Having spoken to fellow Professional Valeters & Detailers in the local area as of late, we are seeing an influx of calls for "end of lease" valeting to cars due to go back to dealership on very short notice, of which we are finding hard to fit in. Potential customers are being batted back and forth between ourselves in the hopes that one of us has a cancellation slot in one or two days time.
Considering that spring is upon us and we will be hitting peak demand for our time, most good valeters or detailers will have diary lead times of at least 3 or 4 weeks in advance. I would like to point out the only solution is to plan ahead. If you have a lease car that you know is heading back next month, it's best to book in now rather than face the frustration of not being able to find someone last minute.
Imagine planning for your child's birthday - hopefully you wouldn't leave purchasing the presents, cards and cake to the evening before!
This also applies to weddings, car shows and so forth - get yourself the peace of mind that you are in someone's schedule sooner rather than later! If you choose to book with myself, all prices can be found at www.detailedbyandrew.com/services
I thought I'd go back over this post to update on real life situations planning ahead for professional car detailing.
Last year, August turned out to be the busiest month for my business - at this point I had a waiting list of around 4 weeks with absolutely no chance of fitting any other bookings in unless somebody else cancelled.
One phrase I hear a lot is "we'll phone you when the weather picks up", but when that time comes around, everyone else will have phoned and booked already, leaving little availability in my diary.
Planning ahead was effective for one particular customer. Knowing that he and his fiancé were getting married in August, he pre-booked in March (5 months in advance!) for his Jaguar XF-S to have an Enhancement Detail carried out the day before the big day. This particular car was covered in swirls and defects leaving it with a dull appearance in the sun - this just wasn't going to be good enough to feature as a bridesmaids' car! Had this been left to the last minute to arrange, it wouldn't have been Detailed By Andrew getting the car ready for the wedding, that's for sure. Getting these things planned and booked in advance can take away a little bit of the stress from life's situations where there is already enough to think about.
Recently, I received a phone call at 7pm on a Friday night from somebody in desperate need of valeting/detailing work to be done the next day. Sadly they had no luck with a number of other companies they had tried to ring, and even offered to pay me over the odds if I cancelled my pre-booked customers to accommodate them. This was never going to happen and just would not have been fair to my customers who had booked in advance fair and square, so sadly the despair and search for a solution continued with further phone calls to other pro detailers.
So, am I trying to cause panic and make you book? Not at all, but I do advise that you take into consideration that as soon as the weather is a little less baltic, people in my trade are going to be receiving bookings thick and fast with waiting times for an appointment going into weeks rather than days, and I don't want anybody to be faced with dilemmas going unsolved such as weddings, end-of-lease car returns, pre(or post)-holiday dirty cars, cars that are up for sale - ad nauseum...
One thing I am encouraging with existing customers on the care plan (that is Service Cleans between the initial Enhancement/Correction and the next Maintenance Detail spruce up) is to pre-book the next 2 or 3 visits whilst I am there. That way, they are never left out.