What Women Want

Women are the fastest growing segment of car buyers, spending billions of dollars annually on new and used cars, as well as car service and maintenance. [1] Women currently buy 54% of all vehicles, plus influence over 80% of car-buying decisions. 65% of all customers taking their vehicle in to be serviced are women. [2] Respect the needs of your female customers and reap the rewards!

As providers of tire, wheel & repair shop management software, at AutoBiz we have a lot of interaction with business owners, shop managers and service writers. We have seen a gradual increase in the number of women in these positions of responsibility. Obviously seeing women working in previously non-traditional roles can increase confidence levels in female customers. Here are 6 additional ways to gain and keep your female customers:
1. Listen.
It may be human nature to speak more than listen, but if you want to retain women customers, you're going to have to listen attentively to what they have to say. Women pay a lot of attention to detail, which often helps in diagnosing problems. Yes, they are coming to you for your expertise, but if you don’t listen first, they may question your honesty and integrity, and assume you are trying to take advantage of them.

2. Clean it up.
I’m not talking about inappropriate language, unless that needs cleaning up. The number one requirement for women customers is a clean restroom. Follow that up with a clean waiting area. Although a few decent magazines, drink choices that include water, a color scheme, and a play table for children can be plusses, clean is top priority.

3. Be respectful.
Behaving respectfully toward customers is required. Where I’ve seen some shops fall short is in the way they treat each other, especially in front of customers. Poor treatment of others does not impress women. Treating everyone with respect shows self-confidence & engenders confidence.

4. Communicate.
Cleary explain problems, and potential problems, using visual examples if available. Bear in mind the objective here is to inform and possibly educate, not to preach or hear yourself talk. Women want to know what they are paying for, and to feel they are getting a fair deal.

5. Be available.
Have a counter-person, especially during times of high customer traffic, to respond to questions at the front counter and by phone. Even if the counter-person needs to call for the answers, it shows you care. Also consider extended hours on some days, and/or being open on Saturdays, since most of us work outside the home now.

6. Create loyalty.
Differentiate yourself by taking the actions above and you will have loyal customers, who will spread the word. Emails and postcards with coupons appeal to a lot of women. Text messages with job status show respect for their time.

Attention to the needs of your female customers is a great way to grow your business.
[1] www.autoremarketing.com/trends/5-features-top‐notch-customer-service
[2] www.Women-Drivers.com

Adam Irby