Reading Time: | Word Count:
For the last three decades, operators have been primarily focused on increasing customer conversion rates. In other words, the rate of which retail traffic converts into members or lifetime customers. Let’s say your car wash offers unlimited club memberships, your conversion rate would be the rate of which customers become unlimited club members.
In sales and marketing the sales funnel is used to understand the customer journey and how to convert prospects into members or lifetime customers. The funnel applies to car wash businesses as well.
The Car Wash Funnel
The top of the funnel is the awareness phase. This is where you let prospective customers know who you are and what you offer at your wash.
At the midway point, is the consideration phase. This point in the funnel is where the consumer is considering you versus a competing car wash.
Last but not least, we have the conversion zone. This is the point in the funnel where you seal the deal and close the sale.
So what do all these fancy funnel words mean?
The Awareness Phase
When looking at the sales funnel, the first question you need to ask is: How do you fill the funnel? The short answer is with advertising! More specifically, promoting brand awareness.
One of the better ways of doing this is by utilizing geo-targeted digital video ads on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. This provides the lowest cost per impression when attempting to reach a larger audience.
The Consideration Phase
This is the part of the marketing funnel where your leads become prospective customers, or prospects. At this phase you may want to implement a tactic like Google search ads so your wash is the first to be considered when a customer is looking for a car wash. You want to focus on geo-targeted keywords such as:
- Car wash near me
- Best car wash in town
- Free vacs near me
- Nearest car wash
Keywords like these are targeted to people in your site’s neighborhood. So, when a prospect is in your 3-mile radius searching on their phone for a local car wash, you can ensure your car wash shows up on the top of the list.
At this stage in the funnel, it is also a great idea to look at your Google Business Profile. This is a free service Google provides and it’s usually the first-place prospects search. If a prospect searches for your business, they will be able to scan photos of your car wash curated by you, as well as inspect your services and view other customer ratings. It’s important that you maintain and optimize your Google Business Profile—it will only take visitors a few seconds to decide if they will go to you or your competitor.
The Decision Phase
We’ve now made it to the bottom of the funnel. At this point, customers are driving to your wash and welcomed by the vibrant signage that echoes the deals you’ve been advertising online. When your customer arrives to your pay station, make sure that the screen flow is simple and easy to understand.
It’s also important to make sure that your team is ready to provide the best customer experience. At SLAM, we advise car wash owners to develop a sales program with their team. Make it fun for the team and try the following:
- Create a scoreboard in the back room
- Set daily goals for the team
- Have prizes and rewards for the team when they reach those goals
- Role play upselling opportunities
Commission programs work well, but they can be hard to take away once you start. Instead, start off with a team goal and reward program. Don’t be afraid to try different incentives to see what works best for your team.
Sales Training Never Stops
Continue training your team by role playing sessions with them. Make it part of your weekly routine and don’t forget to make it fun!
Be sure to leverage your vacuum area, recruit someone on your staff to walk around with an apron full of lollipops for kids, doggie treats for pets, review cards for happy customers and rack cards for first time visitors. Ask happy customers what they liked about your business and if they would consider upgrading to a membership. Doing so increases your chances of conversions. If your employees are well trained and motivated, conversions can be easy(er)!
You don’t have to know what a conversion rate is to know that you need to attract customers to your car wash. Teaching the Management course at Sonny’s CarWash College and interacting with many car wash owners has taught me that marketing is ever evolving. There is no ‘one’ thing you can do to convert customers to loyal members. You have to focus on the entire journey!
Our SLAM CarWash Marketing YouTube channel is a great resource for marketing ideas and solutions to take your car wash to its maximum potential. You can also follow us on Facebook for more great insights to marketing your car wash. If you’re ready to make SLAM Dunk for your car wash, send us an email. At SLAM, we’re here to help you win every customer.