How to handle damage in a car wash?

BMW by Sanmeet Chail.Unsplash

In Glasgow, a vehicle recently got stuck in a rollover car wash for nine days. The driver had to escape from a rear door and his Honda CR-V got pretty beaten up. All this time, the rollover was out of operation. The incident was picked up by local media and resulted in a lot of bad publicity for the car wash in question. 

Granted, this example of damage in a car wash is pretty extreme and rare. But what do you do as an operator, when something like this happens? How do you find a satisfying solution for the customer and get the car wash up and running again at the same time?

Even when the car wash is running without restrictions, you will encounter customers with claims and complaints about damage to their vehicles.

Forum subject

During the recent CarwashPro Forum 2022 in Cologne (Germany) this topic was high on the agenda. Together with experts from the car wash industry, Carwashpro addressed the subject during a panel. How do you deal with the financial consequences, the feared bad reviews and the organizational stress?

There are various ways to respond to such customer concerns. It is a matter of weighing up the financial consequences, customer acquisition, damage to the company’s image and the time required to resolve such problems. In most cases, however, a solution is found quite quickly. Some end up in court.

The situation becomes much more difficult if the car wash suffers damage because a customer was careless. Then, often large sums of money are involved. Who will pay for the damage, the missed income and the bad publicity?

Develop a first aid plan

Should a major damage incident occur in your car wash, it is important to keep your cool. Make sure that you have a clear view on all the possible consequences. The right measures must be taken from the moment the damage occurs. It sure helps to develop an emergency plan for incidents.

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Author: Rene Passet

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