WashTrends Announcement

WashTrends, the car wash industry’s leading resource for car wash owners, operators and industry representatives announces new initiatives to their marketing program with a social media campaign intended to increase its reach to the national and international markets.
Kelsey Schaible, a Publications veteran with Bay Media and current WashTrends designer, will expand her role to include social media marketing.
Debra Mowbray Conroy, will return to WashTrends as Sales Director to help advertisers broaden their national and global marketing efforts. “The virtual industry has changed the way people research, buy, and advertise. The plan is to provide a more global vision and universal appeal for the publication, and to demonstrate WashTrends’ continued commitment to keep readers and advertisers at the forefront of the industry,” says Debra.
Sandy Travis Bildahl, WashTrends Editor-in-Chief continues to successfully guide the publication’s mission to provide trendsetting information that’s unbiased, fact driven and valuable.  WashTrends’ goal is to be part of every carwash’s toolkit for success and to create meaningful conversations within the industry.  As Sandy says, “WashTrends covers all the bases.  Our well defined digital elements create a total package of engaging, powerful and useful information that we are excited to say, ‘make a significant impact’ for our readers as well as our advertisers.”


Why Wash to Save the Bay?

Did you hear about the waterless carwash that uses ½ cup of water in California? Did you hear that Google invited the company to service its employees?   Are you ready to adapt to new situations that we can’t imagine? It’s not like we’ve never had a drought here, right? www.mcacarwash.org

How do we get past the general perception that professional carwashes use a lot of water, and that it isn’t necessary? When is the time to get our message out? www.mcacarwash.org

If you are in the carwash industry as a professional for the long haul, you must support Wash to Save the Bay on June 6. You don’t have to pledge a lot, a buck or 2 per wash. I’ve pledged 50% of my sales for the day. The last two years we’ve had really good sales on Wash to Save the Bay Saturday. And, I’ve been delighted to make a substantial contribution to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. And, there’s no reason you can’t as well. www.mcacarwash.org

This is an ideal time to let the community know the environmental benefits of professional carwashing. Local jurisdictions are struggling to comply with storm water standards, the “rain tax”. That we keep soap and dirt out of the storm sewer is a tremendous thing right now.

Don’t miss this opportunity.   www.mcacarwash.org

Next time you have to appear before a local planning and zoning board, what will be in the thought balloon of the panel? Water Waster or Water Wise? It’s really up to you. www.mcacarwash.org.

~Dave DuGoff, College Park Car Wash

3 Car Wash Services You Can Offer To Increase Average Sale Price

Three More Car Wash Services You Can Offer To Increase Average Sale Price

Presented by Ryko Solutions

Increasing your profit margin is a goal every car wash business owner wants to meet. If you increase the cost of the service without offering anything new or improving the current services, you will push the customers away and lose many potential customers. Here are a few ideas you can implement at your car wash business that will allow you to increase your sale price without compromising quality.

1. New Service Options

A great way to increase your average sale price is to offer additional services to your customers. Expanding your car wash to include additional services will allow you to offer additional options to your customers as well as bring in new clients. Some additional options you could consider for your car wash business could include:

  • Spray on paint protectant
  • Carpet shampooing
  • Vacuum services
  • Vinyl, leather and rubber treatment
  • Car waxing

2. Equipment Upgrades

The equipment you use in your car wash is important. Using the best equipment available to you will give you the opportunity to increase your sale price by giving the customer the satisfaction of knowing that their car wash will provide them with the best experience possible. Buying new equipment can be expensive but the benefits will end up out-weighing the cost. Older equipment may fail or damage a customer’s vehicle, which will end up costing you a lot more money in the long run. If you are using new equipment, you could advertise what is new at your business and how that equipment will help and improve the customers experience by using your car wash.

3. Additional Products

Having your car wash business offer additional products to customers is a great way to increase your sales. Products could also be used in promotions and giveaways to attract new customers. Some products you could sell at your business could be:

  • Car soap
  • Interior treatment/cleaners
  • Car mats
  • Seat covers
  • Sponges
  • Car fresheners

With effective marketing and sales, you could increase your profit margins by adding extra products.



The Evolution of The Car Washing Industry

The Evolution of The Car Washing Industry

Presented by MacNeil Car Wash Systems

Today’s automatic car wash systems are incredibly convenient. It’s easy to lose sight of how far car washes have come in so little time. Before the onset of the computerized, automatic car wash systems, everything was done manually. Let’s take a look at the evolution of the car washing industry.


