Hiring, Training and Retraining Quality Carwash Employees

Fred Grauer Comments
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As you look at other forms of carwashes, the need for a larger or more skilled work force becomes necessary. I happen to be a full-service carwash operator. Motorists who come to my facility have their vehicles cleaned inside and out. We do windows and vacuum, in addition to providing all amenities of a large detail facility. Hence, my needs are greater and far different than the self-serve operator.

I physically take possession of the customer’s vehicle, and my employees are in and out of it several times over the course of providing all the requested services. The skill level of my team runs the gamut of newbie to highly professional. I can pull from either level, as necessary.

After all, when a $200,000 Ferrari or Lamborghini is in for a wash and detail, you can imagine the angst—both of our management team and the vehicle owner himself. In any case you can’t and won’t put a vehicle, regardless of cost, in the hands of an unskilled person. It’s just good business to have the most talented team possible.

Training Time

Besides the normal challenges of finding and retaining employees is the challenge of training. We all want a knowledgeable courteous staff, and we understand that an untrained employee is not efficient. Employees need education in performing services correctly and safely. Skip the training and you’ll only shortchange your business.

Carwash customers know their vehicles. Moreover, they can spot someone who is not experienced and knowledgeable. An untrained service advisor can cause havoc, loose money and drive customers from the site.

So how do you provide your customers the best service? You hire the best team, and create sophisticated training and testing modules. Much of the training will come from your supplier; the balance is available through associations or consultants who specialize in carwash management.

No matter how you look at it, your success as a carwash operator rests on the abilities of you team. Your ability to hire, train and retain the best team possible will directly reflect on your bottom line. Moreover, it will make your own job as owner/operator less laborious.

Fred Grauer is the president of Grauer Associates and executive vice president, investor market and conveyors, for Ryko Manufacturing Co., a carwash-equipment manufacturer in Grimes, Iowa. He has made a lifelong career of designing, selling, building and operating carwashes. He can be reached at fredgrauer@comcast.net.

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