Women’s Wednesday #21: How Customer-Centric is Your Dealership? Take the Test!

We are well into December. It's time to take stock of your year and your accomplishments. It’s definitely time to have fun and to be mindful of what is ahead. As we turn the corner into a new year, 2015, today’s Women’s Wednesday you are invited to take a short, interactive quiz to evaluate where there is room to expand your dealership’s customer excellence. And in doing so, your competitive edge.

Read the Latest Her + His Car Review
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There are always two sides to everything, right? To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle – Her + His perspectives.

The idea to establish a quick test came from a family of dealerships with extraordinarily high CSI and WSI (Women Satisfaction Index) scores. They asked Women-Drivers.com to establish a baseline to gauge how they compared to other dealerships in order to further increase customer loyalty and engagement for their business. We interviewed a number of other forward-thinking dealers in the following areas: Sales, Service, BDC, Brand Reputation, Concierge Services, Social Media, etc.

Did You Know?

Ever notice how narrow advertising messaging is from one dealership to another? According to most marketing messages, every dealership has the ‘best’ pricing. Truth is, not all dealerships offer the best customer service. How come more dealers don’t advertise their customer excellence+service? A-HA! THAT’S what women+families are most interested in is having a trusting, respectful and comfortable experience!

Litmus Test Take Aways
After completing the 12-question test, dealers are assessed and scored into one of four categories: Leading the Pack, Standing Tall, Holding Your Own and Missing the Mark. In this highly competitive industry, dealers are constantly looking for new ways to expand their level of customer service and retention.

take the testSome simple recommendations are provided upon completion of the quiz such as courtesy cars and a child-friendly area. These are not novel ideas, yet it is surprising how many dealerships have yet to embrace fairly effortless changes such as these. The quiz feedback also includes innovative initiatives in each of the four categories to stretch your customer service and standards to meet the changing landscape of the customer. What's your score?

Get Started Here: www.HowFriendlyisYourDealership.com to take the test

Want to Sell More Cars and Distinguish your Dealership to Women?
Click here

Did you receive a Free copy of the 2014 Women’s Car Buying Report? Click here

 
Good Selling!

Women’s Wednesday #20: Report: Top Sites Visited by Women When Buying A Car

Womens-Drivers.com, the leading dealer ratings and review site for Women buyers, conducts ongoing research through our Women’s Satisfaction Index (WSI®) report to provide dealers with important insights into buying habits of women.

Read the Latest Her + His Car Review

There are always two sides to everything, right? To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle – Her + His perspectives.

Women-Drivers.com asks women to complete an optional 25 question survey about their dealership experience after completing a dealer review. An amazing ninety-two percent of women complete this extensive survey primarily to share their experience with other women! There are separate sections and questions asked for Shopping, Purchasing and Service. The survey also asks women to list the sites they visited during their shopping experience.

Listed below are the top sites women visited from our most recent 3,200 surveys

1. Dealership (41.27%)
2. Manufacturer (39.75%)
3. KBB (39.62%)
4. Consumer Reports (22.23%)
5. AutoTrader (21.34%)
6. Edmunds (20.38%)
7. Cars.com (18.85%)
8. Carfax (15.29%)
9. Craigslist (7.64%)
10. JD Power (6.05%)
11. TrueCar.com (4.71%)
12. Autobytel (2.29%)
Total adds up to greater than 100% as women can leave multiple responses.

Obviously it is important to understand the research habits of women because they account for over 50% of auto sales and are involved in at least 80% of the purchase decisions. Additionally, research shows that sixty-five percent of all customers taking their vehicles in for service are women. That's a lot of buying power!

The data mining available in the WSI® Dealer Insight report offers actual behaviors and experiences of women who have written reviews at dealerships. The analytics and findings of the monthly reports provide critical information to improve personal sales interaction with women, resulting in better conversion rates and sales. Imagine if you could increase your sales to women just 5% by understanding their buying habits. That’s an additional two-million dollars in sales based on the average 2013 sales by dealership of $41.3 million.

For more on this topic, Click here

Want to Sell More Cars and Distinguish your Dealership to Women?
Click here

Did you receive a Free copy of the 2014 Women’s Car Buying Report? Click here

 
Good Selling!

