What Women Really Want From Your Automotive Repair Shop
While striving to meet the needs of your female customer, it's important to treat her with respect. When a female customer walks into your shop, how she is treated will make a big and long lasting difference. Did she feel welcomed and respected, or did the first person she saw completely ignore her existence, which made her feel un-welcomed and disrespected? The way you treat her can determine whether she will become a loyal customer or find another shop to service her auto repair needs.
Accomplishing good interactions and meeting the needs of your female customers can exponentially increase your business. Women talk with one another, so make sure you're making a good impression on all of your customers. A way to ensure your female customers and their friends are regularly returning to your shop, give women what they want.
"90% of customers are influenced by positive reviews when buying a product."Dimensional Research
What Women Want
What do women really want from your automotive repair shop, and what constitutes a great customer service experience for the female customer? They want to be treated with R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
According to a national study, "Nine in ten women believe they are treated differently at auto repair shops than men are."Jessica Anderson
"R" stands for: Respect
- Respectful attitude, voice, treatment, etc.
- Communicate with her in a way she understands
- Follow-up communication
- Check to see how her car is doing after a repair
- Reminder when it's time for routine maintenance, such as, an oil change
- Remove the degrading images, you know the ones I'm talking about
Removal of the degrading images should be a given, but I can't tell you the number of times I have walked into a shop and seen these types of pictures strewn about the shop. This is NOT something a woman wants her or her own children to see.
These images portray negative connotations to a female customer that will make them feel uncomfortable and disrespected. Women make up a huge portion of the auto repair business. Do you really want to offend your female customers?
"E" stands for: Ease
- Ease of making appointments
- Ease of getting in and out of the shop
- Feeling at ease in your shop
"S" stands for: Special
Make her feel special
- Friendly staff
- Treat her like a guest, not another number
- Greet her with a smile
- Fresh brewed coffee cart, adequately supplied
- Water dispenser, with cups
- Comfortable waiting area
- WiFi, with a charging station
Is your waiting area comfortable? Some items that can make the wait seem not as long could include, comfortable chairs for the long wait, WiFi with a charging station will help to pass the time, along with a display of women's magazines, a well stocked complimentary drink station, and/or a vending machine. If you have the square footage, consider a separate area for kids.
"P" stands for: Precision
Quality or value
- Repairs done right the first time
- Products used
"E" stands for: Estimate
- Provide an accurate estimate of the repair expenses
- Estimate how long the job will take
In a previous article, I wrote of the benefits a clean restroom creates and about the "halo effect," which was explained in detail. Keep in mind that your female customers will look at the cleanliness of your restroom and associate it with the quality of repair work at your shop.
"The halo effect is a well documented social-psychology phenomenon that causes people to be biased in their judgments by transferring their feelings about one attribute of something to other, unrelated, attributes.
For example, a tall or good-looking person will be perceived as being intelligent and trustworthy, even though there is no logical reason to believe that height or looks correlate with smarts and honesty."Jakob Nielsen & Jen Cardello
"T" stands for: Time
- Consideration and respect for customer's time
- Make sure the vehicle is ready at the agreed upon time
Many repairs as you know, can take an hour or more to complete, by utilizing the R-E-S-P-E-C-T formula for your female customers, you can make their stay less like going to the dentist.
Respect your female customers through communication, comfort, care, cleanliness, and consideration. These are things that women really want from your automotive repair shop. When you follow this formula you will have a devoted customer who will only use your shop for her auto repair needs, and she will tell her friends.