Blog By: Benjamin Mossman.
All too often we only ever share the good, when in reality, the is bad kept away from the public and we act like it doesn’t exist. This is compounded by the use of social media and always having to put on a brave face and never acknowledging the negatives. We want to be transparent and let you in on our secret struggles. It’s important to note we will get through these growing pains and continue to grow into a world-leading car care brand.
Variables out of our control
As mobile detailers, we have to deal with variables out of our control, every day adapting and reacting, however, nothing could prepare us for the constant unpredictable bad weather we have had from December that is now carrying on into February. The reason I have the time to write this is my paint correction job today has been cancelled due to wind gusts & rain. Having a gazebo up in the wind, hovering above someone’s pride and joy, is not a place you want to be. Although the risk of the gazebo moving is low it’s not a risk worth taking in winds 15mph+ and the gusts that come with these constant winds.
A 5-star service
When we started Swank Wash®, we were adamant that we would only create a five-star mobile detailing service and it would be pointless to create anything less, because there are too many bang average services we experience, that we wish we hadn’t spent our money on. We wanted to create a truly special experience you would remember and tell your friends about with pride, rather than the experience you have when going to a chain restaurant or retail store to be greeted by an employee who really doesn’t want to be working and is happy to show this through attitude. We wanted to show you courteousness, professionalism, skill and high-end services can still exist for those companies willing to offer it and what better to have all these attributes in a service that comes to your home and looks after your pride and joy.
The weather has made it much harder to be a five-star service with the need to reschedule clients, more than twice, alongside the unpredictability of staff leave.
Lockdown is creating short tempers and an abundance of time to pressurise and be unreasonable
This is not only true for us but after speaking to others in the service industry there is a general consensus that people are becoming more unreasonable, short-tempered and happy to lash out quickly, taking the stance of disappointment and it’s not good enough and what more are you going to do for me at any cost to you. I think we can all see this attitude on our visit to the supermarket and on the roads. We are getting tired of lockdown and certain people are taking it out on others. Sadly, when we have to reschedule due to weather or staff leave, we can sometimes get the absolute blunt end of this lockdown temper. Never before have we experienced this unreasonable behaviour and lack of understanding.
So we ask, please be nice, we are a small business bending over backwards to give you the best possible service. We will always give you options for a refund or to reschedule and we will always offer you the next best options.
Personally, I have been detailing privately for years on the side of full-time employment and in the winter months, I’d always notice a slight drop off, so naturally, I assumed the same would happen for Swank Wash’s first full winter cycle however I couldn’t have been more wrong.
The demand has increased pushing us back to a three week lead time, absolutely inundated with messages and calls asking to book in sooner than what's available online. We must be doing something right and we understand that we need to get this lead time down. We are sorry for the wait.
We absolutely love our regular clients to bits and I’m sorry we haven’t been able to keep the lead time down meaning we are not able to see you as frequently. Please stay with us, we are doing our best to address the long lead time. We will address what we are doing in the paragraph below.
A lack of detailers and staff leave
To put it simply it’s hard to find incredible, talented detailers with the right personal circumstance to carry out such a skilled and complicated job with the added compilation of looking after equipment and microfibres. We are working hard to find more amazing detailers to join the Swank Wash team. With the winter comes harsher weather creating conditions less favourable for detailers meaning we tire more easily and are more likely to become tired and hit the wall, figuratively.
To do this job you have to be absolutely tough as nails and we commend all our detailers for doing such an incredible job and respect they may need time away from being absolute legends and sometimes this time away can be a little unexpected and untimely. Sometimes you don’t know when you have given it your all but you are absolutely spent with two week’s worth of booking already booked in the calendar.
It’s not ideal but we try to respect last-minute leave and address the rescheduling needed to take the booking from x detailer and give them to another detailer. We are sorry to any of the clients this has caused an inconvenience for however please try to respect and understand as detailers we absolutely smash it every day and this can all of a sudden get too much for us without warning. When we have more detailers we will be a stronger team with more of us to pick up what we are unable to carry unexpectedly meaning rescheduling will come at a much sooner date with the strengthened team.
We tried to bring the bespoke, advanced formulas our detailers use to market
We bit off more than we could chew. We use the industry retail products day in and day out and got a very good understanding of what works in the real world of mobile and at home detailing. Although the majority of the shelf products we used were great, we noticed that we could potentially make even better-detailing products with advanced and improved chemical formulas increasing the activity levels and, improving the quality of raw materials to achieve an even swankier results.
We formulated exterior products with the help of some incredibly talented chemists. We outlined the attributes that we wanted from the products achieving certain activity levels and quality and they absolutely nailed it! making it even easier for us to give an even better world-leading finish to our amazing clients at home. We thought Swank Wash is a pretty cool brand name and we had new advanced formulas so we wanted to give car lovers the option to have a Swank at home with Swank Wash formulas.
We heavily underestimated the magnitude of turning these advanced Swank Wash formulas into products that could be reached by car lovers at an achievable price...we found that the barrier to entry is incredibly high! Although we can stomach the cost of small batch production for our detailers it’s a whole other story to actually create these formulas at an affordable price on a mass scale. The volume of the product formulas and packaging that needs to be ordered in order to reach a retail price is enormous.
Could we cut corners and do it more cheaply? Yes, but it wouldn't be what our detailers are using so we will stick to our morals and only ever create something that is it's absolutely premium in every sense. We over-invested our time and money and ultimately got stuck near the top trying to climb over the wall of a barrier to entry.
We have the formulas and potential partners and we will venture this again in the distant future when we have a bigger and stronger team who can help support us up and over the large barrier to entry for creating advanced formulas on a larger scale creating a reachable retail price.
In the meantime, our detailers can enjoy these formulas and our clients can enjoy the results.
Looking to the future, we will get through this!
We know what we need to do to improve our lead time, support staff leave better and shorten rescheduling times. We will find more incredible detailers, this way we can all support each other and take up any slack from last-minute staff leave that can not be helped.
As for mother nature, we are just going to have to continue rescheduling when the beast gets in our way, however, the more talented detailers we have the shorter the rescheduling time will be. For the more complicated paint correction jobs, we are looking for a suitable indoor space. This could take some time as commercial garages are incredibly expensive due to lack of supply and they move quickly.
Please watch this space and thank you for your ongoing support. We wouldn't be here without you.