The First Car Washes

The first ever car washes debuted in Detroit in 1914. These were manual car washes that involved a lot. Customers’ cars were pushed in circles to multiple cleaning stations where they progressed through the stages of washing.


The Arrival of Automatic Car Washes

In 1928, the Studebaker brothers in Detroit spawned the automatic car wash. These engineers envisioned a mechanism that would pull the cars through each cleaning stage. By 1946, this vision became a reality. The first ever semiautomatic car wash debuted in Detroit. Conveyors with moving tracks were installed in car washes to replace the dangerous hook conveyors. Cars were pulled along these new tracks by machines while being scrubbed with manually operated brushes.


Self-Serve Car Washes

In the 1960s and 1970s, the car wash process progressively improved. Brushes with plastic bristles were phased out and replaced with sponges that were gentle to the car’s surface. Self-serve car washes also debuted. They allowed drivers to hire car spray guns, brushes, and brushes to clean their own cars. They could also use their own shampooers, foam treatments, fragrances, tire cleaners, spot removers and spot free rinses at self-serve washes.


The Transition to Express Car Washes

In the past couple of decades, there has been a movement towards fast, cost efficient car washes. The car wash industry understood that people were beginning to lose interest in full-service conveyor washes. The transition to express car washes was made in an effort to serve more people, clean cars quicker and charge customers less money. Express washes reduced labor costs as extra services were offered before and after the vehicle made it through the tunnel wash self-serve. Flex-serve options also developed where customers got the best of both full-serve and express washes. It provided a fast wash at a low price along with the ability to tap into extra services.


Today’s High Tech Washes

Nowadays, car washes are incredibly efficient.  They treat the water used in each wash with reclamation systems that recycle it for future use.  They also have high tech computer controls and high pressure nozzles that preserve water.  Electricity costs have been cut thanks to solutions like regulators that reduce dryer cycles. The International Carwash Association estimates that over 20,000 car washes now exist across the world.


You Might Always Like: Payment Technology Is Changing The Way We Pay

5 Easy Ways To Grab The Attention of New Customers

Building customer loyalty is very important to growing any business and can be done in many ways from giving freebies to marketing your business effectively. Everyone loves a special offer, whether it be a discount, a value-addon or something free as we all love getting something extra for nothing and feeling a bit special or ‘saving’ money. That’s why vouchers and coupons are a great way to build loyalty within your existing customer database, or to grab the attention of new potential customers. This infographic from Ryko Solutions shows you 5 easy ways to grab the attention of new customers and increase loyalty.



Don’t Forget To Check Out Our Latest Magazine Issue!

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3 Things To Do with Social Media at your next Carwash Tradeshow

3 Things to do with Social Media at your next Carwash Tradeshow

 by Tim Patterson, @tradeshowguy on Twitter

Social media is great for drawing people to your event, whether you’re tweeting from your booth with a contest, posting to your Facebook page or blogging.

But using social media to help people connect while at the event is easy, too. It just takes a little thought and planning, and using the right tools.

For instance, if you can do a minimum of three things on social media at your next show, and plan to keep doing them (and adding more as you’re able), you’ll start to see your reach, influence and community grow.

  • Share!

The easiest way to share these days is with your Smartphone. Even if you don’t have one, someone in your group does. Take photos and post to your Facebook or Twitter account. Photos of people in your booth or at events help the people at home or unable to attend feel connected.

I just signed up to attend Chris Gillebeau’s World Domination Summit in Portland this July. During the process of signing up and confirming payment, I had the option of sharing some limited personal and business information so that other like-minded people can find me and perhaps connect before the event. The thinking seems to be that it would lead you to want to connect in person at the site. This approach seems perfectly set-up to help keep you engaged in the event a good 175 days before it kick off, and positions you to connect with people before the event. I’m curious to see what else the organizers will do to foster connectivity in the next few months, as the event gets closer.

Involve those back at home or the office. By sharing hashtags (#), photos and videos – even live video streaming at chosen times – you are opening the conference or show to those who were unable to attend in person. Granted, you won’t get the same kind of engagement as you will with attendees, but it’s like offering a lifeline to ‘what’s new’ and happening’ at the event.

  • Check-in!

