5981 Tennyson St
Arvada, Colorado 80003 USA
+1 800.525.8248 toll free
+1 303.423.4910 direct
+1 303.430.0139 fax
623 S Service Rd Unit 1
Grimsby, ON L3M 4E8 Canada
866.658.9274 toll free
'Tis the Time of Year for Grand Anticipation & Managing Expectations
We’ve all been there, months of anticipation for some special reward, (i.e. welcoming a new baby, a merger, graduation, a promotion, a wedding, a New Year, opening a new business, etc…) the waiting for that moment of realized gratification, following months of hard work managing constant critical details can often be deflating once realized. And so it is within the car wash business when the Installation stage is reached and the long awaited “baby” is being birthed. Months of strategic planning suddenly come together in this ten day stretch to unveil successful teaming partnerships in support of: financial arrangements, site preparations, multiple evaluations from service and chemical departments, marketing plans are carefully crafted and weather uncertainties all collide to vex, even the most organized and experienced sales professional.
Of course, there are car wash equipment expectations to be shared throughout the internal organization as well. Order entry is making certain all the correct parts for each unique site have been ordered and have arrived to the site along with additional support materials in case of sudden equipment changes to prevent install delays. Accounting is busy pulling together final billings to realize the order value is recognized in the appropriate period, while Legal is managing various agreements with the Marketing division supporting signage and menu refinements along with Grand Opening plans. Never to be diminished in this period of high-tech sophistication even with the simplest of things, there is the constant need for Technology and Engineering to fine tune programming of highly sophisticated equipment and associated software. Each organizational division is busy struggling to prioritize their department’s needs over those of another.
All the while, the sales representative is helping to manage the client’s roller coaster of emotions and expectations throughout the sales and installation processes. Of course; behind the scenes, the sales person is working with each of the organization’s internal divisions to juggle competing needs for quickly wrapping up a multi-months project with few exceptions or anomalies. From the client’s perspective, whether they are generally familiar with the car wash business; a current car wash operator; or new to the industry client, each purchaser wants a flawless delivery and perfect install with no equipment failures. Needless to say, the sales person faces the daunting task of juggling not only the client’s and organizational expectations – but those additional desires of the install crew, sub-contractor needs, as well as the delivery of the assumed and seamless transitioning into service and chemical benefits. Successfully managing the client’s understandable anxieties, is clearly, no easy task.
In today’s technological and instant gratification environment, customer care and service support reign supreme. It’s no longer good enough to have a great product, it’s the aftermarket care and support that can make or break a business relationship. Getting to know your client and prioritizing a process to help realize their car wash program goals are one of the many keys to building trust when equipment failures inevitably occur. If you have a good rapport and have developed trust through transparency and consistent, honest communications, it’s much easier to weather stormy waters with both the client and internal stakeholders. Too many chiefs vying for a major role in managing a project can be confusing and suffocating to any client. This challenge can be quashed by establishing an escalated process for project stakeholders with clear responsibilities helping the client rely on those subject matter experts within the organization that are best equipped to solve problems and those most capable of addressing project exceptions.
Communication is a wonderful thing but only when it’s utilized, even embraced. Everyone on an equipment delivery team needs to own responsibility for not only clearly communicating but regularly keeping the lines of engagement open and free from strife. Once clients and internal customers enjoy free flowing communication, they become more confident in effective problem solving and can rely on escalation processes to ensure ultimate accountability and thus realize mutual goal attainment. If the team is transparent in their dealings with all stakeholders and offer realistic goals with achievable timelines, there are fewer opportunities for breakdowns and disappointments to occur. Accountability for each divisional stakeholder is crucial throughout each stage of the client engagement process to assure honest and transparent dealings in developing the client’s confidence. It’s not enough to have a leader of a division that’s an effective worker, the leader must also be engaged with the client and go beyond just existing as a corporate leader, but volitionally staying engaged with the client throughout the sales life cycle.
Even the smallest of car wash projects involve multiple layers of engagements from a myriad of corporate and private stakeholders. Exceeding client expectations and offering, “that one more thing” in managing a project is what sets the leaders apart from the followers. From a corporate perspective, it is often more critical to establish that confidence level so that when the car wash owner entrusts the management of their wash equipment to their other employees, those who may be less trained and/or unfamiliar with the car wash business, the car wash services department becomes the “de facto” owner of the equipment and thereby assuring thorough care of all aspects of the car wash program to include: services, chemicals, and marketing as if the person offering that benefit actually “owns” that wash. Needless to say that for the investor client, their car wash project is far more than a mere project plan. It is often the investment vehicle for that owner’s family college fund, or new home construction, retirement funding, or even a new career. Unique to the industry is Mark VII’s goal to embrace each unique ownership profile with equal priority and care whether managing a corporate entity or private investor.
Customer service surveys and trainings consistently underscore the value of treating customers with respect, listening to their concerns, responding with empathy and courtesy along with validating client input – these factors are ultimately what a client values most, along with functional equipment that’s delivered timely. Even if the information that’s being imparted isn’t always positive, honesty creates trust and trust builds a business rapport beyond tangible assets. To that end, Mark VII employ’s 360 Review processes to assure that all aspects of customer service are being addressed, both internally as a client base to one another, as well as externally to the client and the client’s representatives. Every employee is encouraged to participate in process improvement and share new ideas without concerns of leadership pressure to tow-the-line in order to maintain the status quo.
As a global car wash and business leader, Mark VII has grown beyond providing an innovative and reliable product for a reasonable price. As a premiere company invested in doing nothing but excelling in the manufacturing and sales of car wash equipment and related ancillary support products, Mark VII has invested in its internal infrastructure to redefine what and how their divisional teams communicate and work together to achieve remarkable outcomes. Like most worthy competitors, Mark VII has embraced technology and is often a leader in establishing industry trends with a focus on how clients can glean the most value for every dollar invested. Recognizing that no single company is without challenges, it is Mark VII’s pursuit of excellence in all aspect of the consumer’s experience that sets them apart as a car wash leader.