Ever notice the best restaurants in your town tend to have the most customers? In fact, the more exclusive and expensive the restaurant is, the longer the wait. Some of the top restaurants in the world have months-long waiting lists.
But, there are not many high-end restaurants. It is not as simple as putting high prices on your menu items, then sitting back, and waiting for the money to pour in.
This is also true of high-end professional detail services.
The high-end professional detail operations I know charge higher prices, but they also deliver a higher-end experience. They package their detail services to produce superior results, and they provide extra value every step of the way. As a result, they generate favorable word-of-mouth business, just like top-quality restaurants do.
You need to understand that the detail operations that offer high-end service approach their marketing differently. It goes way beyond “do a great job and the customers will come.”
DELIVER AS PROMISED
There are things high-end businesses do consistently in their marketing, and each of them starts with an attitude and then follows through with appropriate actions.
Everyone knows of Tempur-Pedic mattresses. They are one of the top-selling mattresses in the United States. But only a few years ago, they were relatively unknown. What made them stand out were their one-page, text-heavy, information-rich advertisements in magazines.
Tempur-Pedic mattresses were different. They were made from “memory foam,” approved by NASA, and guaranteed to give you a better night’s sleep that was easier on your back. Even I, who had a sore back every morning, decided I could not lose by trying one, as the company also gave a 30-day money-back guarantee.
I ordered one (it was expensive), and I was sold after one night’s sleep. No more aching back. Their advertising promised what they delivered. And their advertising worked because it featured information-rich facts and figures that answered all of my questions and justified the high price tag.
High-end professional detail operations do exactly the same. On their websites, you will see a lot of information, service descriptions, case studies, blog articles, free reports, assessments, and more. These high-end operators understand that they need to build trust over time by answering the questions and concerns of their customers.
When I bought a house a few years back, I worked with a real estate agent who was referred to me with these words: “She will make you feel like you are her only client.”
What a great way to recommend a professional service. When we worked with her, that was our experience. She felt like a friend from the very first meeting. She did not have to work too hard, as we bought the first house she showed us. Once she sold us the house she did not disappear either, she kept in contact with us to make sure that all was going okay.
Are you treating your customers as “just another customer” or do you consider each one a friend, someone whose company you enjoy and want to sincerely know?
Ice cream parlors have understood this principle for ages: they will happily give you a taste of any flavor of ice cream before you buy. It is only common sense. But how good are you at giving your prospective clients a taste of your detail services before they buy?
Please note that this does not mean “giving away” your detailing services before they buy. The ice cream man does not give away a full cup, just a small taster spoon. That is enough.
What you have to figure out is your equivalent of that taster spoon. It is easy, just polish out a small section of the hood so they can see what you can do. Nothing works better than a presentation of some kind that provides a solid example of your best work.
If you offer high-end detail services, like a high-end restaurant, there are only so many seats you can fill. Exclusivity means a limited number of motorists will have the opportunity to be a paying customer.
If a customer wants your high-end detail services, they need to call first. You cannot beg people to be a customer. You need to make your service somewhat hard to get. If you do that, you will also attract better customers, those committed to top-quality services who are willing to pay for it.
Everyone talks about great customer service, but very few deliver. What does it really mean? How about words such as value, responsiveness, and follow up? The very best high-end detail operations deliver all of those consistently.
To me, value means more than you promised; responsiveness is getting what you need when you need it; and follow-up is keeping your promises every single time. As easy as it is to say those are important, none of them is easy to deliver.
The secrets of great high-end marketing can be learned from businesses such as exclusive restaurants, Tempur-Pedic, and ice cream parlors. They all know how to do it right.
How can you use the examples of these businesses to take your detail operation to the high-end?
Sharie Sipowicz is aftermarket sales manager with Detail Plus Car Appearance Systems Inc. She has been involved in the detail industry for over 20 years, both as a vendor of products and equipment and as a hands-on operator in a retail detail environment. You can contact Sharie at firstname.lastname@example.org.