The guy who helped change the detailing industry, Renny Doyle, gave a keynote address to car audio dealers Wednesday at the GoFast distributor show in Springfield, MA.
Doyle has run multiple detailing shops in California and Idaho. He started out cleaning airplanes in exchange for pilot lessons and turned that know-how into a business that took automotive/aviation detailing from a janitorial service, to a boutique experience based on technical expertise. He is also the official “Detailer of Air Force One,” (he’s met the president) and he runs Detailing Success, which trains detailers from around the globe.
The overriding theme of Doyle’s success is to literally treat customers as if they were movie stars or royalty. His shop would present the detailed car on a red carpet. The customer’s personal belongings were placed into a stylish bag. He installed high end coffee machines in the shops that could serve macchiatos.
Doyle also emulated the leading tire retailer in the West, Les Schwab Tire Centers. Lee Schwab salesmen don’t just walk out to greet the customer, they run up to them ready to shake their hand (because they don’t want to waste your time). And they offer them popcorn (to break the ice and make you feel comfortable), he said.
Here are Doyle’s tips presented during and following the keynote:
Doyle’s 9 Tips:
Sniper marketing—Look for the customers on which you want to concentrate 100 percent of your efforts. Specialize.
Relentless marketing—Even if your bay is booked until December, if you don’t stay on top of your marketing, your competition may sneak up on you. You can’t stop marketing yourself.
Make a simple menu—Define a simple group of services [or products]. Too much is confusing to the customers. Are you carrying too many things in stock? Tomorrow, get rid of the things you don’t believe in.
Appreciation—Every time someone walks into your business, think how much you would have paid for that customer when you first started. Treat him like your first customer. The minute you don’t appreciate what you’ve got, you’re going to start losing market share.
Change things up—How do you keep people from getting bored? Your business can’t look the same month after month.
Community connection—So many businesses want to take from their community without giving back. Don’t just write a check. Doyle’s company helps rescue dogs find a home. “I just like doing it but I can’t tell you how much good publicity it gives our company,” he said.
Bathrooms—[Yes readers, you’ve heard this one before]. What’s the number one complaint about small businesses from restaurants to retailers? Bathrooms. Fix them up.
Company culture–If you want to improve the culture at your company, focus relentlessly on the customers.
He issued a final challenge—Find three things that can help you add profits to your business, and three things that are just wasting time at your shop to get rid of.