Learn how to run a mobile detailing business in these 4 steps to stay on top of industry trends and stay competitive with the big guys.
How to get mobile detailing customers in 5 steps
With these five simple steps, we’ll walk you through how you can start standing out from your competition and how to get detailing customers in no time.
As the owner of a mobile detailing business, you’ve probably invested in high-quality materials and equipment to deliver exceptional services. But when it comes to actually obtaining new customers and getting them to stick around, that’s a whole different ballgame.
There are about 56,385 car wash and auto detailing businesses in the US alone. That’s why it’s essential to come up with the right marketing plan and invest in the right customer-facing tools to beat your competitors and even bigger businesses in your area.
With these five simple steps, we’ll walk you through how you can start standing out from your competition and get more detailing customers in no time.
How to get detailing customers with digital marketing
You don’t have to be a pro at marketing to promote your mobile detailing business. There are some quick wins and small steps you can take to stand out from bigger businesses in your area, without spending too much.
1. Build an online presence
Most mobile detailing customers today find services with a quick Google search. To attract the modern customer, it’s important for you to drive a solid online presence by generating positive online reviews.
Here are some content ideas you can use to drive more awareness and reach more customers:
- Share before and after photos or time-lapse videos of your work
- Create simple how-to videos for basic maintenance tips
- Collaborate with other businesses in your area for cross-promotion
- Show the value of your services: How do your services improve the lives of your customers (resale value of their car, etc.)
Another way to reach more detailing customers is to set up a business profile on Google. This will let you highlight the information you want your customers to see as well as share photos of your services.
Ultimately, establishing a strong online presence will help you build the trust you need to attract new customers and the authority to keep customers coming back. By sharing photos of your business, your processes, and helpful tips, you’ll create the transparency today’s customers expect, allowing you to stand out from similar businesses in your area and compete with larger businesses as well.
2. Set up ads
Depending on your budget, running ads on channels like Google, and Facebook is a great way to reach more customers in your area. One way to do this is to set up retargeting ads for people who visited your website but didn’t follow up to purchase a service or book an appointment.
Only about 2% of website visitors make a purchase the first time they visit a website. Setting up retargeting campaigns can help convert people who are interested in your services, but aren’t quite ready to make the investment yet. It reminds potential customers of what you have to offer and keeps you at the top of their minds.
To set up ads on Facebook and Google, you’ll need to narrow in on what search terms you want your business to be known for and define your target audience. You can also use geo-targeting to directly target people in your area. Social and Google ads have a bigger price tag than organic social media efforts, but it lets you control who comes across your business and when.
3. Use email and SMS messaging
One advantage your mobile detailing business has is that cars never stay clean. Once a customer discovers your business and is pleased with the services you offer, chances are, they’ll book another service later down the road.
That’s why, while getting new detailing customers is important, you also shouldn’t ignore finding ways to retain their loyalty.
Email and SMS text marketing is a great way to keep your customers engaged with appointment reminders, news about your business, or any specials you’re running. Sending your customers messages via text or email will create a more personalized experience with your business and help you stay at the top of their minds. To learn more about the different types of tools out there, we recommend checking out this article.
4. Referrals and loyalty programs
According to a recent study, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from family and friends over traditional marketing and advertisements. This is where setting up a referral program comes in, so you can get your loyal customers to refer people they know to your business.
Some referral program ideas include:
- Giving out a gift card once a customer refers x amount of people to your business
- Offering a free or discounted service once a customer refers someone to your business who becomes your customer
- Providing a discount or free additional for every first-time customer
A referral program is a win-win for your business and customers. They’ll be happy with getting a discount on their service, while you bring in more loyal customers.
Loyalty programs are also a great way to keep your current customers engaged. With so many mobile detailing businesses out there, it’s a great idea to keep your current customers in the loop. This way, you’ll stay at the top of their mind and they won’t seek other services with first-time customer deals.
A few loyalty program ideas include:
- Allowing customers to rack up points for discounts or free services
- Using basic contact information to send coupons or codes thanking your customers for their loyalty
- Giving customers a discount after they fill out a survey
- Offering loyalty discounts
- Offering upsell discounts
- Providing VIP services
Use the right mobile detailing software
You can do everything you can to reach out to new customers and retain your current customers with different marketing plans. However, without the right mobile detailing software and modern customer tools, you’ll still fall behind the bigger businesses in your area.
To engage more customers, you’ll need to give them an interactive and engaging experience that gives them the flexibility they expect with bigger businesses. For your business, this means opening communication between customers and technicians at every stage of scheduling, service, and billing.
Here are a few ways how the right software can get you more detailing customers:
Provide the opportunity for self-service
Think about it, customers today don’t want to call your business just to be left waiting on hold or playing phone tag.
That’s why self-scheduling is a no-brainer when you want to get more detailing customers because it gives them the flexibility to schedule, alter or cancel an appointment when necessary.
At the same time, you don’t have to be glued to your phone to keep track of every booking request.
Plus, you don’t want to be glued to your phone or inbox to keep track of every customer booking request. But, not every self-scheduling feature is created equal.
You should look for a scheduler that ensures all your online bookings are near each other, while factoring in driving distances to make sure you have enough time to get between each appointment.
Customers expect a mobile-friendly, upfront payment option that lets them pay for a service with just a few taps on their smart device.
That’s why your mobile detailing software should allow online payment and digital upsell approval. This will let customers approve services and pay your technicians without leaving the comfort of their own homes.
Meanwhile, your team gets to collect payment information upfront before the appointment even starts so you never have to chase a customer for payment again.
Self-scheduling and an automated payment process are great to have for the customer engagement side. The easier you make it for them, the happier they’ll be to recommend you to their family and friends.
Set yourself up for success
Last-minute scheduling changes, admin errors, and long routes? You juggle it all. It’s not always easy to stay organized, let alone keep customers up-to-date and happy.
But with the right software, you can manage your daily schedules all within a mobile app to easily communicate and delight customers, even while in the field. Some key must-haves include:
- Professional service reports: With Integrated photography and videos to improve service transparency
- Communication tools: The software should let you proactively communicate with customers, including updating them on your arrival and service progress while letting you share photos and videos with customers and admins. This is why looking for an integrated texting platform that keeps all communications in one place is key, to helping you stay organized and easily manage your day.
- Service reporting and quoting templates: That lets customers approve additional work instantly online, so you can quickly get approved and back to work.
With all of these features, you can improve your customer engagement to boost retention and revenue, while getting more positive reviews online. All of this will come together to help you build a loyal customer base, so you can spend more time growing your business and less time completing admin work.
Marketing and technology go hand-in-hand
The right car detailing software should enhance all of your marketing efforts to create a transparent, hassle-free experience for your customers.
Now, you can compete with larger businesses in your area with a great marketing strategy and the right mobile detailing software. Using both will give you the resources you need to operate your entire business from your phone while bringing in more customers.
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