Loyalty and gift cards offered by Wolf's The One. (Image: Wolford Communications)

Loyalty and gift cards offered by Wolf’s The One. (Image: Wolford Communications)

Have you ever been to a coffee shop and gotten a free cup or pastry after your third visit? Those are the best. They make you feel so valued — much more than the buy nine, get one free deals you never seem to reach. And what’s it cost the coffee shop? Not much.

When I lived in Florida, I used to get my oil changed and car washed (for free) at the dealer for two reasons: one, they always did a full inspection (which, although it often cost me a lot of money, was comforting to know my car was in peak form), and, two, they had coffee and wifi in the spacious waiting room. I went there every time because I could get work done, and, albeit in a commercial way, they wanted me to be there.

All of these loyalty incentives that work for coffee shops and car dealers work for car wash businesses, too. But what kinds of incentives should you use? Have no fear; we’ve compiled an exhaustive list of freebies that you could offer, either in exchange for joining loyalty programs or just for showing up (including helpful links to case studies or products):

  1. Coffee
  2. Wifi
  3. Discounted or free car wash
  4. Doughnuts
  5. Popcorn
  6. Magazine subscriptions
  7. Car inspection
  8. Discounts on merchandise
  9. Charity donations
  10. Discounts at other local businesses
  11. Gift cards or coupons for customers to share
  12. Hot dogs
  13. Artistic car wash photography print
  14. Fresh fruit
  15. Thank you notes

Have you tried any other incentives that work well? Help your fellow industry owners; leave ideas in the comments!