Women’s Wednesday #19: 5 Ways to Deliver a Competitive Edge

Today, our Women’s Wednesday focuses on the road to ultimate business success. This is powered by a growing customer base, increasing loyalty and customer retention. Here are some innovative marketing ideas to increase your competitive edge by delivering more value to women customers.

1. Buy A Car In Less Than 2 Hours
Do you know it currently takes a woman an average of 3 hours and 20 minutes to buy a car? Most women feel "highly inconvenienced" by this, especially because time is one of women’s most prized commodities. Implement a marketing approach where buyers can seal the deal in 2 hours or less.

2. Test Drives On-Call
Half of the buyers at a dealership are women – but most women work. With professional females and moms on the go, a way to distinguish your dealership is having “test-drives-on-call.” Bring a new vehicle to her place of business or home to test drive; this concierge service is attractive to women as again, it is time saving.

3. Access To Technology Experts
Car buying is a costly purchase. Women buyers, especially, take a lot of time to research the dealership and learn about the vehicles before they make their final decision. In the car itself, there are so many buttons and touch points on a dashboard. Who can remember all the things said during a test drive? Most buyers spend no more than 5 minutes learning about their NAV or tech packages and leave the dealership unfamiliar with these aspects of their new vehicle. Have classes for consumers to attend – post purchase – about the cars’ technology and perhaps some one page cheat sheets for them. Having access via email, text, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook to your dealership’s technology expert is a must.

4. Build A Strong Brand Dealer Reputation
Women rely on car dealer reviews 50% more than men. It makes sense, they want to get their car buying right! They really want to buy from well-reputed and trusted dealers. To build strong brand reputation and attract more women buyers, dealers can get reviews from women shoppers and train their sales team to deliver the ultimate car buying experience to every customer who walks in the store. This low cost model is a win-win.

5. Acknowledge Mistakes And Show Customers They Are Valued
It is difficult for businesses to acknowledge their mistakes. When it comes to client retention, “holding up your hand” in business, is paramount. For example, when it comes to Reviews – keep it real and be transparent. Ask to have a one-on-one discussion with the consumer via telephone. Market your dealership in such a way so that all customers feel included and a valued part of the process.

Positioning your dealership in this way – and clearly communicating these services – makes clients and potential customers feel that your business is working in the clients’ best interest rather than just "selling cars and making money."

For more on this topic, Click here

Want to Sell More Cars and Distinguish your Dealership to Women?
Click here

Did you receive a Free copy of the 2014 Women’s Car Buying Report? Click here

 
Good Selling!

5 Ways to Deliver a Competitive Edge

The road to ultimate business success is powered by a growing customer base, increasing loyalty and customer retention. It includes aspects from the sale, ensuring that the customer returns to your service drive – to having them purchase their next car at your dealership.

Here are some interesting ideas to deliver more value to customers while increasing your market share:

1. Buy a Car in less than 2 hours
Do you know it currently takes a woman an average of 3 hours and 20 minutes to buy a car? Most women feel ‘highly inconvenienced’ by this, especially because time is one of women’s most prized commodities. Implement a marketing approach where buyers can seal the deal in 2 hours or less. Buyers will love this. A friendly and knowledgeable sales team, who not only listen and educate shoppers, but are all likeable and trustworthy can get this job done.

2. Test Drives On-Call
Half of the buyers at a dealership are women – but mot of those women work. With professional females and moms on the go, a way to distinguish your dealership is having “test-drives-on-call.” Bring a new vehicle to her place of business or home to test drive; this concierge service is attractive to women as again, it is time saving.

3. Access to Technology Experts
Car buying is a costly purchase. Women buyers, especially, take a lot of time to research the dealership and learn about the vehicles before they make their final car buying decision. In the car itself, there are so many buttons and touch points on a dashboard. Who can remember all the things said during a test drive? Most buyers spend no more than 5 minutes learning about their NAV or tech packages and leave the dealership unfamiliar with these aspects of their new vehicle. The problem? In crunch times the user is not familiar with how to use the features – an issue for consumers, dealerships and manufacturers. Have classes for consumers to attend – post purchase – about the cars’ technology and perhaps some one page cheat sheets for them.

Having access via email, text, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook to your dealership’s technology expert is a must.

