Top 5 Detailing Mistakes
March 6, 2014
As a budding DIY detailer, you might make some detailing mistakes every once in a while, but this should not discourage you from forging ahead with your little car maintenance projects. What’s important is that you learn from each mistake you make and remember not to repeat them in your future endeavors. Know what went wrong and why, and avoid these things on your next project.
Even the most seasoned, most experienced professional car detailers commit errors. So what are the most common detailing mistakes that your or any other car enthusiast can make in the course of a detailing job?
Improving Detailing Mistakes
- Using improper cleaning equipment. While professional car detailers have the best and most technologically-advanced cleaning tools at their disposal, using the wrong tool for a particular cleaning job can result in disaster for your car. Brushes and wash cloths that have been used to clean your wheels and undercarriage should never be used again on your windshield.
- Having insufficient and/or incorrect cleaning supplies. This becomes extremely important when you have scheduled to perform an exterior mobile detailing job. When you run out of car shampoo or car wax, you can’t see the job through to its end, and your client will most likely refuse to pay. After all, you promised to detail their entire vehicle, not just parts of it.
- Underestimating the job. Say you’ve been commissioned to detail what the owner described over the phone as a “very dirty” dirt bike. To be on the safe side, you should bring the right amount of cleaning supplies plus the right kind of cleaning tools, and then some. Every job requires you to overestimate to a certain extent so that you can finish properly and deliver the results that your client is looking for.
- Ineffective and/or inadequate communication with the client. We all know that the client is the boss, but that does not mean that he’s always right. Temper your client’s unreasonable expectations regarding the cost and results of the service by explaining what you intend to do to the vehicle before you even begin the first wash. Sometimes detailing mistakes are more of misconceptions on the part of the client, so these should be managed tactfully at the earliest possible opportunity.
- Forgetting to use a vehicle inspection form before and after the service. Again, we can’t overemphasize the importance of letting your client know what results he should expect at the end of your service. There might be some problem areas that he wants to address, but he is hesitant to pay the higher tag price. When this happens, you have to let him know right away that you can’t deliver 100% full results because you will only be using this method or that cleaning agent, which might not address the issue properly. Having a chat with your client at the beginning and at the end of every service will clear things up and ensure that you are both on the same page as to the coverage of the service and its cost.