As the automotive industry continues to evolve, it’s important for dealership service departments to understand and cater to the needs of the female consumer. Women make up 65% of licensed drivers in the United States, and play a significant role in both purchasing and servicing vehicles. In fact, a recent study by Forbes shows that women influence over 85% of all car purchases, including those that involve repairs. Despite this, over 74% of women feel misunderstood by the automotive industry.
With these statistics in mind, it’s crucial for dealership service departments to understand the needs and expectations of female consumers, and do everything in their power to lessen the disconnect. The video below is from one of our Fixed Ops Roundtables, where our panelists discuss this topic in detail. Feel free to watch this video, or keep reading for some tips on how to best cater to female consumers.
A Fixed Ops Roundtable discussion on “Catering to the Female Consumer”
Creating a welcoming environment.
One important aspect of catering to the female consumer is creating a welcoming and comfortable environment in the service department. Women want to feel valued as customers, and they want to be treated with respect and professionalism.
Part of this can be achieved by having a friendly and knowledgeable staff, offering comfortable waiting areas, and having clean and well-maintained facilities. A comfortable and inviting waiting room, equipped with amenities such as Wi-Fi, charging stations, and comfortable seating, can make a big impression on all types of customers.
Another aspect of creating a welcoming environment is having more female staff at the dealership. Female employees can often better relate to female customers and make them feel more comfortable in a traditionally male-dominated industry. Additionally, having a diverse and inclusive workforce can help break down gender stereotypes and provide a more welcoming atmosphere for all customers.
The automotive industry as a whole still has a shortage of female employees. According to a 2019 study by the National Automobile Dealers Association, women make up only 20% of service advisers at the dealership, and just over 1% of technicians. This not only limits the pool of female employees available to dealerships, but also perpetuates the idea that the industry is not welcoming to women.
To attract more female employees, dealerships can take steps to create a more inclusive and welcoming workplace. This can include offering flexible schedules, providing opportunities for advancement and leadership, and promoting diversity and equality in the workplace. By creating a positive work environment, dealerships can not only attract more female employees, but also retain them for a longer period of time.
Putting a focus on transparency.
Another area that can help dealerships build trust is by focusing on convenience and transparency in their vehicle service experience. Many women put a lot of value on finding a place that makes them feel confident that their vehicle is in good hands. They also value open communication with the service advisors and technicians, and they want to be able to ask questions and receive clear answers.
When they need a repair, providing them with information about what is being done to their car, why it is necessary, and the cost involved can help build trust and confidence in the dealership. Furthermore, dealerships can provide written explanations of repairs and maintenance services with illustrations or diagrams to further aid understanding and give customers peace of mind. By doing this, customers will feel more informed and in control of their car maintenance decisions, leading to a better experience and increased satisfaction with the dealership.
When it comes to pricing, women are often in charge of the finances in their home and attentive to large expenses like auto repairs. They want to feel that they are receiving fair value for their money. This means offering transparent and competitive pricing, and being upfront about any additional costs or fees that may be associated with a service.
In conclusion, catering to the female consumer is crucial in today’s automotive industry. By understanding the expectations of women, dealership service departments can create a more welcoming experience, and they can differentiate themselves from the competition. This can result in increased customer satisfaction, repeat business, and overall growth for the dealership.
To effectively cater to the female consumer, focus on convenience, transparency, communication, comfort, and loyalty. By doing so, you will create a positive and lasting impression that will likely be noticed by all customers that step foot in your dealership.