Why Car Wash is CEO Agenda

Paula Thomas, Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes


Arthur Wessels – Senior Vice President at WashTec Cleaning Technology GmbH

The Context for Carwash

No matter where you live in the world, commercial car wash services are available, but there are of course dramatically different solutions on offer around the world. Whether you live in a developed market like Germany, Europe or the USA and enjoy the availability of highly sophisticated automation, or in a country where hand washing is still the norm, we believe that the potential for the growth of your car wash business has never been higher. This article is designed to share the latest insights on converting more customers and/or creating consistent recurring revenue, with the added potential to connect more regularly with your car wash customers in a way that gives them even more reasons to buy from you across your business.

We caught up with Arthur Wessels, a veteran of the car wash industry with over twenty-seven years working with Washtec, the global industry leader in car wash automation.

Three CEO Tips for Car Wash Growth

1) Convert More Customers

One key question we asked Wessels is what performance target you should set so that you know what success looks like. You may already know what percentage of your fuel customer base are also using your car wash services, so you can compare your own results with his industry insights, then use the tools below to convert even more.

Like any marketing objective, there is no such thing as just one factor driving your success, but it’s certainly important to set clear KPI’s for car wash if you want that part of your business to grow. Selling more to your existing customers is by far the easiest way to drive revenue.

Wessels shared with us that business owners who use the tools below have the potential to convert up to 10% of their fuel customers to car wash services, ensuring that your investment in that infrastructure can drive an even bigger contribution to your overall financial results.

2) Communicate clearly

A key factor in your conversion ratio will be a direct result of how actively your staff sell your car wash service, and how much it’s advertised. It sounds simple and obvious, yet we’re all familiar with the conflicting demands of deciding what area of the business to focus on with our marketing communications.

Our key recommendation is to create a comprehensive marketing plan for car wash that includes compelling offers to drive customers to more frequent visits to your site. This can be done using your loyalty programme, creative campaigns, as well as subscriptions to an unlimited car wash service as discussed below. However a clear communications plan is needed across every one of your channels in order to ensure your project will be successful. There is simply no point otherwise.

The communications plan can then be evaluated based on the expected lifetime value of those customers who respond, rather than simply hoping for a short-term uplift as most tactical campaigns do.

Prominent Advertising for Your Car Wash Category Captures Untapped Potential

3) From Sporadic to Subscription

We’ve previously mentioned the extra-ordinary results announced by Amazon Prime in 2018, when customers paying for their loyalty programme benefits reached the 100 million member milestone. And the minds of loyalty marketing and business people around the world were collectively blown.

Both Washtec and Liquid Barcodes offer great digital solutions for you to consider a subscription solution, with many CEOs realising that car wash is a great product for this increasingly popular model of loyalty where customers enjoy unlimited services for one fixed monthly fee.

Washtec shared with us some of the powerful commercial results they’ve seen with their “Easy Car Wash” approach, so we’ve added our three favourites for you here:

  1. Subscription customers spend twice as much on car washes as regular customers.
  2. Subscription customers wash their cars 3 to 4 times more frequently than regular customers – which also means 3 to 4 times more customer contacts for other products and services at your station.
  3. Customers who subscribe are happy as you’ve made their lives easier – delivering convenience in new and helpful ways. In marketing terms, this is known as reducing the cognitive load for customers and simplicity is again emerging as a key success factor for great marketing campaigns.

With such compelling commercial potential, it does make sense to focus powerfully on moving car wash prospects from sporadic consumers to loyal subscribers, with careful measurement of your customer’s behaviour before and after the strategy is implemented.

Both Washtec and Liquid Barcodes are delighted to report high customer retention rates for clients using unlimited/easy car wash subscriptions. “Unlimited car washing” is a service customers love once they try it.

Car Wash on the CEO’s Agenda 

In closing, Wessels explained why in the past some CEO’s have found it challenging to focus on car wash. With complex and critical IT systems in use, there simply was no easy way to “flick the switch” to start selling more.

With the arrival of digital platforms, these solutions are becoming much easier to access. All that’s left is for you to ensure your staff are trained and your offers and advertising campaigns are ready and your car wash business can enjoy world class results.

Drive Loyalty & Car Wash Growth with Marketing Offers and Subscriptions 

About Us:

Liquid Barcodes is a leading global loyalty and digital marketing technology company specialised for the convenience store and foodservice industries. Our proprietary cloud-based technology platform allow retailers to create and manage their digital marketing campaigns with a proprietary process we call the “customer connection cycle’ to engage, promote and reward customers activities in real-time across digital and media channels.

How we do it:

We have developed the most advanced loyalty and digital marketing technology platform specifically for convenience store and foodservice retailers globally.

Retailers use our self-service dashboard to create and manage loyalty driven marketing campaigns that increase purchases with their existing customers, as well as effectively target and acquire new customers through partners or paid media channels.

One core component of live loyalty is gamification. We have gamified branding, loyalty and promotions. We believe this approach is essential in order to get customers’ attention and ultimately truly engage them with repeatable actions thereby winning their loyalty.

Check out some of our exciting/proven results here:

About Me:

Paula Thomas

Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes and Independent Loyalty Consultant.

With over twenty-five years marketing experience, I specialise in loyalty marketing consulting, managing consumer loyalty propositions, strategy and operations. In addition to working with Liquid Barcodes, my clients have included Telefonica O2, Three Mobile, Electric Ireland, Allied Irish Bank and The Entertainer, as well as Avios – the global points currency for some of the world’s top airlines. I am also a judge for the Loyalty Magazine Awards. 




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