I usually wash my car once or twice a week. I go to one of those express wash that is close to my home. I’ve been going there for at least 4 years, every week at least once. Price is fair, it is close and I never had an issue. Until the last two washes. Last week I noticed that the back of my car was still a little dirty after the wash and when I went to vacuum the car, the vacuum was very weak. I was in a hurry so I just left.
Today we wash the car and the same thing happened. Back more than a little dirty and the vacuum not working. All the other vacuums were taken so I got stuck with that bad one.
We finished cleaning the car and on our way out stopped to speak to the owner to let him know there was something wrong with his equipment. Why did I do that?
He started going on and on about the amount of chemicals he uses and how I was probably off road and the kind of clay from that dirty road is the type that doesn’t come off etc. We said that last week the same thing had happened and we had been in town the whole time.
There he goes again with the same story. We leave the car, showed him that the front of the car was fine, the problem was just in the back and we could take that off by just passing our fingers, so it was not stuck in the car. He said that is why he provides towels and Windex for clients.
Of course, I pay to have the car washed and then I spend my time cleaning the mess that the machine left.
He never once considered that the brush could have an issue, the pressure of water and chemicals, the pressure of the brush. No, it was the dirt from places I’ve been.
With the vacuum the same thing: He takes care of the equipment, he doesn’t know what is going on, now he is going to pay attention to the vacuum.
Then he makes a face and says “If you really want, I can have you go through the wash again”.
If I really want? I don’t want and I don’t need to. There is a really cool car wash that just opened a few blocks away with vacuums that look very modern, same price, new employees with smiles on their face because they got a new job and I can take my loyal business there. The only thing that will change is that I’ll drive two more blocks.
During four years I happily gave him my money, never, ever complained about anything. Washed, vacuum and left. Every week some times several times a week. During a period of time I was even on a monthly program. I’m a dream customer.
Now, let’s think, because unlike him, you can do that very easily: If something is not working well in your business, take accountability, don’t try to blame the customer. Yes, there are people that are a nightmare and try to take advantage of you. Not the case here. I’m a loyal customer that never complained about anything there. Take that in consideration before blaming the kind of dirt I ride on.
Then redo whatever you offer. Don’t tell me that if I really want you can make an exception. Do it.
You cannot afford to lose customers to competition because of stupid things. And learn, for goodness sake, to take feedback. I stopped my day to go tell him there is something wrong with the equipment. Go and check and shut up.
How many other customers didn’t like the result and left never to come back without saying a word?