Trust. The Most Important Part of a Detail
By: Adam Churchwell
It became very clear to me early on in my career that I had no interest in being in the “detailing business”. Everywhere I looked there was a know it all arrogance that permeated through every shop. It was there at event convention and trade show I went to. So many detailers just knew their way was best. They promised one was better than them. Fortunately 30+ years on this earth has taught me a few things. Most importantly, if you are so confident you’re the best you are likely wrong or at minimum, considerably outdated.
It made me even more passionate about the chemistry of products. I wanted to learn the every new advancements of technique and equipment. It was then I realized I wanted to be in the business of customer service and education. I wanted to show people the importance of detailing. Not prove I am the best.
You see, industry jargon has no time stamp. Detailers throw around terms they heard from their first boss or last website they looked at. Then they treat those words like they mean just one thing. That’s whatever they say it is. But that could not be farther from the truth.
The detailing industry is ever evolving. It requires regular research and development to stay up to date with advances. More so, no two cars are the same and their is no one size fits all detail for every vehicle.
Being a Teacher, Not a Dictionary
For example, saying the words “We claybar” can make someone sound like a professional to the average car owner. Most have never heard of the process. Still, claybar services have been around for almost 30 years! The technology has advanced and changed over time to now include synthetic alternatives, lubrication products, and more. So I choose to explain what claybar process I use and why. I feel understanding the need for a service means a whole lot more to a client than the industry terms themselves.
“Paint Polishing” is another broad spectrum term that gets thrown around in the industry. It can mean everything from hand waxing to complete multi-step paint correction. That also unfortunately means many detailers can get away with charging premium prices for minimal work. Just lift that umbrella of “Paint Polishing” and your covered. Polish products themselves include everything from pure shine enhancement products to all in one cleaning waxes. There are glazes that mask imperfections and compounds that remove imperfections like scratches and swirl marks from paint. Each one of these processes looks the same when your watching your car being detailed out your living room window. However, each has completely different outcomes when it comes to results.
These are just two examples of how easily a client can be “sold” services they may or may not actually receive or need. I want clients to know what they are getting, why, and make sure their detail is catered to what they want and need. After all, you didn’t go to the dealership and tell the salesman “Give me what you think is best” did you? At the end of the day, it’s your car you’re taking home. You deserve to know exactly what your paying for and why. Maintaining it’s appearance should be no different. That’s why I believe out of all the services a detailer can provide, the most important part of a detail is trust.