Features

Detailing For the Modern Age

By Timothy Denman

09/01/19

Subscriptions and memberships are the hot retail trends. Whether it is clothing rentals, video streaming, meal services, or car washes, consumers are signing up for memberships in droves.

Shane Manfield has perfected his craft over the past 20 years.

For more than a decade, car washers, fueled by the surging express exterior segment, have encouraged customers to sign up for unlimited wash programs. The wash greatly reduces its per-visit price, in exchange for guaranteed revenue every month rain or shine.

And now detailers are getting in on the action. Shane Manfield of Perfection Plus Auto Detailing is one of the cutting-edge detailers leading the charge. Perfection Plus customers that sign up for its maintenance detail program can bring in their vehicle every three months for a touch-up detail at a reduced rate.

When they first enroll in the program customers pay full price for a complete exterior and interior detail. After that, as long as they come back every three months for a maintenance detail, they pay just $175 for a full in-and-out detail, a significant savings.

The work area at Perfection Plus Auto Detailing
offers plenty of room.

“The program is geared more towards our ceramic coating customers right now,” Manfield says of the service. “But we do offer it to our standard detail customers as well. The maintenance detail consists of a wash, clay, and wax along with wheels, tires, and door jamb cleaning. We also do a very thorough cleaning on the interior.”

Coating customers are not required to return every three months, but in order to honor the coating chemical supplier’s warrantee they must return to Perfection Plus at least once per year for a touch up. The expert detailers will rehydrate the coating, repair any scratches the vehicle may have endured, and recoat the vehicle as necessary.

While getting customers to commit to a quarterly detail might on paper seem like a hard sell, Manfield has had great success with the model. “We try to educate them right off the bat about proper washing and maintenance,” he says. By praising the virtues of regularly scheduled detail maintenance, Manfield has been able to steadily grow his user base — maintenance detailing now accounts for around 40 percent of Perfection Plus’s sales. 

Manfield is a two-time member of the prestigious
Air Force One Detailing Team.

The rest of the fixed-location detail operation’s revenue comes from traditional detailing and ancillary retail sales. Perfection Plus keeps its menu pretty simple — on offer are exterior only; interior only; complete detail; wash, clay, wax package; and seasonal maintenance. In addition, the brand offers a full-range of ala carte service enhancements including fabric guard, interior coating, windshield coating, odor removal, headlight restoration, scratch repair, and more.

Manfield is able to offer all of these services because of his commitment to consistent training throughout his career. The Bend, OR-based detailer entered the industry by happenstance while living in California two decades ago. He was unemployed and inquired on a help wanted sign in a local detailing shop and was hired on the spot.

“I went to work that day, and the rest is history,” Manfield says. “I just fell in love with cleaning and detailing cars. I remember the very next day, my second day on the job, I was working on a Mitsubishi Montero and the car’s owners came up to me and told me the car looked fantastic. It gave me a sense of pride and boosted my confidence and let me know I was good at something.”

He worked at that first shop for three or four years, before moving on to an auto body shop to work as a painter, which has served him well at Perfection Plus doing paint repair on rock chips and deep scratches. While working as a full-time painter, Manfield continued to nurture his love of detailing, working on cars from his home on nights and weekends.

Every employee is trained first-hand by Manfield
to ensure consistent results.

Manfield worked in the body shop for six or seven years before moving to Oregon with his wife right before the Great Recession took hold. “I was under the impression that there were quite a few jobs over here,” he says. “But we got here and it’s like the rock bottom of the economy. I took a job at a call center and continued to detail cars on the side. I really developed my reputation around here over the course of about three or four years of a down economy. Once the economy picked up in 2010, I opened up my own shop and never looked back.”

During his 10-plus years of full-time and part-time detailing work before opening his own business, Manfield was fine-tuning his skills through both trial and error and organized detailing training sessions. But once he opened up Perfection Plus he began his professional training in earnest, learning from some of the most respected trainers in the industry including Renny Doyle. As part of Doyle’s Detail Mafia team, Manfield is a two-time member of the prestigious Air Force One Detailing Team

“I’ve been training my entire career,” he says. “I’ve always believed in educating myself and becoming more knowledgeable at what I do. I think it gives me an edge on the competition.”

What also helps Perfection Plus stand out in the crowd is its unique and customer-focused location. At first glance the shop is like most in the industry — large, well-equipped work area with room for numerous cars under its roof. But what sets it apart is not in the garage, but rather in its lobby.

The detail center sports a full retail store stocked with a wide-range of car wash and detail products — soaps, leather cleaners, wheel cleaners, ceramic base protective products, etc. Manfield only sells commercial-grade, user-friendly products that he has personally tested, and is willing to demo them for customers. He backs each product with a money-back guarantee.

The Perfection Plus logo.

“I get people in here that take care of their own cars and are looking for a local place to buy products instead of having to buy them online,” he says. “What separates us from online is being able to try the products out before buying them. I tell everybody, if you buy a product from me and you’re not happy with it, just bring it back and I’ll give you your money back because I can use it right here in my shop.

“The store helps me build a relationship with car enthusiasts. These are the guys who are going tell other people to come see you. Even though they’re not paying me to detail their vehicle, they’re still coming in here and I get to know them and interact with them and they get to know me.”

Manfield’s commitment to providing each and every customer the personalized and friendly experience they desire has not gone unnoticed by both his client base and the detail industry at large. In 2018, the detail veteran was honored with the International Detailing Association’s highest honor: Detail Shop of the Year.

Perfection Plus Auto Detailing was named Detail
Shop of the Year in 2018.

“I was honestly shocked that I was even nominated for the award,” he says. “The other shops I was up against are just amazing shops that I have a lot of respect for. They were actually guys that have helped mentor me along the way. I was super honored to win the award and very humbled at the same time because those other two shops are some of the best shops in the country.”

The detail industry continues to evolve from its bucket-and-hose roots. Visionaries like Manfield are embracing current customer trends and catering to the needs of the modern consumer, setting themselves apart from the crowd and providing the next-gen service customers desire.

 

DETAILER  OVERVIEW

Name: Perfection Plus Auto Detailing
Location: Bend, OR
Founded: 2010
Owner: Shane Manfield
Employees: 5
Shop: 3,000 Square Feet, with Retail Store
Awards: 2018 IDA Detail Shop of the Year



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