Dusting off the ol' dashboard, instrument panel and console may be a fast, inexpensive way to exceed a customer's expectations—not to mention, get a few extra points.
Of course, exceeding expectations is vital to earning repeat business and referrals for a service shop.
One way for tire dealers and service shop operators to perform this chore quickly and effectively is with a Swiffer duster. This inexpensive dusting wand already may be in a cupboard or broom closer at your house. I've found that the product is excellent for cleaning the overall dashboard, gauge panel, controls and console.
Regular Tire Business readers know I've been doing automotive technical research and writing for nearly 40 years. I frequently borrow vehicles in order to gather data and shoot photographs for articles and seminars.
One way or another, I try to clean the vehicle to show my appreciation to the owner. I may only be able to clean part of it—often the best I can do is pay for a pass through at the local car wash.
Over the years, however, I've found that simply cleaning the most-visible part of the vehicle makes a major, positive impression on the owner. At one point or another, I recognized the obvious: The most-visible area of the vehicle had to be the instrument panel, overall dashboard, dash controls and the console. After all, this is what the driver's observing most of the time.
So I began cleaning them with one of the popular Swiffer-brand dusters. I've been pleasantly surprised at the results. Car owners love it and appreciate the gesture.
It's been gratifying that some folks email or telephone me later, commenting that the car looks better for some reason. But for the moment, they can't figure out why. Indeed, dusting the dash and console made that much of an impression.
Mind you, this neat duster device, which has a replaceable “element” on it, won't remove those coffee and soft-drink spills. It won't remove nicotine stains from the smoker's car. But it does remove the normal dust and cigarette ashes that accumulate up front. To me, the results are especially impressive when the dashboard and console are darker colors. The improvement on the darker surfaces seems to be more noticeable at a glance.
The dusters are available at various supermarkets, drug stores and other retail outlets. If you have been using something comparable to or better than the Swiffer product, I welcome your feedback on it.
Meantime, good luck and keep smiling — and cleaning.