As an auto detailer, you’re expected to “cover the details.” As they say, “The devil is in the details.”
But how detailed should we get with each detail? How far does the customer want the detailer to clean? It sounds a bit meta, but it’s a topic that detailers are always talking about in forums.
For instance, when it comes to engine cleaning, you can clean all the plastic covers which cover most of the electrical and metal parts. Some detailers will say that they’ll remove those the plastic covers and also clean under them, to make sure it’s completely clean.
Are they right or wrong? I’ll give my personal opinion on this matter. Just to point out, I don’t think anyone is ever right or wrong. It comes down to your personal preference. If it works for you great. If it doesn’t work for you, that’s fine, too.
What Kind Of Detail Are You Doing?
If a customer tells me that they want to take their car to a car show and want to win an award for Best in Show for Engine, then the level of detail they want me to perform is MUCH higher than a mini-van engine cleaning.
If you’re going to enter your car in a car show, you’re going to have judges and hundreds of spectators walk pass your car, looking at it for 5 minutes, in a bunch of different angles. In this type of scenario, it’s easy for people to point out flaws since they’ll have so many chances to do so.
If you have a mini-van and you want to clean your engine so you don’t get completely dirty when it comes time to change the oil and oil filter, than it’s going to be a completely different cleaning.
This doesn’t mean I as the detailer am going to perform a less-than-worthy results to the end customer. It just means the expectations are different and should be clearly defined on what’s going to get accomplished.
If The Customer Wants It, They’ll Pay For It, Give It To Them
Following the above example with the show car and mini-van, if the mini-van owner wants to pay for a car show level detail, then by all means, give it to them. Because that’s the level of detail they expect and want (and of course, are going to pay you right for it).
The only time that wouldn’t make sense is when a customer will ask for a high-level detail without wanting to pay for it. I know an engine cleaning is suppose to be an engine cleaning, but some engine details will flat out take longer than other. And if a customer is not willing to spend money for your time, it may not be worth it.
Is The Detailer Still Profitable?
This is probably the biggest problem a lot of detailers fall into, especially when they’re first starting off. They’ll want to go above and beyond with each and every detail that comes there way. That isn’t a bad thing, but when you spend 3 hours over budget, the detailer is better off working at a part time fast food restaurant.
The detailer is in business so they have to act and think like a business, not just a detailer who cleans cars.