One of the primary reasons for ANY promotion is to make your customers spend money, spend more money, and come back a second time to spend money with your business. Kyle Doyle of Compuwash has started an insightful blog about the car washing industry and lends his experience, knowledge, and advice for those willing to listen.
A Rain Guarantee is a great way to get people to eliminate the hesitation that consumers experience during the decision making process. According to neurologists there is a very basic instinctual response that occurs subconsciously every time you are forced to make a decision. By eliminating the 'fear' of wasting money on a car wash because it is overcast you make the buying impulse that much harder to resist.
Kyle writes in his blog: (click here to read the full article)
Why does a carwash offer a rain guarantee? Because one of the biggest reasons customers in your target demographic will NOT get their carwash is because of precipitation in the forecast. A rain guarantee helps minimize this reason for NOT washing their car.
If you understand the why, you will also understand that the guarantee has to be something that every customer knows about, otherwise you might as well not have it at all. If a customer is not absolutely clear about your rain guarantee it will not effect their decision as they are watching the weather channel at home. The purpose of a rain guarantee is not to make a customer feel good when they’re already at your carwash. The purpose is to motivate them to come to your carwash even though there might be rain or snow in the forecast. Therefore, it has to be something that the customer remembers- something that sticks with them long after they have left your carwash.
If you are going to offer a rain guarantee it has to be an important marketing tool and NOT something you do just because other carwashes are doing it. That means the following:
- Keep the policy simple. Customers have to be able to remember your policy weeks after they have left your carwash and are sitting on their couch deliberating whether or not they should get their car washed. There not going to be able to remember a complicated policy.
- Have clear signage throughout your wash reminding the customer of the guarantee. Use exclamation points and make it clear that a rain guarantee is a great thing for the customer. Remind them how this is just another way you’re providing great service.
- Advertise your policy. Make sure all your advertising mentions your guarantee. The best way to get a customer to remember something is to be repetitive.
Take Kyle's advice to heart and question WHY you are doing something. Just because the wash down the street is doing something, ask yourself first whether it is making them more money. I've talked to many business owners that talk about competitors of theirs that are cutting their own throats by reducing their wash prices so low and running ridiculous promotions to try and increase the number of customers. All the while the wash that charges more has to wash half the customers to make the same amount of money as the competitor. The beautiful thing about a promotion like a rain guarantee is that you have an opportunity to do something that costs you very little. Whereas the perceived value of a promotion like a weather guarantee is going to help customers reduce cogitative dissonance in their decision making process to spend money at your car wash.