The Guide to Adding Professional Car Detailing to Your List of Services

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Whether you are already in the auto body repair industry or if you are currently exploring your options within this field, there is no denying that car detailing is a lucrative prospect.

Every growth-oriented auto shop should consider adding car detailing to their list of services, and if you are an aspiring entrepreneur, then you might consider launching a dedicated detailing business. 

After all, with an annual growth rate of 4 percent and more than $12 billion in revenue in 2019 in the US alone, car detailing is a rising market with plenty of long-term potentials. Of course, market value alone doesn’t guarantee success.

Car detailing encompasses a myriad of services, categorized into the interior, exterior, and additional detailing. From cleaning, buffing, and waxing, all the way to paint restoration and protection, there is a lot you need to know to attract customers and ensure customer satisfaction.

With all of that in mind, today we’ll be taking you through the steps you need to take in order to succeed in car detailing and make it an amazing revenue source for your business. 

1. Get the right staff and training

Professional Car Detailing Services: 6 Big Business TipsFirst things first, you need the right staff and a team of car detailing professionals to be able to provide quick, top-quality service.

Typically, people don’t want to leave their car at the shop for days on end just for detailing work, instead, they’ll expect you to have their vehicle ready in a couple of hours or within the day. Couple this expectation with the fact that you will be receiving a lot of requests for car detailing on a daily basis, and you can appreciate the need for skilled staff.

Luckily, people don’t need a degree or any special certification to provide this service, but they need to be trained properly. You can find a local business in your area that provides car detailing courses, and have your employees upskill in this area and get the knowledge necessary to provide adequate care for every make and model.

Remember, with modern cars costing around $40k, you have to make sure you are able to take good care of every vehicle that comes to your shop.

2. Know what goes into comprehensive car detailing

Oftentimes, you will encounter people who think that car detailing just means paint correction or cleaning the exterior thoroughly, but in reality, car detailing is a set of many services that aim to completely restore the car to its former luster. That includes interior and exterior work, and it may be covered by the customer’s car insurance.

Exterior car detailing encompasses:

  • Washing and drying.
  • Paint claying.
  • Polishing.
  • Sealing or waxing.

Interior car detailing encompasses:

  • Vacuuming.
  • Scrubbing and brushing.
  • Steam cleaning.
  • Glass cleaning.
  • Leather cleaning and restoring.
  • Plastic and vinyl cleaning and restoring.
  • Perfuming.

Additional car detailing services that will put your body shop on the map include:

  • Paint correction.
  • Ceramic coating.
  • Paint protection film (PPF). 

3. Pay special attention to paint job protection

Professional Car Detailing Services: 6 Big Business TipsAs we mentioned above, it is the additional car detailing services that will put your auto center in front of the competition.

People not only want their cars to look amazing, but they also want to make sure that they will stay like that for a long time, which is why you need to provide quality paint protection for their vehicles. The best way to do this is to use the right type of nano-coating to add a layer of protection to the paint job.

You can instruct the customer to get DIY nano-ceramic coating as well that they can reapply themselves in the future, as well, which will help prolong the lifespan of the paint job and instill trust and loyalty in your customer base.

Be sure to show them how to use it and let them know that they can call you or drop by if they are having any trouble. Offer to reapply their coating for them at a discounted price to show them that this is about them and their car, and not you trying to make as much money as possible.

After all, people tend to appreciate you more when they feel appreciated themselves. Additionally, you should offer paint correction, which is essential to do before you apply any type of coating, because you want to fix any irregularities on the paint job like small scuffs, scratches, and streaks as well as dull paint and oxidation. 

4. Set your own detailing prices

Of course, you have to make all of this worth your while, meaning that you need to charge fairly for your work without driving people to a cheaper body shop. Setting prices in the auto care industry is a tricky process, because you don’t want to undersell yourself, but you also want to make sure that people keep coming back to your shop.

For car detailing, the best approach is the variable pricing model. Keep in mind that people will be coming to your shop with cars that are in various states of cleanliness. Some require a comprehensive package, while others require just a quick wash and maybe some perfuming. 

Your pricing should vary based on the amount of work and the needs of the customer. That said, you need to research your competitors as well to figure out what the average pricing looks like in your area. You can charge the same amount as everyone else, but ensure customer loyalty with occasional discounts and seasonal deals, loyalty perks, and other customer-centric incentives.

Don’t forget to use a smart estimating tool as well to make the process easier for yourself and your customers. The tool should allow the customer to schedule their appointment quickly and check every detailing service they want in order to get an estimate right there on the spot.

5. Communicate with customers about your new services

You can’t expect people to simply know that you’ve started offering car detailing services at your shop – you have to let them know through every communication channel.

Given the fact that the auto care industry thrives on personalized email marketing, for example, you should send out emails notifying your customers that they can get comprehensive care detailing at your shop.

You also want to bring new customers to your shop by announcing it on social media and through paid advertising, but also by creating a dedicated landing page on your website.

Make sure that the page is optimized and contains relevant location-based keywords that will make it appear at the top of the search results whenever people search for detailing services in their area.

6. Get the right tools and supplies

Last but not least, you want to make sure that your body shop is fully equipped to handle every car detailing request that pops up.

Getting the necessary equipment and supplies is an investment, yes, but a worthy one that will bring a stable revenue stream to your business immediately and over the long term.

Here are the essentials you need:

  • Pressure washer.
  • Hot water extractor.
  • Buffer.
  • Towels.
  • Buckets and mops.
  • Sponges and microfiber cloths.
  • Ceramic coating.
  • Material restoration tools and products for leather, vinyl, and wood.
  • Paint protection film.

Keep in mind that some people are looking to sell a used car for the right price, so they might need you to perform minor repair work as well that falls under your car detailing services. You want to make sure that these customers get everything they need to elevate the look and feel of their vehicles. 

Wrapping up: Professional Car Detailing Services Business Tips

Car detailing is a lucrative sector and a rising market, meaning that you should add it to your list of services or even start a dedicated car detailing business. Don’t rush into it, though, but make sure to use this guide to prep for this grand step and ensure the success of your detailing venture.

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