Car Washes, Detailers Should Market Touch-​Up Paint Services

BY Courtney Huckabay
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Why your local car washes and detailing service providers should consider offering touch-​up paint services: minor paint repair services can boost revenue potential for car care businesses. A growing trend is to include paint touch-​up services to repair chips, dings and small scratches. According to a 2014 survey of automotive appearance professionals, 48 percent of detailers and other auto appearance techs reported offering customers paint touch-​up services, and 68 percent noted that they were self-taught.

"With an estimated 80 percent of all vehicles on the road needing some kind of paint touch-​up work, this is a decent way to increase services and income," Jeremy Thurnau wrote.

"Touch-​up services save customers the expense and aggravation of having to visit a repair shop for minor damages. Your customers not only bring their cars to a place they are familiar with, but also repairing minor paint issues provides a spotless ride that looks years newer."

"You will want to be ready with the information and advice your customers need regarding how they can get their paint problems solved. This requires being aware of some of the important aspects of offering paint touch-​up services."

AudienceSCAN reports 23% of U.S. adults intend to pay for car wash/​detailing services in the next 12 months, so advertising touch-​up paint packages could bring in even more traffic and repeat business.

Scratches are not created equal

"Understand not all scratches and chips should be repaired with touch-​up paint. A touch-​up is more of a camouflage than a full-​on repair. While many scratches and chips can be touched up effectively, in general hairline scratches are often the most difficult to repair; and, deeper gouges may be touched up but the scratch indentation will remain — unless you are willing to sand out the scratch and repaint the area with an aerosol or spray gun."

"Be prepared to be a resource, and answer questions knowledgeably when your customers have an inquiry. Carwash owners/​operators and detailers should have the knowledge and information necessary to explain what a customer can expect from a touch-​up repair and what options are available for that repair. For instance, does it require minor sanding, sanding and an automotive body filler, or more extensive repairs? In short, know your limitations, and set clear expectations."

Promote new touch-​up paint services in direct mail. AudienceSCAN revealed 41% of Car Wash/​Detailing Shoppers took action based on ads/​coupons in their mailboxes.

Partner up

"For more complex repairs, mobile touch-​up companies — both national chains and independently run — perform on-​site repairs. That’s why it’s good to have a relationship with a mobile touch-​up business. Find out which company is the best in your area, and determine whether a complementary arrangement is feasible."

Feature partnerships in marketing so Car Wash/​Detailing Shoppers are reassured and comforted by expertise and flexible options. AudienceSCAN found newspaper (print, online, mobile or tablet) ads work well for this treatment: 54.7% of Detailing Shoppers took action after seeing them.

"Mobile repair businesses commonly use paint specifically designed for touch-​up work, too; and they also have access to custom-​blended touch-​up paints to match colors on most cars, even older and rare vehicles. Moreover, if you can provide regular work for them, most mobile outfits will offer better pricing compared to the cost for one-​time jobs."

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.