Grow Your Car Wash by Cleaning Fleets

Every business owner knows that cultivating a stream of regular customers is key to success. An untapped source of new customers might lie in businesses that require a fleet of vehicles to operate. Attracting businesses with fleets to become members requires some legwork but is well worth the effort. If you need some pointers, this guide is for you!

The Importance of Fleet Wash Memberships

Businesses that operate fleets must comply with vehicle safety regulations, which guarantees they will wash their vehicles frequently. A top priority of rental companies and dealerships is to maintain clean vehicles to leave a positive first impression on their customers. Carlos Londono, the owner of Auto Spa and Car Wash, told us his fleet program generates about 5% of his business. Successful fleet wash membership programs generate additional profit to help you grow. Here is what we will cover:

Ideal Clients

Networking With New Fleet Wash Clients

Pitching Fleet Wash Memberships

Vehicle Recognition

Businesses to pitch a fleet wash membership.

Billing

Ideal Clients

Typically, any business charged with cleaning and maintaining 10 to 15 vehicles or more will make a suitable client. Examples of fleet membership clients are construction companies, auto dealerships, trucking companies, fire departments, police, and local government. Check out the list to your right for even more ideas.

Make sure you understand the type of traffic your wash can handle. Consider vehicle size, amount of dirt, extra traffic, and the impact on your current customers. For example, you may need to add a larger bay, increase pump capacity, or stock more durable brushes to accommodate industrial vehicles.

Networking With New Fleet Wash Clients

Finding fleet clients is easy if you know where to look. Keep an eye open when you are at your wash. Londono said, “Anytime I see a dealer plate, I talk to them.” Current customers make perfect fleet wash clients because they know you provide a high-quality wash.

Another tactic is searching the web and social media. Once you find someone you think is a good match, send them a message or give them a call. Another way is to drive around town. If you see a business that may be a fit, stop in and strike up a conversation. You might gain a new client.

Host a free wash event for local businesses. Invite companies you want to add as clients and show them the value of your wash.

Pitching Fleet Wash Memberships

When pitching a fleet wash membership, emphasize the various benefits your program will provide. Steve Sunde, the owner of Foam and Froth Car Wash, recommends informing potential clients about how easy their membership is to use and explaining the process. Londono affirmed Sunde’s advice and said, “Highlight the ease of use and discount.” Present customers with details regarding each package, such as the discount and services included in each tier.

There are a few things you will want to consider before you start offering fleet memberships.

Vehicle Recognition

Technological developments have made identifying vehicles of fleet wash members easy. There are quite a few devices to choose from that will make your life easy.

  • License Plate Readers – As the name suggests, these devices read the number on the license plate. Then, it determines which fleet the vehicle belongs to, adds it to the company’s bill, and activates the wash for them. The one downside to this system is that people can abuse the program if they switch license plates between their work and personal vehicles.
  • RFID and Barcode Stickers – You can have your employees apply one of two stickers to the windshield of fleet vehicles, just like you would for regular customers. The first is Radio Frequency Identification or RFID for short. RFID stickers communicate to the reader using radio waves to identify the vehicle and all the corresponding customer information. The other version utilizes a barcode printed on the sticker for identification. These stickers make great recognition options because they are difficult to abuse since the adhesive won’t stick again if the customer removes the sticker.
  • Cards – The last method is to give each employee a card. You can customize these cards with your logo and branding. This way, the employees of your fleet customer remember which wash they are supposed to use. Add a QR code or barcode to identify the vehicle. There are plenty of businesses that can print high-quality cards.

If you are using one of these recognition methods at your wash, you don’t need to run out and purchase new systems. Use what you have and integrate your fleet customers into the mix if your equipment has the ability. Utilizing existing readers saves you time and money. “If something isn’t broke, why fix it?”

Billing

Businesses will want to know how they will receive your bill. You can send the invoice via snail mail, email, or fax. Determine which method is best for you and your customer; so you are both happy.

Don’t forget to inform them how you tally charges; so they know what to expect each time they receive their invoice. Additionally, the business will want to see which vehicles in their fleet use the program and how often. Make sure you can track this information. 

Place billing details about your fleet program on the website of your wash so customers can look it up if they forget. When information is available on your website, it makes it easy for potential customers to learn about your fleet wash membership program.

In conclusion, expanding the number of fleet wash members will help increase traffic at your wash, boost your profitability, and help you grow your business. If fleet businesses are pleased with the services you provide, you’re more likely to gain good recommendations and possibly even more business from referrals.

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