Foursquare is a useful tool to share tips and comments about event speakers, exhibitors and products. It also helps people find other attendees and share tips on the best restaurants and places you might want to go. By monitoring the conversations on Foursquared Twitter, organizers can quickly step in to address concerns, solve problems or use the comments to guide a better experience with the things that are working particularly well.

Facebook also has a check-in tool through their smartphone app, so if you’re not on Foursquare, you won’t feel left out.

The percentage of people that check-in using LBS (location-based-services) is still low, but growing. As you check-in, you have an opportunity to share that check-in information with your friends and followers. But don’t leave it at that. Mention what you’re doing. You still have 140 characters. Are you working, meeting friends, connecting with clients? Every bit of info you share helps to brand you and your business. So share the good stuff, but leave the boring stuff behind.

  • Listen!

Yes, you’re busy. It’s a show and you have a ton of things to do and people to meet. But find a few moments to see what others are doing at the show. Monitor your Twitter and Facebook accounts – if even for just a few moments at a time just a couple of times a day – and you can uncover what others are doing. Listening is probably one of the most important things you can do whether you’re at a show or not. But if you can track the movement of show attendees, and use that information to connect with people, it can become even more valuable during the chaotic time of a tradeshow.

Tim Patterson is the @tradeshowguy on Twitter; author of e-books and webinars, public speaker and trainer. Read his blog and listen to hispodcast at http://tradeshowguyblog.com. His newest project is the culmination of years of speaking and writing about using social media for event marketing: an online membershiptraining site for event marketers on learning how to use social media effectively in their event and tradeshow marketing efforts. Check out SocialMediaEventMarketingU.com/exhibitor today!

Image Credit: Google Image Share

Working at the Carwash: Is the Customer Always Right?

by Deandre Simms, Hanks Car Wash

I prefer to say that I have the “right” customers. This goes when they are easy and when things get difficult. That adage has been used for many years. A customer is making in your eyes “unreasonable expectations” or is just upset about something that you do have the intention on fixing. We’ve all dealt with difficult customers and have challenged this philosophy, but are they always right? In the car wash world we all know what cars will get clean and which cars will not. In this world some people only believe in washing their vehicles once in a blue moon but when they DO wash it they expect it to return back to its showroom glory. Now, when their vehicle has baked on mosquitos from two Fourth of July’s ago still hanging on to the front bumper for dear life, there’s a good chance you will encounter your version of a difficult customer. It may be hard for some of us to grasp this concept but you have to be empathetic. Remember before you entered into the “car wash world” and if you would have paid $12, $16 or even $20 for a carwash— what would your expectations have been?

I want to switch gears for a moment. The other day I went to a new barbecue restaurant in town with a friend to pick up a to-go order. When we arrive to the counter we are greeted by a woman who is more than enthusiastic about us being there. We exchange pleasantries while she gathers our order and another gentlemen arrives to give her assistance with it. They touched on how their potato salad was made with baked potatoes instead of boiled and how they really hoped that we liked the meals we had chosen. I can’t remember feeling so special. When I walked out of that restaurant my friend and I bragged on the customer service that was exhibited. Now here’s the kicker— the meal was mediocre at best, the ribs lacked flavor and the serving size was too small in my opinion. But ask me if I would go back and the answer is a resounding YES! Why? Because I know that when I go back and if I am inclined to mention my past experience that they will honestly try to make me happy. I will go there again (probably not try the same dish) and give them another chance.

It’s in how you treat a customer. This happens before the sale and after as well. When customers are on your property say thank you, greet with a smile and be attentive to their needs before any issues arise. This may soften a situation if for some reason your products or services do not meet their expectation. Showing a genuine interest in your customer may make them think like I did. Maybe their car didn’t get as clean as they would like but they are more apt to give you and your business a second chance because your efforts on the frontside. When you find yourself in a situation with a difficult customer after a sale, first find your empathy. So how do you parlay that into car washes? If I have a customer that is not pleased with the result of their wash, my first step is to put myself into their place as a customer, not as car wash employee. I listen to their complaints and regardless of the what for and the why it didn’t, I go into action to resolve their problem. I know that they probably would’ve faired better if they wouldn’t have chosen the basic wash to do the Ultimate Wash’s job. All that does is give me an opportunity to educate and to put a positive spin on a potential negative situation: “Your car’s not clean? Well I can’t have that. How about we do this. Let’s run that car through again and see if we can get you all spic and span! You got the basic wash right? Oh, well this time we’re going to GIVE you our Ultimate Wash on the house! Did you know you get X, Y and Z when you choose the Ultimate?”

