What is Professional Auto Detailing?
Updated: Dec 7, 2020
Whenever I speak with a potential customer for the first time, I have several important questions for them, the most important being “Have you ever had your vehicle professionally detailed?” The overwhelming response is typically “no” or sometimes confusion on what exactly the question is supposed to mean. Surely everyone has cleaned their vehicle at some time or another during their ownership (we hope, at least) but when you take the owner out of the process and hand the keys over to someone else, what is the expected outcome and what is the value for the prices you’re being charged?
Ask any two detailers “what is professional detailing?” and you will get some parallels, but even to those inside the industry the term can conjure up many different types of business models. From mobile to fixed location, basic cleaning of interiors and exteriors, to specialty shops offering only ceramic coatings and paint protection film, it seems there is not a simple answer. Most responses will only focus on the products and services when trying to define what is professional detailing. At Biff’s Automotive Detailing we believe that professional detailing means much more. To us it means “Earning lifelong customer trust built on providing expert knowledge and results for your vehicle.” Whoa! What exactly does that mean?
It means we start with a personal approach for the needs of the customer and their specific vehicle. Services we suggest are based on an onsite inspection tailored to that specific vehicle along with input on what’s most important to the customer. “I just want it shiny” or “It’s new and I want to take good care of it” … whatever reasons are considered for hiring us we help them choose the right path. At this point trust should be established based on the experience and knowledge presented by the detailer. This is where the customer needs to ask good questions and pay close attention to information they are given. Of course, if they have never hired a professional what should they ask and look for in their detailer? A good detailer will readily give advice that directly benefits your ownership experience. They quickly offer insights into products and tips to ensure your vehicle remains in top shape even outside of their own care. They take the time to listen to your concerns and provide realistic solutions, not just the service of the month or top tier offering.
This is where not all detailers are created equal. The downside of a loosely regulated industry is that it attracts many people ready to make a quick buck. Lacking the proper education and tools these pop-up “detailing” businesses vie at the opportunity to lure uneducated customers in with low prices and a seemingly long list of included services. The old saying “you get what you pay for” could not apply any better here, but unfortunately the bad examples these types of businesses leave put a negative stigma on the entire industry. For this reason, you should always check before hiring a detailing company that they are registered and insured and carry all the proper certificates and licenses to do business. Check out their reviews and past work. Make sure they have recent work too! See if they have attended any training or professional courses that might give them an advantage at providing the results you are looking for. Are they invested in their industry or local community to serve others as well? We believe these elements make the key difference in declaring a business as professional.
For more information on professional detailing please visit The International Detailing Association website (https://the-ida.com/page/Detailing101). We are proud members of The IDA since 2018.