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turtle

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And new to the car wash biz! I've been in business for about 3 months and have been reading this forum a lot. Just wanted to introduce myself and if anyone has any pointers for a newby, I'm all ears! Thanks!
 

bigleo48

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Welcome Turtle,

After 7 years in the biz and learning most of what I know from this forum, I can say that you're in the best place online.

Pointers?...you'll need to be more specific...so ask away.
 

turtle

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So far, the toughest part of the biz is customer complaints, my staff, and stuff breaking down in my tunnel. I bought a pre existing business that came fully staffed with a great general manager and decent staff. I'm looking to get rid of the GM eventually but don't think i can handle daily operations without him at this point.
 

washme1

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So far, the toughest part of the biz is customer complaints, my staff, and stuff breaking down in my tunnel. I bought a pre existing business that came fully staffed with a great general manager and decent staff. I'm looking to get rid of the GM eventually but don't think i can handle daily operations without him at this point.
Whenever possible, I would suggest addressing customer complaints as an opportunity to impress your customer with extraordinary customer service. There is always going to be the occasional a-hole who is just being unreasonable or trying to rip you off, but any valid complaints should be handled in a way to turn them into a loyal customer.
 

bigleo48

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To add to Washme1,

I get about one complaint every two months and get accolades almost daily.

Preventative maintenance and "listening" to your equipment will up your availability. "stuff breaking down in my tunnel" is only acceptable if you let it happen. Your GM may have been handcuffed in the past, or maybe he's not really that good, but you need to fix whatever is wrong.

With regards to the equipment, in time you will discover what to touch and what to leave alone, problematic areas that need improvement or a new approach... and little by little knock down those task to improve your wash. After 7 years, I'm still making improvements.

So listen, learn, question everything and you'll get to the level you want to take it.

Big
 
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turtle

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Thanks for the replies, everyone! I have been reading through this forum on and off all day and it is very insightful. The comment I made about customer complaints was geared more toward the a-holes that are trying to get one over on us. I think a lot of people know we are new to the game and might be trying to take advantage. That is where our GM has been invaluable. As far as our tunnel goes, so far our chain has fallen of the track 4 times in 3 months, a few hoses springing leaks, etc. etc. Nothing major but shut us down for a few minutes. Also it seems like a vendor or two might be loading us up with chemicals when we don't need them. I know this is all a learning experience and hope to get it down sooner than later! Thanks again and keep the comments and suggestions coming!
 

jfmoran

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Hey Turtle,

Welcome!

I'm curious, you praised your GM twice saying he was great and invaluable, yet you also said you would like to eventually get rid of him. Do you not see value in keeing him long term or his he really not getting the job done?


Two takeaways for me from your posts, with regard to your GM are : Your chain falling off twice in 4 months is not normal and indicates a problem, as well, being loaded up with chemicals indicates a whole other problem.

Can you be more specific with regard to customer complaints? Are these quality of service complaints or vehicle damage issues?
 

turtle

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Hey Turtle,

Welcome!

I'm curious, you praised your GM twice saying he was great and invaluable, yet you also said you would like to eventually get rid of him. Do you not see value in keeing him long term or his he really not getting the job done?


Two takeaways for me from your posts, with regard to your GM are : Your chain falling off twice in 4 months is not normal and indicates a problem, as well, being loaded up with chemicals indicates a whole other problem.

Can you be more specific with regard to customer complaints? Are these quality of service complaints or vehicle damage issues?
I definitely see value in him now, but hope to, some day, surpass him in his knowledge and skill. Hopefully down the road i'll be able to partner with him and get him his own store but only time will tell.

Just a question for ya. What does my GM have to do with my chain falling off?

As far as customer complaints go, the tough ones to deal with are the vehicle damage issues. The quality of service issues are the easy ones to correct and I can make the customer happy 9 times out of 10. It's the customers telling me that we scratched their car or dented their car which we all know we did not do. Those are the issues that are the hardest to deal with right now.
 

jfmoran

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Just a question for ya. What does my GM have to do with my chain falling off?

I'm assuming (maybe wrongly) that your GM is responsible for oversight or performance of maintenance and repair of the equipment as well as preventative maintenance, if so he should be able to troubleshoot the problem and make the necessary repairs (or enlist the help of the manufacturer, distributor or maintenance company) to ensure that the problem will not continue.
 

rph9168

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If the chain has fallen off 4 times in three months your GM obviously has not solved the problem. He is responsible to make sure the wash is in good running order which it seems not to be the case. You might want to reconsider your evaluation of his ability and how well he has done the job. I was a GM over four washes and if that happened at one of my locations I would have been fired.
 
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