What are the most important lessons an experienced car wash manager have for their up-and-coming colleagues? We asked managers Nate Chandler, Brian Grecu, and Jeremy Welsh, all serving at our sister company Quality Car Wash of Holland, MI, and this is what they had to say:
1. Hourly walk-throughs are critical, and most major problems equipment and detergent problems can be avoided or caught early simply by being present and keeping the site monitored on a constant basis.
2. Be deeply aware of your wash quality standards and monitor your results closely and constantly. Just because a car leaves cleaner than what it did when it entered, doesn’t mean the wash is putting out a high quality, well-washed car.
3. Monitor chemical usage closely and keep product lines clean. The smallest inconsistency will cause a car not to clean or dry correctly and will affect chemical usage.
4. Bad weather days are blessing. Good managers use that time wisely to inspect, repair, and maintain the equipment and facility as a whole – especially around the changing of the seasons.
5. Mind your customer service. A smile will make the customers day, a clean and dry car will make both your and the customer’s day.
6. Appearances and routine tasks are important. Keep the vacuum area clean, check the trash cans hourly, and sweep up.
7. Learn all of your team members’ communication styles. Not everyone will react the same way to directions, it is important to know how each of your team members react and how they prefer to be communicated to.
8. Patience is a virtue. Be patient with your team. Be patient with your customers. Be a listener and hear what they have to say.
9. Even though you’re in a leadership position don’t stop asking questions or learning. Not everyone knows everything, nor are you expected to know everything. Having the willingness to learn from others is still a leadership quality.
10. Have the right attitude. As a leader your team looks to you and they copy you. If you have a great positive attitude it will rub off on your team and the quality of their work go up. If you have a negative attitude it will destroy the atmosphere at the wash.