With a passion for car detailing and a growing desire to own and run his own business, Rohan Laing began dreaming of starting his own auto detailing business – but his daily reality was an office job with a large company. He spoke with several franchisors and considered going down that route, but the franchise costs would have been tens of thousands (one over $50,000) plus ongoing fees. Undeterred, he instead decided to soft-launch a business himself, working after-hours, while keeping his full-time office job to pay the bills.
Sending out a note to friends and family, Rohan started his car detailing business on the side. He clearly remembers the first call he got from a customer that was neither friend or family – thinking "Wow, this is amazing!".
Within the first few weeks of opening, Rohan spoke to a friend running a handyman business and asked how he attracts new customers – the answer was WOMO.com.au. So Rohan jumped onto the website, made an enquiry, spoke to a consultant and within the day, had joined the Happy Customers Program. He says; "I wasn't really sure how any of it would work out but the idea of growing with word-of-mouth appealed and I thought it can't hurt to try."
From then on Rohan made sure every single client was given a 'Review Us' flyer (see example to the right
), and he makes a point to discuss the concept of reviews with clients as well. He understands that the more reviews he has, the more his business grows…
"I talk to every customers and I ask them whether they've seen my reviews. 60-70% say they found me through WOMO! Those ones know all about it so it's easy to ask for a review. With the others, I explain how important reviews are for my business, but also for all kinds of businesses. I tell them I found my bookkeeper on WOMO and use it to choose all kinds of businesses – both personally and for my business. Most people are pretty receptive to the idea."
Since starting as a side business, Elitecare Auto Detailing has grown incredibly strongly. Rohan made the leap at the start of this year and quit his day-job "a scary moment, but it was a decision that I'm very glad I made".
"Customer reviews are great because they make businesses truly accountable. Every customer could potentially leave a review, and that inspires me to continually lift my game and give 110% to each and every customer."
Rohan says that customer satisfaction is something he wanted to build the business around;
"Nothing speaks louder than what your customers say about you."
Rohan now has a professional website
and has included the WOMO Widget on a couple of the key pages – although it only went live two weeks ago, it's already driving new enquiries and sales.
We asked Rohan what his secret to customer service is. His answer; "Put a big smile on your face; Be super friendly; and check everything – never leave until you've made sure the customer is happy".
He says the most common type of work he gets is people that are selling their cars and a typical response is "Wow, I'm not sure if I want to sell this car anymore!"
"I'm so glad I didn't go down the franchise route. Essentially I've built my own reputation and brand through my customers reviews. I've saved a heap of money and I've got complete flexibility."
Rohan says business is continuing to grow strongly and he expects to put on some more staff fairly soon.
>> See the WOMO Listing for Elitecare Auto Detailing here <<
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