Establish effective communication
Communication is important to running an efficient car wash. Your team’s ability to communicate well with customers and other employees is important to your company’s reputation as well as your bottom line. Car washes that communicate make more money by building better customer relationships and helping you and your employees eliminate bad processes while doing good ones.
Click here to read more
A functioning car wash needs good communicators, and strong communicators are trained with constant practice. Improving communication at your car wash is a must, so here are some tips for strengthening communication. These tips will help the whole team to better manage a profitable car wash.
Find the right technology
Before moving into strategy, it’s important that you equip yourself with the right tools to improve communication. An efficient car wash is able to relay messages from person to person as quickly and clearly as possible. Two-way radios are the perfect tool to streamline communication at your car wash.
Related: 3 Communication Basics That Build Trust
Two-way radios create instant communication with the push of a button. For example, the tunnel team can talk to the team up front without having to meet multiple times a day.
Two-way radios are a reliable communication tool, according to Stewart McClintic, corporate account manager at HQ98, a two-way radio dealer in Arizona.
âCar wash stations often use radios because of their simple setup and operation,â says McClintic. âHit the button and send a message to your team. You don’t have to create a phone number or leave your station to communicate with your team. “
Implementing the use of two-way radios is a great first step in improving your team’s communication.
Take an active interest in the growth of your employees
Read up on employees often to see how they are doing in their jobs and lives. How often you check in depends on the size of your car wash, but every owner should be actively interested in the growth of their employees. Small car washes should meet with each employee individually on a weekly basis. Large car washes should have one-on-one meetings once a month.
Meetings are a great way to get to know your employees personally. They can help you learn about their strengths and weaknesses and discuss how the employee and you – the owner – can build a strong working relationship.
No one is more valuable to your car wash than your team, so take the time to chat with your team members. It’s a tiny amount of time that leads to gigantic gains in the future.
Meetings should set clear expectations about improving the car wash and how well each has met the expectations set in the previous meeting.
Your meetings are also aimed at establishing a more personal connection with your team members. Remembering a birthday or other important event in an employee’s life can go a long way in building a strong relationship.
Having productive and one-on-one meetings with your employees will help them improve as people and employees.
Group meetings with the whole team are also a must for car wash owners. Group meetings should be held once a week if your car wash is small and once a month if you have a large car wash.
Peer accountability is the most important value you should get from this meeting. You and your employees have goals and you need to hold each other accountable. It is important for you and your team to know how everyone is behaving.
Peer accountability means that successes are more likely to be recorded and failures are more likely to be noted if everyone is in the same room and talking to each other.
Everyone should be involved and engaged in group meetings. Encourage questions and politely ask a question of all employees who did not make a verbal commitment during the meeting. Meetings should be safe and intellectual environments. No one should be afraid to speak up, and no one should be ridiculed for saying something wrong.
You want to improve communication in your car wash, and that requires an environment where people feel comfortable talking.
Do more than just verbal communication
Verbal communication is one of the least used forms of communication. The 7% rule founded by Dr Albert Mehrabian in 1971 shows that communication is 7% verbal and 93% non-verbal. Effective communication is more than words. Active body language is an essential component of communication.
Employees who interact with customers are expected to make direct eye contact, stand erect, and communicate with customers using genuinely upbeat and professional demeanor. Customers will come to your car wash if your employees want to help them and answer their questions.
Related: Wash Talk Ep. 39: Employee Hiring And Retention Practices
Owners should also take this advice to heart when communicating with their employees. Employers keep good people if they feel like they are being heard. Take the time to talk to your employees and listen to their suggestions and concerns. Listening will improve your car wash. Good car wash owners understand that strong professional relationships build strong businesses. Strong relationships require trust, and you build trust by listening to your employees. You can only grow your business if you hire and keep the right people, so listen to them and watch your car wash grow.
Good communication can create a successful car wash. Find ways your team can work to communicate more effectively in ways that benefit your employees and your car wash. Finding the right methods and techniques to improve your team’s communication will lead to a happier workplace and a more profitable car wash.
John Waters is the director of Waters Business Consulting in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is an expert in helping small businesses grow their businesses.