At all ‘Splash n Dash,’ locations, we put a premium on safety. Of all the investments you can make in your car wash business, creating an inviting atmosphere, giving the best service, buying the best products, all of that is secondary to ensuring customers’ safety. Make sure everyone is aware of the ‘Off Limits’ areas in your facility.

Whether curious or careless, a customer wandering around an unauthorized area is potential trouble.

First, make sure all of your employees are trained to watch the warning signs. While most customers will sit patiently or watch from the windows, be on the lookout for those who leave the waiting room. Maybe they just want to ask a question. But even this innocuous act can result in disaster. Even if signage is present-and it always should be, some will either deliberately or carelessly ignore even the most obvious written warnings. When an employee sees a reckless moment, he or she should immediately stop working and diffuse the situation by saying something like, “Can I help you with something?” This is a critical question, You aren’t admonishing the customer, who truly might have made an honest mistake, but you are addressing a possible need. Maybe the question was, “How long will this take?” or something similar. Maybe they wanted to greet a friend or business associate who is there for a detailing job. Never assume or indicate that the customer is doing something wrong, just that they have a need that you can meet.

Of course, the most common abuser is children.

In the blink of an eye, a parent can lose sight of a toddler. Stories abound of lost children, creating a panic in the entire car wash outlet. When small children are around, be especially diligent. If you find one (keep in mind the employee might find the child before the parent realizes he is missing. Again, do not chide the parent or that the child did anything wrong. Make a comment such as, “Your future car wash employee was trying to get some inside tips on how we operate here,” or “We aren’t hiring right now, but come back in about 10 years, and I think we’ll have a spot open for your little one.”

Again, the problem is diffused with a smile.

Takeaways:

  • Make sure all employees are trained in customer safety
  • Signage is critical, but think of it only as a start
  • When possible, use humor, not condemnation to remedy the situation

What stories do you have regarding customer safety? Was it handled correctly? Was this article helpful?