Whether they're there to buy or service a vehicle, impeccable car dealership cleaning makes a noticeable difference to customers. The automotive industry is undoubtably changing, with trucks and SUVs now accounting for two-thirds of the US market, according to Automobile Magazine. But no matter what kind of car they buy one thing remains the same, consumers expect a spotless dealership that's comfortable to boot.
Extending that showroom level clean into the repair shop also helps build trust and boost revenue. In fact, in their guide to finding an auto repair shop you can trust, AAA Automotive, ranked a facility's appearance and amenities at the top of the list.
As crucial as it is, car dealership cleaning is also complicated. There's lots of surfaces, different materials and a variety of soils to clean. Luckily, there are tools and techniques to get job done quickly and completely.
The Showroom Floor
The showroom floor is the main event where top-of-the-line vehicles entice buyers to dream big and spend bigger. Sparkle and shine are an integral part of the experience, from the polished cars to the glossy product literature to the gleaming floor.
Materials like epoxy, linoleum and large ceramic tiles are good choices for showroom floors. They resist gouges and handle heavy rolling and stationary loads. They also hold up well to lots of foot traffic and the tracked in dirt, grit, rain and snow it brings. Light colored floors with a heavy shine show off vehicles best, but also reveal every speck of dirt and debris.
Keeping these floors clean and bright requires daily care. Protect them from the start with a good indoor/outdoor matting system that captures dirt, debris, rain and snow at the entrance. Vacuum mats each night and change them when they get fully soaked with rain or snow. Clean and dry drips or spills as they happen.
Waiting Areas Go Upscale
Lounge areas, where customers wait while their car is serviced, have become more comfortable and hospitality oriented. Automotive Management Network suggests offering seven amenities to make the area more welcoming and promote the impression that you do good, reliably priced work. They include
- Adding pictures, perhaps even historic or community photographs, of impressive work done by your establishment. Written testimonials are great too. These can be worked into a video or slideshow kept running on a loop in your customer lounge.
- Offering coffee, tea, cookies or popcorn. A popcorn maker can be very inviting for little visitors to watch and sample from.
- Choosing warmer colors and softer furniture when remodeling to create a more inviting atmosphere.
- Adding other relaxing touches like plants or an aquarium or small fountain.
- Including female friendly reading choices among your lounge's book and magazine collection.
- Giving your customers free (and simple) Wi-Fi access.
- Including a small section for small auto accessories such as air fresheners, wiper blades, and waxes.
Keeping these areas and amenities clean and tidy means daily dusting, vacuuming carpet and upholstered furniture and wiping down horizontal surfaces like tables and coffee stations. Take care of spills and other accidents immediately.
Don't forget the restrooms. They can make or break a customer's impression. 'Auto shops are infamous for unpleasant bathrooms,' according to Rudy Muro of Mechanic Outlet. Set yours apart and keep them welcoming with thorough daily cleaning. Check restrooms periodically throughout the day to restock supplies and make sure that touchpoints like door pulls, faucet taps, toilet flushes and soap dispensers sparkle.
Servicing the Service Area
Service bays are hard to keep clean. After all, car maintenance is dirty work, where grease, oil and other messy tools of the trade end up everywhere. But that's no reason for an unorganized or dangerously dirty work environment. 'A clean, well-organized shop reflects attention to detail and an effort to maintain a professional image,' according to AAA Automotive.
Keeping service bays clean starts with employer expectations. Let workers know they are responsible for picking up and organizing their own equipment and maintaining clean areas. Large liquid spills should be cleaned immediately before they become a slip-and-fall-hazard. Use a degreasing chemical to remove oily spills.
Car Wash: One Tool to Do It All
Before delivering a newly-serviced car back to the owner, many shops offer a wash and vacuum. This value add goes a long way to building customer trust and loyalty but also puts more responsibility on employees.
Make all of these cleaning tasks easier by investing in one tool that does it all. Kaivac's multipurpose No-Touch Cleaning systems can handle the entire operation, from shiny showroom floors, to restrooms and greasy service bays. There are even upholstery attachments perfect for detailing car interiors.
The machines are lightweight and easy to use. They remove dirt and soils quickly and completely leaving surface clean, dry and ready to use.
Rev up your car dealership cleaning protocol with Kaivac. Click here to learn more.
Amy Milshtein covers design, facility management and business topics for a variety of trade publications and consumer magazines.
Her work has won several awards, most recently a regional silver Azbee Award of Excellence.
She lives in Portland, OR with her family and Clyde, a 15-lb tabby cat. Once an avid hiker, these days she finds herself on the less-challenging -but-still-exciting 'creaky knees' trails.