Cleaning Up the Car Wash Image

Cleaning Up the Car Wash Image

What kind of reputation does your car wash have online and in your community? A quick Google search and check of is a good place to start.

Common customer complaints include long lines, incomplete drying, high price, hurried or rude staff, and sloppy interior detailing. While all complaints are not justified, pay attention to trends. Your organization may need to invest in equipment upgrades, improve employee training, or re-evaluate wash packages.

When dealing with a negative online review, don’t get defensive. Consider how your car wash could improve in the area of the criticism.

Whether complaints are delivered online or in person, keep your cool. And consider—what can you do to ensure your car wash has the best reputation in town?

Management Matters

In the car wash industry, the store manager is the most critical position. With more than 25 years of experience in the car wash business, Brink Results President Steve Gaudreau has made some interesting observations on management.

More than once, he has seen a new manager come into a store and improve numbers seemingly overnight. Sales per customer go up. Human resources as a percentage of sales goes down. And, most amazingly, customer visits increase. How does this happen?

Focus on Customer Experience

Exceptional managers understand that their personal interaction with a customer can influence the customer to come back more frequently, buy more, and generate positive word-of-mouth advertising—including positive online reviews. A customer-focused store manager will smile at customers, ask them if everything is okay, check for quality, open doors for customers, and thank them for coming in—the royal treatment.

The manager must create a high standard for all employees regarding their customer interactions. This starts with personal appearance and cleanliness of the work area, and, most importantly, friendliness. Smile, be responsive to customer requests and inquires, and helpful in selecting car wash services.

As the environment on the car wash property becomes more positive, customers will want to come back more often—and they do.

Build Relationships

The first thing to recognize is that organizations can only build great relationships with customers if they have solid relationships with their own employees. If people are respected and valued within the organization, they will be more likely to treat customers with dignity and respect.

Managers can make a big difference by modeling the behavior they want to see in their people. Be intentional about your organizational culture. Employees who feel valued are more loyal to the organization and motivated to do their jobs well. If they are treated well and enjoy positive relationships at work, they are more likely to treat customers well.


How does an exceptional manager turn around a poor-performing car wash? They are passionate about serving customers and dedicated to self-improvement.

Ultimately, a conveyor car wash is a service business. If a customer perceives that everyone on the property is interested in taking care of their car well, the customer will come back more frequently and spend more on services.

An exceptional store manager must have a great deal of passion for the job. Passion is transmitted to all their employees, and customers can feel its presence.

How is your organization doing on customer service? Brink Results can help solve problems in the areas of growth, productivity, and profitability. Contact Brink Results by calling (239) 334-1050 or email: to schedule a free consultation.