First things first— I take care of the immediate issue. That’s all a customer wants you to do. Then once a plan of action is in the works, then I mix empathy with education, sprinkle a smile in there and let them know that anytime they have an issue to not be afraid to let me know. My goal is a clean car! See, a person can have a bad experience in their eyes at your facility, but whether or not they come back has a lot to do with you! Remember, that if it wasn’t for difficult customers you would never have a reason to strive to be better.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: How Do Carwash Owners Show Customers They Care?

Image Credit: Google Image Share

*WashTrends will occasionally rerun articles that address ongoing critical topics in the carwash industry.

Car Washing In The Desert

written by
Nithin Mathew

One of the seven Emirates in UAE and one of the fastest growing city in the world, Dubai is seen globally as the Mecca of wealth, skyscrapers and luxury. Behind its grand splendor, the reality is that Dubai is a desert where water is scare and it belongs to a region frequented by sand storms. These factors make  car washing a tricky business  where cars in the Emirates face a tougher challenge to remain clean for longer duration of time.  Dubai alone has registered  number of cars cross 1.2 million at the end of year 2013. 

(Typical Sandstorm in the city)

In year 2008, a  ‘green’ mobile car washing revolution took UAE by storm where parking spaces in shopping malls and commercial complexes in the Emirates became the hub of car washing. While the traditional car washing wastes over 50-70 gallons of water, the green washing uses less than 1 gallon. But as the waterless carwash industry grew, it saturated the market where every shopping mall, residential complex and commercial office space parking are occupied by different car wash companies. 

But in spite of cut-throat competition, customer satisfaction is largely overlooked. KYC (Know Your Customer) still remains an alien concept in the carwash industry in the Emirates.  Customer interaction is bare minimal and even the basic courtesies of a ‘Good Morning’ and ‘Thank You’ is seldom practiced by carwash operators.  For a futuristic city like Dubai, the industry still relies on traditional book keeping and monitoring methods.

All these factors led to the creation of Ibex Car Care as we  saw an opportunity to develop a quality car wash with value for money and focusing on customers. Emphasizing on customer service, Ibex will be using feedback forms and will be hosting a dedicated channels for customer queries and grievances.  By providing flexible monthly washes and discounts, we plan to retain existing customers with loyalty cards and offers and bring new clients with word of mouth.

For operation, Ibex has developed two different mobile trolleys. One for large scale professional use called the ‘Ecowasher 100′ and the other for domestic purpose called the  ‘Home washer 100′. These battery operated trolleys  is indigenously designed and made locally in UAE to withstand the hot temperature and for optimum utilization.

(Ibex Ecowasher and homewasher)
Ibex also plans to focus on local communities for water conservation and will be partnering with various schools, running campaigns to educate future generation about water conservation and the need to save the environment by using bio degradable products. Ibex Motto is to ‘Conserve, Protect and Recycle’ and we whole heartedly believe that we can make a difference in the industry and community with our innovative practices.

Nithin Mathew
Co-founder and Operations In-charge of Ibex Car Care, UAE

Team Building In The Carwash Industry: Washtech Goes To The Races

Team Building In The Carwash Industry: Part 2
Written by: Craig Hanson

Last week Team Washtech went to the races. This was a Team Building event, and this blog is a follow up (to our first article on team building published here) and report of our experience.

Our goal was to build Team and I was actually surprised at how successful we were. We pretty much got participation from the whole office and several field personnel. Six of us ended up spending the weekend together at “24 Hours of Lemons” and as it turned out our car decided to officially be a Lemon by failing to run consistently without fuel leaks.  It would start, run well, and leak fuel like a leaky high pressure swivel at your wash.

We would fix the leak (figuring this was all we had to do) then it wouldn’t run…frustrating for our team, deeply challenging, sometimes a little personal, as one fix, and then another and another, (this is absolutely it) failed to get us through our tech inspection required to get the car safely on the track.

All in all, the six of us spent the weekend working hard together for a common goal and all just for fun, not to mention all the Team Washtech members who participated at home. Multiple other teams offered us help, advise, and parts, as well as food and beverage as we endured the weekend with our hood in the air.

