When it comes to getting your car washed these days there are more choices than you can shake a sponge or water hose at. I can remember as a kid growing up in a small town that if you wanted your car washed you had to do it yourself.
I have always taken great pride in how I washed my car and great satisfaction admiring the final result. However, having a family and career now, there are plenty of other things to keep me busy. As a result, I can’t find the time to do it myself so I have to rely on others.
I have been to a number of car washes throughout the city, and for the most part they do a fine job. But there’s a chain car wash in town called Eager Beaver that takes it to the next level. Though it’s a chain car wash, the management and employees treat it as their own.
Companies struggle day in and day out to create a sense of ownership in their employees. I would suspect that at a car wash, with the wages they most likely offer, creating ownership would be next to impossible, but not for this location.
Driving in, you can clearly see evidence of a well-run company. The place is very clean, always freshly painted and nicely landscaped. They have an abundance of workers and everyone is friendly and a pleasure to deal with. Because of that, I find myself almost involuntarily upgrading the wash package every time I go there.
Being in Florida, where it’s hot and muggy seven months out of the year, the car wash has ample space in the cool lobby with reading material and TVs, as well as an assortment of merchandise to browse through to pass the time (and make some additional sales). Outside, they have a nice canopy and comfortable furniture to sit and wait, as well as a large canopy oak tree to sit by when the weather is nice.
But this story really begins at the end with the employees who do the final drying and prep before I drive away with my sparkling clean car. It’s the kind of customer experience we should all strive for. Each time out they take personal ownership of your vehicle in the way they dry the exterior, clean the interior and apply the wheel treatment. They are very meticulous and never rush, no matter how busy they seem.
One gentleman in particular went way above and beyond the last two times I was in there. I found myself increasing the tip three-fold as I watched him do one thing on top of the other to make sure my truck looked brand new before calling me over. He even stopped me on the way out to wipe down one spot he had somehow overlooked.
When it comes to customer service, the entire experience is important, but how you finish may be the most crucial part of the process.