain bird bath/fountain type thing in the entry-way to a local mansion which I did only because a friend who was installing the custom AV system asked me if I wanted to make some easy money - which it was. There isn't a lot I won't do for $250 for an hour's work! As long as it's legal-ish, and I can maintain plausible deniability, I'll at least have a discussion about it.

    There are an additional 10-12 vehicles that I service about once per week which account for roughly 1/3 of my annual revenue, even though I only charge $35-50 to service them. Follow along while I do the math and show how important these customers are to the continued success of my business.

    I'll use one of my weeklies as an example.
    John, (not his real name) has a very nice 2017 Dodge dually pickup with a ton of upgrades and a very nice trim pkg and various effects and lighting gizmos, and rims, and yada, yada, yada. The truck was shown at SEMA last year by the company that built out the truck. Naturally, John is very proud of his truck and likes to keep it clean and sharp. His wife has a 2012 black Lexus SX570 SUV that he likes to keep clean for her. Every week I do a wash & vac on each of them for $50 each. Both of these vehicles are large, have leather interiors, specialty wheels that require special attention due to their composition, etc. Neither is a walk in the park by any stretch of the imagination. But, I knock them out back to back in 3-4 hrs. depending how hot it is, how tired I am, etc. Now, at this point, you're probably wondering why I charge so little and if that's the case, this next part is going to completely defy logic.
    Included in his $100 per week maintenance agreement, is routine paint correction as needed, quarterly sealant application, and carpet shampooing/steam cleaning as needed. Basically, I fully maintain the appearance of their vehicles without them having to give it a second thought. If I notice a scratch, I remove it. When it's time for sealant, I do it. If they spill something or the carpet starts to appear dingy or dusty, I take care of it. And I'm happy to do it for a measly $100 per week. Why? For a couple of reasons.
    First, those two vehicles add up to $5200 per year, which would be awesome on its own, but it gets even better - way better. More on that later. And secondly, I'm the only one that touches their vehicles. I know every inch of them intimately; every nuance, factory blemish, imperfection, etc. and if there's a new scratch, blemish, snudge, whatever, I notice it immediately and remove it in less than 5 mins. usually. That's a very nice situation to be in with a customer's vehicle. There's never an hours-long correction session facing me. And with the exception of the 6-8 times it rains here in PHX, the only water that touches them is deionized which is a whole other level of bliss on its own. seriously, if you have the availability of deionized water in your area, sign up today! It changes the entire game. Soap is exponentially more sudsy, towels are softer and last longer, pads clean easier and dry faster, and of course the biggest benefit of all.... NO WATER SPOTS WHATSOEVER! I purposely leave the black Lexus in the direct 115°+ sun to dry sometimes just to watch the water evaporate with nothing left behind. Sort of my way of flipping off the sun!
    Where was I? Oh yeah....
    So, each and every week, their vehicles are returned to like-new condition and everyone's happy.
    In addition to the truck and the suv, I also maintain their daughters' cars. Both of them compacts and both of them only 2 years old. I perform the same weekly maintenance on them and perform the "as needed" work whenever required. For each of these vehicles I receive $35.00. Extend that out to 52 weeks and it's an additional $3700.
    This weekly maintenance customer that on the surface appears to be taking me to the cleaners is responsible for $9000 of my gross annual income. Suffice it to say, I am John's personal detailer, for all intents and purposes, and as far as he's concerned, I am. John also has a couple of big SeaDoo's, a 50' 5th wheel trailer, custom golf cart, and a Can-Am X3 UTV that I service as needed, which provides even more income.

    Now, this particular customer is the kind all of want to snuggle up to for obvious reasons and yes, he's my best customer and gets a hand delivered Christmas card attached to a lovely wine and fruit basket that sets me back a couple of bills but I'm downright ecstatic to do it.

    This is just one of my weekly maintenance customers. I have 3 others, and while they don't hvae as many vehicles serviced every week as John, they pay the same price and receive the same maintenance pkg. These 4 customers account for almost 1/3 of my income and all I really do is wash & vac their vehicles weekly and a little bit of heavier lifting 3-4 times per year.

    If you've been pondering how to establish solid weekly maintenance customers but can't seem to find a way logistically to make it work by using your normal pricing platform, think outside the box and put together something like this that's extremely attractive to them from a pricing point of view and you'll turn some of those semi-annual or annual customers into weeklies and everybody wins.

    I only have 4 weeklies because that's all I want. Any more would cut into hours I like to keep available for higher paying jobs.

    If you read this entire post, I tip my hat to you. If you take away something that helps you work less and increase your income, then it was worth the time both of us spent on it.

    I'll close with something I say to the girls' tournament fastpitch softball team I coach at the start of every game,
    "Now, get out there and be somebody!!"




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  3. #2
    Senior Member Dan Tran's Avatar
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    Re: The Importance and Value of Weekly Maintenance Customers

    Thank you for the right up. I picked up my first maintenance guy two weeks ago. I’ll be back this Wednesday to do both his two brand new BMWs.

    Being able to know the detail history of he car from the beginning is awesome. For as long as I do an amazing job, it compensates for at least $3k alone.