Special thanks to “Team Sorry for Party Racing” who put on the entertainment Saturday night including a bar and, DJ, and dancing, and “Team Alfa Romeo Syndicate Eccelente” for feeding the whole infield a delicious pasta and meatball dinner.  24 Hours of Lemons requires themes. There was a Jurassic Park Team, A Team driving a Boat on a car chassis and lots of other fun Themes.

We all wore blue capes. Any guesses as to why?? Net of the event for us is we accomplished our goal of creating Team and even this morning I witnessed folks here at Washtech who don’t normally collaborate working together on designing the next steps on our car.

Follow our Team on Twitter at #WashTechRacing plus on our Facebook page “link” and on Instagram and YouTube.
We probably will not win, We may not finish, But we will have fun, be silly, and build “TEAM.”

Craig Hanson is the President of Mid Atlantic Car Wash Technology (DBA) Washtech

After serving as an Infantry Officer in the Marine Corps to the rank of Captain, Craig Joined his family in the Full Service Car Wash Business. That Company grew to  have seven Full service facilities. During that time Craig and his brother in law Bill Bascom started a small distribution company. In 1997 Craig left the operation company and bought the distribution company from Bill. The new company is called Washtech. Today Washtech has thirty five full time employees and installed base of over 700 Car washes that they supply and service in Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, N.J. Pennsylvania. Delaware an D.C.  Craig live with his wife in Charlottesville Virginia they have three children.

Image Credit: Washtech

Team Building In The Carwash Industry

Team Building
Written by Craig Hanson

How effective is the team? A good team building plan is critical to your business.

As Your Company grows, team style management becomes essential to keep employees enthusiastic and practicing business principles that make your company stand out and deliver the best product. The best of products can fail if not supported by a strong team. A hamburger starts is life far from being consumed, and all along it counts on teams to develop it until it gets to the table. When it gets to the table its depending on the farmers team, The processors team, the transportation team, the wholesalers team, the restaurant team all to produce a mouthwatering experience.

In the Car Wash business team work is just as critical. A single site self-service operator or a multi-site full service operator and all in between count on teams to be successful.  For a self-service operator your team might include your family, your suppliers, local businesses that support your operation. Automatic operators often count on their distributor as part of their team.  If you’re a full service operator you have multiple teams, and teams within teams.

At Washtech Team is very important. Over half of our employees do not start their day at one of our facilities. Most of our employees work from home, being dispatched or working an existing schedule. The challenge for us is getting individuals who work by themselves all day to feel like part of a team. Team Washtech is a marketing / buzz phrase that we go to market with. Our trucks are decaled Team Washtech as are our uniforms. We promote team in all ways that we can to insure that all employees feel part of something bigger than themselves and that the work they do reflects on the whole team.

This year we are starting a new team endeavor. We are building a $500 race car. All are welcome and encouraged to participate. It is an after work volunteer endeavor. We have entered a racing event in a league called Lemons Racing.

Our first event is August 8th, 9th, and 10th “There goes the Neighborhood “At the New Jersey Motorsports park in Millville N.J.  This is 24 hour endurance racing so the goal is more to finish then to win. Because it is a lot of time behind the wheel we will have six drivers. This league is called Lemons racing for a reason. Not counting safety equipment you can only have $500.00 invested in your car. Essentially you have to find a car, buy it, and get it ready to race all for under $500.00.

One of our customers created a team and I thought it was a great Team building event. So far we have six drivers and several other folks helping in various ways to get us ready to go racing.
All ready I see a bond building between fellow team mates. I am hopeful that this will be a lasting endeavor for Team Washtech and that we will race at lots of Lemons events. Maybe we will get to race your car wash team one day…

Follow our Team on Twitter at #WashTechRacing plus on ourFacebook page “link” and on Instagram and YouTube.
We probably will not win, We may not finish, But we will have fun, be silly, and build “TEAM.”

Craig Hanson is the President of Mid Atlantic Car Wash Technology (DBA) Washtech

After serving as an Infantry Officer in the Marine Corps to the rank of Captain, Craig Joined his family in the Full Service Car Wash Business. That Company grew to  have seven Full service facilities. During that time Craig and his brother in law Bill Bascom started a small distribution company. In 1997 Craig left the operation company and bought the distribution company from Bill. The new company is called Washtech. Today Washtech has thirty five full time employees and installed base of over 700 Car washes that they supply and service in Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, N.J. Pennsylvania. Delaware an D.C.  Craig live with his wife in Charlottesville Virginia they have three children.