As the COVID-19 outbreak spreads, many businesses are unsure of what steps to take during this uncertain time, car washes included.
Here at Welcomemat Services, we’ve seen some ups and downs. Fortunately, we grew through the recession in 2008.
We are currently in the same situation navigating this difficult time with you. Read on to gain insight about our recommended practices for your car wash during this pandemic.
Communication Amid Uncertainty
How to communicate with your prospects, current customers, and people in the community
• Approach all outbound communication with empathy and education
• Office hours, how can I purchase from you?
• Express wash – highlight peace of mind – maybe a free day of washes to help ease the burden – as a way to give back to the community
• Allow customers to pay directly at pay station and drive-in
• Create positivity for people in a challenging time
• Highlight how you are helping the community
• Ensure the cleanliness of your car wash to customers
• Vacs off, proper sanitary measures
• Any other community out-reach?
• Highlight your team – People are “FOR” people – create posts designed to highlight team, founders and community
• Thank the community for their patronage, continued support and future support –be a light!
So what’s going on in the world amidst this pandemic that we’re all dealing with? If you look at the report below from an ad agency out of the UK, it shows that in the midst of the crisis, people are very much on social media!
People are browsing on Facebook 53% more. That’s a huge percentage. There’s also a 32% increase in Instagram.
You’ve also got an increase of online shopping by 32%. People are staying in place, working from home, whatever it may be. Social media is the way to reach your car wash customers right now, more so probably than ever before.
Properly Preparing to Come Back Online
Working on strategies now that can be implemented in the coming weeks
• Outpace competition – Be the first one out!
• Plan the strategy – 8-12 weeks
• Community – driven outreach
• Specifically target neighborhoods that are good for you
• Omnichannel – traditional and digital
• Social ads inviting people in, capturing data, retargeting
• Using tools that you can measure – track
Right now is also a time where you can look at your current brand and physical location. Is there a chance to make it better? Apple’s Chief Marketing Officer said in his letter from 1977 that “people do judge a book by its cover.”
If you have areas of your car wash that have been dirty and you’ve been meaning to clean them up, do it now! If you have some signage you need to polish up, or some things you can do around the washes itself to make it look clean, do it now! I think that’s going to be a theme this year and beyond. So think about what you can do to make the appearance of your physical location look amazing. It’s important to get your brand looking shiny and clean.
Silver Linings – Lessons Learned from 2008
• Reset for hiring
• Competition won’t be as quick to enter
• Those who market win – those that hold back slowly get eaten by
• Segmentation – Use your bullets wisely
These tips on best practices in these uncertain times were discussed by Welcomemat Services CEO, Brian Mattingly, in our recent car wash industry webinar: Communication, Preparation, and Silver Linings in Uncertain Times. To gain more insight from Brian, watch the replay here.
We’ve also put together a list of Resources for Small Businesses During the COVID-19 Outbreak. We want to keep everyone informed and updated with information on protecting employees and supporting customers during this time.