    Sent from my iPhone using Autogeekonline mobile app

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  5. #3
    Senior Member Stevedotmil's Avatar
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    Re: The Importance and Value of Weekly Maintenance Customers

    This is an outstanding post. Thank you for sharing with us. Your reputation is everything, especially when it's a good one.
    https://www.facebook.com/newfinishPDLLC/
    Steve Infante, New Finish Pro Detailing LLC 803-553-1782
    Columbia, SC / IG:@newfinishcolumbia

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  7. #4
    Senior Member fly07sti's Avatar
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    Re: The Importance and Value of Weekly Maintenance Customers

    Very cool. Thanks for sharing. While I have a handful of customers that recieve maintenance details, none of them are weekly so I charge a little more. The same goes for me as you said, I’m there one and only Detailer and know the vehicles better than they do. I actually would’ve never thought of charging so little, but with it being weekly, the vehicles probably won’t get too dirty and it’s guaranteed money on a regular basis. Thanks again for sharing.

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  9. #5
    Senior Member sudsmobile's Avatar
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    Re: The Importance and Value of Weekly Maintenance Customers

    We have a handful of maintenance, maybe $1000/month (some people skip a month here and there). It's really all I want. We try to pick and choose pretty carefully. My best customer lives 5 minutes from me. We wash their 2018 Lincoln Navigator and 2018 Mercedes GLC43 every Saturday. $100 a pop, $120 with tip. The first time took us like 3-3.5 hours, although I charged a bit more. Now, less than two hours because the vehicles are cleaned weekly and are typically pretty clean inside. They are literally our favorite and best customer. The cars are ALWAYS in the driveway with the keys in them. Someone comes out and pays us about an hour into it and we lock the cars and leave the keys in the garage when we're done. Total interaction with the customer, 30 seconds. LOL

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  11. #6
    Senior Member sudsmobile's Avatar
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    Re: The Importance and Value of Weekly Maintenance Customers

    Quote Originally Posted by fly07sti View Post
    Very cool. Thanks for sharing. While I have a handful of customers that recieve maintenance details, none of them are weekly so I charge a little more. The same goes for me as you said, I’m there one and only Detailer and know the vehicles better than they do. I actually would’ve never thought of charging so little, but with it being weekly, the vehicles probably won’t get too dirty and it’s guaranteed money on a regular basis. Thanks again for sharing.
    You're trading a little bit of money for the security of guaranteed income. Think of that customer as an annuity.

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  13. #7
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    Re: The Importance and Value of Weekly Maintenance Customers

    I'm also in AZ. Who do you use for DI water and is it a tank that you swap out once it loses its effectiveness? How much does it cost you and how long does it last?

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  15. #8
    Senior Member fly07sti's Avatar
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    Re: The Importance and Value of Weekly Maintenance Customers

    Quote Originally Posted by sudsmobile View Post
    You're trading a little bit of money for the security of guaranteed income. Think of that customer as an annuity.

    That’s exactly what I took from this thread. I can dig it!

  16. #9
    Senior Member RTexasF's Avatar
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    Re: The Importance and Value of Weekly Maintenance Customers

    Great article. I treasured my maintenance customers. Not only did they account for approx 1/3 of my income they constantly spread the word. That resulted in jobs more profitable than the norm so it worked for me. As mentioned previously I offered them an occasional freebie after "X" many referrals that resulted in work for me that was profitable. Those freebies consisted of a wash n vac which generally took one hour or less. They were scheduled when time allowed.

    I concentrated on teachers/professors/real estate agents. They all meet on a regular basis so I had constant work with no advertising at all. Word of mouth is powerful if you get the right group.
    Rick....now in North Texas

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  18. #10
    Senior Member LSNAutoDetailing's Avatar
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    Re: The Importance and Value of Weekly Maintenance Customers

    Great article Steve! You hit the nail on the head, getting new customers is always great, but getting repeat and regular maintenance customers is really the pinnacle of where at least I am striving for. There is nothing like creating a maintenance plan, and having your customers stick to them. Steve can attest, as he lives a few blocks up from me, that doing a full correction and coating here in AZ in the summer is NO FUN! Steve, if I recall our hottest day last summer was 119?

    The last few customers I had they were not single day events. Full paint correction, coatings, wheel coatings, plastic coatings, engine bay coatings... Those are multi 8-12 hour a day jobs, mainly had to work at night to avoid the heat. The prep work, and post-work to make sure you didn't end up with high spots is insane. Even take glass cleaning. We're a husband and wife team and approach the glass at the same time, I do the outside, she does the inside (Interior Gal)... We reference each other while working on the same piece of glass, so we can spot anything we missed.

    But once you've done all this work and the customer has paid for it, it's really important to explain that it doesn't have to be like this all the time. If you come back every 3 months for a DD, or every six months for a garage queen, we can keep it looking like this in a fraction of the time and cost. I explain, if you let it get too far, you're back to a full detail again $$$$.

    Besides, a good maintenance is anywhere between 4-6 hours for us. That includes the sprucing of the interior, Exterior gets Reload, and the attention to deatil to make it look as perfect as possible all the while NOT having to bust out the DA's, Carpet Extractors, Tornadors, Air-Compressors... all while being profitable. Maintenance is important for the customer after making the huge investment in the car, and with the initial full correction/coating detail. Why not take care of it.

    I have one more piece of advice, if you're not using some sort of CRM, do so! I use Zoho free CRM. I can enter in all the customer contact info, notes, and even upload attachments such as the VIF, Pictures. I can create events, and tasks with reminders. So I can create a task to "Call John on x date". It also gives you a process to follow to stay in touch with your customers.

    Again, great article Steve. Hope you've got to use some of those samples!

    Paul_G www.lsnautodetail.com IDA CD-SV

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