Country Clean Car Wash, Hartville, OH
Exterior with Quick Lube
This Carwash Locked In Loyalty With Monthly Passes, And Increased Dollar Volume By 14% In A Market Where The Unemployment Rate More Than Doubled In Two Years.
Challenge: To Boost Volume and Maintain Profits In A Market With Skyrocketing Unemployment
Solution: Appeal To Your Core Group Of Customers and Lock In Their Loyalty By Promoting Monthly Passes
Hartville, Ohio’s Country Clean Car Wash has seen its share of ups and downs in the local economy since it was founded in 1988, but few times have been as challenging as the past year. The unemployment rate in the exterior wash’s construction-dependent market rose to 12.2%; more than double what it was two years earlier. Overall, county-wide retail sales plummeted by 10%.
Under these circumstances, most carwashes would have considered themselves lucky just to maintain their current volume, but Country Clean’s owner Brad Pavlak wanted more than business as usual. Brad not only held his own last year, he grew his business at a rate that was nothing short of remarkable. Despite the wobbly local economy, Country Clean’s dollar volume jumped 14% (an impressive accomplishment even during good times), and traffic count increased by 5%.
Selling Monthly Passes With SiteWatch Automatic Recharge Module®
How did Brad accomplish this feat in a market where almost one out of eight people is out of work? His growth was due to more than turning out consistently clean cars and providing friendly service; though he certainly excelled in both of these key areas.
Country Clean’s impressive accomplishment was driven mainly by a carefully planned and well executed effort to promote monthly pass sales. Attractive colorful signs from the DRB Systems Sign Package were strategically placed throughout the Country Clean site to tout the speed, convenience and value benefits monthly passes offer consumers.
These signs, along with a professional sales effort on the part of Brad and his employees persuaded Country Clean customers to give monthly passes a try. As a result, revenues from monthly pass sales increased by an astounding 44% last year. This income was largely responsible for Country Clean’s impressive jump in volume.
Monthly Passes Appeal To Consumers In Good Times and Bad
As Brad and his employees discovered, monthly passes are easy to sell even when times are tough because they work for customers. People who have jobs in a soft economy appreciate the sense of security that comes from having a consistent, manageable budget. Monthly passes contribute to this stability by making it easy for customers to allocate a fixed amount of money each month to keeping their cars clean. Brad’s customers also appreciate the fact that monthly passes simplify their buying decisions. (They no longer have to think about where to go to get their cars cleaned.) The passes also save customers time, since they don’t have to look through their wallets for money or a credit card every time they visit the carwash.
A Variety Of Monthly Pass Plans
Since the objective of his monthly pass strategy is to reach as many core car wash customers as possible and lock in their loyalty, Brad offers a variety of pass options. His “Best” plan, which sells for $39.95/month, offers customers unlimited $12 deluxe washes; the “Better” pass plan ($34.95/month) offers unlimited $10 washes; and the “Good” pass plan ($29.95/month) offers unlimited $8 washes.
Although customers can technically visit Country Clean every day for a wash, Brad has found that the overwhelming majority of them do not abuse their unlimited wash privileges. His customers, like customers of Netflix, health club members and phone plan users, tend to think in terms of their overall needs, not individual purchases.
For example, Netflix customers are interested in having regular access to at-home entertainment, not in individual movies; health club members are more concerned about staying fit, not in the number of times they visit a health club; and phone plan customers are focused on staying connected, not on the price of individual phone calls. Similarly, customers at Country Clean are interested in maintaining a clean vehicle, not in how many times they visit a carwash. As a result, they visit the carwash only as often as necessary to keep their vehicles looking clean.
SiteWatch® ARM® Controls Pass Sales
Country Clean identifies monthly pass customers by scanning a small tag on their vehicle windshield. The same tags are used for all three of the wash’s monthly pass packages. Once tags are scanned, SiteWatch ARM recognizes the pass customer and assigns the correct wash to the vehicle.
By running his pass program with SiteWach ARM, Brad is able to maintain tight control over his various pass plans without a lot of paperwork. All pass transactions are entered directly into the computer system without depending on the discretionary action of employees.
Passes are also renewed automatically without depending on human intervention, which reduces the risk of error or fraud. SiteWatch ARM will recharge passes by automatically recharging customer credit cards at the first of every month. This has given Country Clean a steady revenue stream regardless of changes in the weather, or economic conditions.
Customers who purchase a Country Clean pass after a month has started have their accounts prorated, so they’re charged only for those days that they are actually in the program. Country Clean requires that customers who buy a pass remain in the program for at least one complete calendar month. Customers who want to withdraw from the program must provide Country Clean with written notice at least five days prior to the first of the month when credit cards are automatically recharged.
However, the dropout rate from Country Clean’s monthly pass program has been very low. After all, the speed, convenience and peace of mind that monthly passes offer are just what many customers crave during anxious times – and the steady revenue stream and loyalty that monthly passes bring are just what a this exterior carwash needed to not only survive but thrive in a troubled economy.