Valencia Auto Spa, under the ownership of Randy Cressall, has been named Car Care Person of the year by the Professional Carwashing & Detailing Magazine.
By The Professional Carwashing & Detailing® Staff
From the May 2006 edition of Professional Carwashing & Detailing magazine.
Every year Professional Carwashing & Detailing® magazine seeks nominations for Who’s Who in Car Care, a special section where three people from each of the four sectors of the car care industry are honored for their exceptional contributions to the trade.
This year nominations came in for longtime veterans as well as “newbies” in the industry. Longevity is not always a qualifying factor; a point that has been proven with at least one of this year’s Car Care People of the Year.
Determining who should receive this honor is a difficult task and one that the staff of the magazine does not take lightly. PC&D reviewed each candidate for weeks before finally choosing one professional from each sector — conveyorized carwashing, self-service carwashing, detailing and lube — as a Car Care Person of the Year.
PC&D has alerted the person from each category that was selected. Read on to find out what’s exceptional about each individual, their reaction to being named Car Care Person of the Year and their future plans in the industry.
Cressall’s carwash creeds
A strong philosophy and outlook on earning customer trust have helped to build a solid site.
By Lindsey Blanchfield, Contributing Writer
After 45 years in the carwash industry, Randy Cressall has learned the golden rule of carwashing: to be successful, customers and employees must come first and foremost.
Cressall applies this golden rule at all times at his carwash, Valencia Auto Spa, Valencia, CA, and will vouch for its effectiveness.
His belief in the “what goes around comes around” philosophy has finally earned him a just reward: recognition of his superior efforts and dedication to carwashing.
The best customers around
Above the Valencia Auto Spa doorway, hangs a sign that speaks volumes about Cressall’s business philosophy. It says, “Through these doors walk the world’s greatest customers and the best ever employees.”
This approach and mentality toward customer service has helped build substantial relationships at Cressall’s facility.
“Carwashing is a wonderful business,” he said. “And it’s a wonderful opportunity to be with people and to have people entrust their baby to us, which is really what they do.”
According to Cressall, a customer’s decision about what carwash to visit shouldn’t be taken lightly.
He believes choosing a carwash facility should be approached much in the same manner as choosing a doctor, a dentist or a hair stylist. Customers should, and often do, make choices based on comfort and trust levels.
“I believe for people’s second most valuable possession — their automobile — that a great deal of them, especially our customers that care a great deal about their cars, bring their cars to us because of the faith and trust they have in us that we will take proper care of their baby for them, the same way they do,” Cressall said.
It trickles down
Harry Truman said, “The buck stops here.” Cressall would probably say, “The buck starts here,” meaning his attitude, actions and responsibility are passed from him down to all his employees.
Cressall likes to use the story about a man who gets stuck in traffic, so he yells at his employee, his employee goes home and yells at his wife, the wife yells at the kids, the kids get in a fight and slap the dog, which bites the cat.
“I use that example because when management treats their employees a certain way — and it all begins with myself — when we set a culture of the way we treat and care about our employees, they treat our customers that same way,” Cressall said.
Cressall said he tries to hire people who seem like “people people,” individuals who truly care about others and seek to make them happy.
He leads by example and says he tries to go overboard to spell out just how important the customer is to the carwash.
According to Cressall, it’s important that employees first understand and empathize with customers who may have any sort of problems.
“I tell them [his employees] to first let the customer know you care,” Cressall said. “When you start out with that groundwork it makes the future solution come so much easier. It brings two people to the table to work together rather than combating one another.”
A little bit brighter
Cressall has put in place the, “10-foot rule”: whenever any Valencia employee comes within 10 feet of another person — be it a customer or another employee — that employee must exchange some kind of greeting.
If they can’t say “Hello, how are you?” because they are in the middle of something or talking with another customer, they must still at least acknowledge the other individual with eye contact or a nod.
“We have such a wonderful opportunity in the carwash business to really ‘wow’ people,” Cressall explained. “When I get in my car after it’s been washed the car runs a little bit sweeter, the radio plays better, it drives smoother and the world’s a little bit bright.
“When we can take that opportunity to build upon it with a really special experience with a customer, we’ve been really fortunate,” Cressall said.
According to Cressall, a carwash is, can, and should be the core of the community and everything that goes on. He has worked hard to make Valencia a staple in his community.
Cressall’s philosophies and outlook on carwashing have succeeded in earning him the title of one of Professional Carwashing & Detailing® magazine’s Car Care People of the Year.