Understanding your customer & Understanding your Experience
This topic has been dwelling with me for sometime now. I’m not sure if it should be said, but should be understood in our detailing industry. As I believe a lot of confusion comes into play for our customers and auto enthusiast.
Each and every customer that calls has different needs with a different cars and different driving habits etc. Each looking for the same thing. “A service to hire and the job to be done.” I agree that it is our job as a detailing professional to direct our customers into a detail that suits. So, why do we need to understand the customer? “I know what I’m doing.”
Over the last few years detailing has taken on new heights. Expanding in better products, equipment and a social atmosphere to learn and gain knowledge faster. Detailing a car has taking on a completely new meaning. Paint correction, “What is that?” They ask. “Who cares.” A car will look it’s best from what I saw online… With all the wonderful things on the market today, detailing “has” gotten a lot better! However, it has also dawned on me that detailers have been trying to become great salesmen.
I don’t believe detailers should be salesmen. Maybe a coach, but not a salesmen. (leave that to the retailers) When a customer calls or emails in with questions, It is our privilege to listen to their needs. (Large or small) And not try to sell them on the latest and greatest. By listening to the customer you should be able to tell what it is they are trying to achieve. Even if they get the lingo wrong. A professional detailer should be able to read between the lines and coach that direction.
I see and hear all the time anymore detailing companies trying to up sell on a certain product or service just to keep up with the online mainstream. I’ve talked to many local and out of state detailers asking on the up charge for this and that. Companies carrying coating products with no means to a proper environment to apply correctly. Putting products on peoples cars just to say they did it for social media sake. These are not the types of services customers are looking for in some cases.
Quality detailing and quality products will sell themselves. Without the hassles of a sales pitch. Mobile detailing, a service that will also sell it’s self and holds high respect in the industry and more so to customers who love the convenience. High volume detailing shops and DIY stops, all set up to suit the customers needs. Needs that will be different from one week to the next, to one month to the next.
So if your a detailer reading this article, you may be thinking… Okay Brian, what are you getting at? Well, its just this… I’m all for gaining knowledge on whats new and increasing productivity through new products and tools. I have a detailing addiction like a women who loves shoes and handbags. Through all the turning developments in car detailing, I think its more important now than ever to listen to the customers needs. Trying to up sell a client every other month on whats new is not what a customer wants to hear. If testing is to be done on something, it should be done “Not” on a customers vehicle. (not without their knowledge) Understand your products and stand behind them with faith and not hope to gain social media status. Understand your area and how your set up as a detailing company. The customers who call and email do so because of the type of service you provide. When they call and you come across as something your not, or try to sell them something they don’t want… it causes a great amount of confusion to the client. Speaking from a great deal of conversations over the last few months with customers, I’d have to say this is an issue. (at least in my area of Orlando) Everywhere you turn, 80% of mobile detail companies have turned into paint correction artist. Chasing the highest dollar they can get from each customer, looking for the nicest car in town. I’ve never seen the local quick shops so busy as I have over the last several months. More power and increased employment to them! However this could be being caused from not understanding the customers needs. Customers don’t want to hear its going to be $300 every time they want the car washed.
Being in the service of New Car Preps & Paint Correction Details, as this is the nature of what I’ve built. I don’t run into my clients and customers on a regular basis. But I can say, when I do speak or share messages with them. They’ve had a difficult time with running into companies trying to sell them this and that. This leaves so much confusion in the customers head that the next time they look to hire a service provider, “it leaves them hesitant.” There by defaulting to the nearest quick service car wash. As I’ve said, I’ve never seen the DIY stops so busy. (from my own observations at least) Is it becoming more easier for the customer to do it them self? And is it caused from the confusion and fear of being up charged? I’d love to hear some responses about your areas, and if you’ve noticed a difference? Or if your a customer who hires mobile convenience, Has it been an issue?
Personally I think the advancements and changes that have helped improve detailing and protection for vehicles is at and all time high. So many great product and equipment companies are working harder than ever to take care of our detailing needs. Social media and detailing forums are a source for all readily available information on whats new and to come. However I believe that the detailing company to be hired should have full understanding and hands on experience before trying to coach a client into “whats new.” Just because media has a hype, doesn’t make it right. These types of changes leaves no one at fault really, but its not fair to the customers to be guinea pigs without their knowledge.
The customers generally know what they want when it comes to car detailing. Whether it be a really great job done, something that will get them by, added protection, New Car Prep, Paint Correction etc etc. In some cases they may call and ask “what we can do for them.” This leaving an open table to toss it all out there, allowing them to decide what would suit them best.
The reason of this rant is to hopefully help the customers… Our customers deserve to have a knowledgeable individual working on their car. As far as car coatings are concerned and the vast amount of new product releases…. Having a detailing professional who has used and tested most of whats out there is better than trusting a sales pitch to up charge. At the end of the day, “doing it right” is all that matters.
For what I offer here, I can say this:
Do your homework as to who you hire. You’ll find here at AOWheels a large source of my background information that only comes from hands on experience.
Thanks for reading