I was the proud (and rather startled) owner of ten car wash vouchers. Melbourne’s most dogged salesman had secured my custom for at least a year. And after our magic, first-wash honeymoon, I was hungry for lifelong love.
He waved the wash team to my car and told me to return in 20 minutes. I asked if the guys could remove my old registration sticker from the windscreen. He agreed.
It didn’t happen. I reminded him on my return. It was done.
The wash wasn’t as good.
On my next visit, the salesman’s smile was dimmed but still readable. This time I asked if the guys could clean the sills they’d missed last month. He agreed.
It didn’t happen. I reminded him. After a while, it was done.
The wash was worse.
Next month, the salesman left me to approach the wash team myself. They moved as if torn from a graveside vigil, one growling as he grabbed my voucher.
The wash was crap.
On my way out, a banner proclaimed WE RECYCLE OUR WATER!
It’s a pity you don’t recycle your clients, I muttered.
So here’s the wash up.
They have my $220. If they go bust before I use my vouchers, I’m out of pocket.
Sullen compliance has replaced spectacular service. There’s zero motivation for excellence. It’s barely worth the trip, except for one thing.
My brilliant wife has posited that my final wash will be as fabulous as the first. It may even be overseen by the salesman. Why? To sell me ten more washes, of course!
To see if Fonnie’s right (and to provide an epilogue) I plan to use all my vouchers.
And while there are obvious lessons about lazy copywriters who are too up themselves to clean their own damn car, I’d rather dwell on another learning.
Spectacularly successful in battle, the salesman has soured my view of his business, his industry and the whole concept of ‘saving’ by buying ‘services’ in advance.
By my reckoning, therefore, he has lost the war. But perhaps, in a city of four million, churn and burn is the true path to total victory? Does my view count one whit against his juggernaut?
It’s time to come clean: how do these tactics wash with you?