People tend to spend more time in their car than they do looking at the vehicle’s exterior—a clean that is comparatively fleeting.
All too often, central vacuums are a bit of an afterthought when it comes to planning a new car wash or revamping an existing operation.
But done right, your vacuum system can be a surprisingly powerful tool for creating repeat customers and building ROI.
Why Vacuum Matters
Think about it. You focus so much on ensuring your customer’s vehicle is sparkling and that the wash experience is great with the right tunnel equipment, the proper chemicals, the lighting, etc. But pair that effort with a vacuum system that fails to deliver and you’ve lost an opportunity to provide your customer with a complete clean vehicle experience.
Performance and Power are Key
The vacuums are often the one piece of a facility that patrons are operating and interacting with themselves, so it’s crucial to have a system that is easy to use and does a fantastic job. Plus, people tend to spend more time in their car than they do looking at the vehicle’s exterior—a clean that is comparatively fleeting. A vacuum system that easily dominates the debris of life (crumbs, dirt, pet hair and more) leaves a lasting impression on customers who value a clean interior and keep coming back.
Plus, more power and better suction means customers vacuum faster. The sooner one customer vacates a stall, the faster another can slide into the slot, multiplying your ability to keep traffic to your site flowing.
If your operation is full service, you know that system downtime equates directly to irritated customers (and employees), not to mention lost revenue. Investing in a vacuum system that requires little maintenance and has few if any malfunctions is absolutely money well spent.
Vacuums Catch the Eye
Vacuum systems are also a major factor in your overall site’s aesthetics and curb appeal—crucial for catching the eye of drivers. Consider how much space–even vertically–your vacuum plaza accounts for. This is prime space for displaying your wash’s colors, logo, name and other branding elements.
Why not have your vacuum delivery arches the same hue as your business’s signature color? Choose a vacuum system designer and manufacturer who understands how to tailor your vacuum plaza’s aesthetics to fit your unique look and you’ll find that your equipment does the double duty of cleaning and marketing for you. Better marketing equates to increased customer traffic.
More stalls equal more customers. Pretty simple, right? Be sure you select a vacuum system provider that also works closely with you from the start to plan your vacuum plaza. A well-planned site will maximize how many stalls you can offer without compromising on function, accessibility and ease of use for your customers.
A reliable and experienced central vacuum system engineer and manufacturer will also make sure your vacuum plaza is properly designed and equipped to handle the number of stalls you offer, no matter how far down the plumbing line they are or how many people are using the systems at once. And once again, a powerful system that performs no matter the conditions will be one that builds your customer base and boosts your ROI.
Free versus Paid Vacuums—or a Combination
When you have a powerful vacuum system that performs reliably and also catches drivers’ attention, the question of free versus paid vacuum becomes more a matter of personal choice and how it works for your overall business model. More customers (whether new or repeat) means more revenue, which translates to better ROI.
On the flipside, trying to lure customers with weak, ineffective vacuums is a losing proposition when it comes to business planning. Ask them to pay for lackluster vacuums, and you’re even less likely to be satisfied with your revenue projections.
If you’re not sure which option of free versus paid vacuum is right for your business, consider selecting a vacuum system supplier who has capabilities to engineer and manufacture a pay system that combines these two options.
Such systems offer the best of both worlds. You can customize your pay system so customers receive a set amount of vacuum time with a paid wash, then can pay to add extra time if desired. If customers prefer to vacuum only, they can simply buy vacuum time and skip the wash. Customers will appreciate the flexibility and return to your site whether they need to vacuum, wash or both.
Never Underestimate the Power of Vacuum
Vacuums do so much more than just clean interiors. Take the time and effort to select the right central vacuum system solutions provider, and you’ll find your vacuum equipment works to attract customers, keep them coming back and spreading the word about your wash.
Camden Easterling is the marketing and communications director for Vacutech, an industry leader in engineering and manufacturing reliable, powerful central vacuum systems for car washes.