Quote Originally Posted by jdbillin View Post
I’m starting to get into the doing coatings for some of my customers I feel like if they are going to be spending all of this money on the coatings I want to insure that they are properly taking care of them that way they last and they feel like they are getting the best value.

I was thinking of making small 4x6 laminated cards with “care instructions”

Simple things like no brushes at the car wash but what about spray wax or even regular wax?

Is there anything else I should make them aware of before I give them the car back?

Mikes advice about asking “how do you wash your car” is always a good first move. Assuming they pass that test (or are open to making a change)...the best move I did for my coating customers was offer them the first wash for free. It’s just a simple exterior wash, takes 20-30 minutes and they have to come back in the first 7-14 days.

I have them WATCH - I have more people that just myself, so the way we do it is 2 people do the wash while I explain the process to my client as we go along. (Back when it was only my sis and myself, I’d just have to work double time and help do the wash as well as explain as I went along).

At the end, I offer them a maintenance kit if they’re interested - or offer them a maintenance PLAN...and you take care of it (that is assuming doing this will fit in with your business model.) I don’t make big $$ from just doing washes, but I do offer it to coating customers for a couple of reasons.

A. Maintain your work...the longer it looks great the happier they are and of course the more impressive it’ll be to his/her friends, family and co-workers.

B. RETENTION! I can’t stress this enough, but don’t get into the one and done mindset. Look at each client (the good ones at least) as a life long client, not as a solo job. Maybe you get $1,000 or $2,000 or $3,000 off of that coating job...that’s great! But how valuable would they be to you over the course of a year, 3 years, 5 years? $5,000, $10,000, $20,000? How many more referrals would you get if they’re seeing you every month?

While I don’t make much on the washes, I do greatly increase my retention of clients by seeing them every month. This also opens up possibilities for up-sells, having them “check in” to our shop on FB and making sure things stay buttoned up on how their car looks.

C. Check your work! If you’re selling a product that’s suppose to last for years...its never a bad idea to check it out after a week or two if you can. We’re human, we make mistakes. Maybe you didn’t Eraser that panel as well as you thought and the coating didn’t bond quite right. Maybe you missed a little dust in the jambs or hell, maybe you out right skipped a section of a panel when coating! If you start cranking out higher numbers of cars over the years...all these and then some are bound to happen (no one wants to say that usually, but I have no problem admitting the human factor). Since I’m aware of this, the best insurance I could come up with, was that free follow up wash. If my mind was just glazed over after starring at paint for hours and hours and I missed a little something...I’ll have a much fresher set of eyes during that follow up and if something needs touched up....I can do it right then and there.

Again, I don’t recommend going into anything halfcocked. Have a strategy behind any business decision you make. Any service, any package, any offering at all...there should be a reason behind it. Is it an in the door offer to attract new clients, is it your home run super high value package or specialty service that you’ve become known for, is it a retention tactic to make sure your clients STAY your clients? What are the profit margins like? How long does it take you to do this service vs. how much do you need to make an hour.

These are just some of the things I’ve learned to ask myself over the years before making a move and its definitely a slower process than the usual 2 a.m “Great idea” that you half way put into play the next day and then when it’s not a total hit within a couple of weeks you trash it lol.

Anyway, I know I kind of got off subject here...but wanted to explain why we did the follow up wash and I can definitely say its helped. We’re still working on an even better execution of it (making sure they check in on FB, getting reviews from them, getting them on a maintenance schedule etc), but one thing is for sure...they all love it and it helps protect your work .