Handling complaints in the car wash!


In the car wash business two things are assured. Car wash quality complaints and damage claims. Therefore as a wash operator it's really important that you implement a policy.

  Wash quality complaints

 Whether you operate a touch-less, brush wash, conveyor or hand wash; Customers will occasionally be unhappy with the end-result of their car wash experience. This may be due to their expectations being too high for their vehicles condition, or as a direct result of the equipment being faulty. The important thing though, is that when they leave your site, they leave happy. So the best thing to do is listen first, then check the vehicle out. Are the wheels dirty? Is it just the number plate or is it bugs? The next thing is to simply prep the problem area and put them through the wash again whilst watching the operation of the wash to check the equipment is performing well. This ensures two things, firstly the customer isn't trying to pull a fast one and get a free refund. Secondly the customer can see you care and will return again. If you are getting a lot of quality issues even though the equipment looks fine, then check the chemical titration and the performance of your water softener.

 Damage complaints

Damage complaints can come from people trying it on; to get their already damaged vehicle repaired. They can be people who haven't washed their car in a while and only saw the scratches etc after it had been cleaned in your wash. They therefore genuinely believe your wash is at fault, even though it isn't! Lastly it can be due to some form of equipment malfunction. Therefore it is really important that you have a good policy, so that you and your staff have a good starting point when dealing with claims. Firstly you need a proper disclaimer. This needs to be displayed in a prominent position within the premises. This explains how as an operator, you cannot possibly check every vehicle using the wash, so cannot be held responsible for damage due to a pre-existing vehicle condition. See the downloadable pdf template below! Its also a good idea to have the disclaimer referenced on the wash ticket. "Please see disclaimer before use!)

Next you need a damage report form. This form will:

·         A. Diffuse a tense situation after the incident has occurred.

·         B. Get the details of the incident recorded for your records

·         C. Get the time and date of the incident so you can check the cameras.

·         D. Get the contact details of the customer, so the matter can be dealt with even if you aren't on site. This helps take the pressure off your staff!

The next thing to do is check the equipment yourself, or contact your equipment distributor for them to check it. Then if all looks ok and you do not think that your or the wash is at fault, contact the customer and explain why. I have had customers whom have stood with me, as I wash a car and explain how our equipment couldn't do the damage that they speak of. This pretty much puts an end to it. If however you are at fault, rectify the problem, contact your insurer and get the matter dealt with. The important thing is that the customer is dealt with fairly and hopefully remains a customer!


Here are some downloadable PDF files you can use!

http://www.carwashireland.com/Damage Claim Form.pdf

 http://www.carwashireland.com/Car Wash Disclaimer.pdf

Happy car washing!

Next Month. Water and how it affects your car wash!