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What Your Frustrations With Others May Reveal About Your Detailing Business: Part 1


I have heard a few rants about the reliability of shipping over the years.  A detailer, who owns a  business, complains about receiving an important shipment the day after (1 Day After!) the estimated arrival date.  1 day late on a coating bottle!  The detailer vents his frustration to the supplier and to the people in his circle on social media that the supplier cost him a $1,200 detail.  When shipping involves FedEx or UPS, someone venting at the supply store would be one question mark here.  But second and more concerning, he did not give himself even 24 hours margin of error.  What does his complaint reveal about his own lack of professionalism?

Scangrip Sunmatch

Being fully transparent, I am (like all of us) human.  I sometimes lose track of my inventory.  I understand some products (coating bottles) are very perishable.  But I understand the level of responsibility and accountability I need to put on MYSELF in these situations.  But this and the following story is one of the many examples I commonly see professionals, in title only, blame others to avoid personal responsibility.

Someone inquired on a social media community page about ‘what to do’ in response to a customer who was upset with what he posted on his business social media page.  He did not understand why she was upset and if he should acquiesce to her request.

He shared a screenshot of her message.  He detailed a car interior in rough shape.  Which she thanked him for doing an amazing job.  She later POLITELY expressed her shock and discomfort that the before and after pictures with a detailed description of her vehicle were on his Facebook page.  She politely reminded him that she had PREVIOUSLY told him how embarrassing it was for anyone to see her car in this condition.  Aside from this even being a question or debate of what to do, what was most shocking was his response to many of our obvious responses.  “I do not understand, I did a real good job”, was his argument for saying and doing and saying nothing in response.

The elephant in the room, being she probably told her friends about the great job he did, sharing links to the same social media page where (of course) all of her friends and those local can see how bad her car looked in her mind.

In the service industry, when did we stop acting like human beings?  You do more than detail cars.  I remember reading Renny Doyle’s book on running a detailing business.  There is a self-assessment section in the book in which we ask ourselves important questions.  One of the questions asked, “are you good with people?”  If you are in this person’s position, and you are resisting removing (with an apology) these pictures from your page this is not the right business for you.

As a consumer I have dealt with a few similar situations, in which the response or lack thereof was significantly worse than the incident.  I can attest from personal experience being appropriately empathic is a great deodorant to making mistakes.

Washing Detail Factory Brush

Rodney Tatum
Mirror Reflections Auto Spa
Gainesville, Florida
YouTube | Facebook

3 comments on What Your Frustrations With Others May Reveal About Your Detailing Business: Part 1

  1. Great points, Rodney! My number one rule in life is “Be a good dude”. I’ve discovered if you can do that, most everything else follows.

  2. Ron Ayotte says:

    This is exactly the reason I do not post “before and after” interior pics. Everyone knows that car exteriors can get dirty from daily use, exposure to pollen, etc. but interiors are something that your client has control over. I have clients who profusely apologize if they leave an item in the cupholders, and then I have the “soccer Mom clients”, whose vehicles loos lived in with water bottles, fast food bags, sweatshirts, etc. etc.

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