4. Build a Strong Brand Dealer Reputation
Women rely on car dealer reviews 50% more than men. It makes sense, they want to get their car buying right and avoid any mistakes. They prefer to buy from well-reputed and trusted dealers rather than just any dealer. To build strong brand reputation and attract more women buyers, dealers can get reviews from women buyers at their dealership and train their sales team to deliver the ultimate car buying experience to every customer who walks in the store.

5. Acknowledge Mistakes and Show Customers They are Valued
It is difficult for business to acknowledge their mistakes. When it comes to client retention, “holding up your hand” in business, is paramount. For example, when it comes to Reviews – keep it real and be transparent. Always ask to have a one-on-one discussion with the consumer via telephone to get the understanding and resolution quicker. Market your dealership in such a way so that all customers feel included and a valued part of the process.

Approaching that conversation with the elements of validation, humbleness, appreciation and gratitude are helpful to having the customers feeling valued and the issue put to rest.

Delivering value added services is the core of enjoying a growing customer base. Positioning your dealership in this way – and clearly communicating these services – makes clients and potential customers feel that your business is working in the clients’ best interest rather than just ‘selling cars and making money.’

Women’s Wednesday #18: 7 Ways to Leverage Sales to Women and Increase CSI Now

In today's Womens Wednesday, we focus on selling to women. Let's get real: Research indicates that women rely on reviews 50% more than men. They account for 52% of the vehicles purchased in the US and influence over 80% of the total purchases! So developing a marketing strategy to target this substantial buying segment is critical. Wouldn’t becoming a Certified Women-Drivers Dealer be a great first step?

7-Ways to Leverage and Merchandise your Certification to Increase Sales and CSI
Leverage your Women-Drivers Certification by distinguishing your dealership from others in your city! Advertising the Certification like this shows women that you are serious about their business and treat them exceptionally. Over one-third of women buyers feel that the dealership website that they visited was not helpful. So that is an excellent place to start!

1. Integrate the Women-Drivers Car-Buying and Service Guide into your website. The WCBSG is a micro-site within your site that contains an abundance of content and tips for women on many areas of shopping and servicing vehicles and is a clear indication that you appreciate their business. CLICK HERE for more information. Make sure you include the WCBSG in your navigation and main site rotator.

2. Incorporate the Women-Drivers logo into your website. Include it in main navigation items such as About Us, New Cars, Used Cars and Service and Parts. Provide a link to your reviews.

3. Be a ZMOT practitioner. Incorporate W-D Reviews on your VDP’s to take advantage of that Zero Moment of Truth when the shopper is trying to determine if you have the Right vehicle and if you’re the Right dealership for her!

4. Improve your Women-Drivers conversion ratio by including your Certified Logo and status in every lead response to female shoppers. Let them know that you are the only, or one of few, W-D certified dealers in your town and provide them a link to your reviews.

5. Make your reviews more engaging. With our mobile platform and photo upload system, you can get a positive review AND take a picture of your happy customer with their new vehicle, right at time of delivery. This will make your reviews much more engaging and more likely to be shared by your women buyers. Remember all Women-Drivers positive reviews are automatically pushed to Facebook.

6. Targeting your Digital Advertising. One of the best ways to reach women these days is on Pandora radio. Its unique format and technology allows you to target JUST women. One of the neat aspects of Pandora radio is your radio ads come with “companion” digital display ads. So you could create a digital ad specifically targeting women and link the ad to the WCBSG on your website. Pretty cool!

7. Traditional Advertising still strong among women. As you know, there are certain TV and Cable shows geared specifically towards women. Your rep can show you the research and put together a buy to target women. Using your W-D Certified Logo, produce a commercial specifically designed to reach women and leverage your certification and desire to make their shopping experience both pleasant and productive.

Want to Sell More Cars and Distinguish your Dealership to Women?
Click here

Did you receive a Free copy of the 2014 Women’s Car Buying Report? Click here

 
Good Selling!

Women’s Wednesday #17: (Don’t Say) “We Treat Everyone the Same”

Today we focus on customization when selling to women. When dealership personnel say that they “treat everyone the same,” what that really means is that they greet prospects consistently and similarly with a sales process – whether in person or digitally. However, having the capacity and ability to treat each customer the same simply can’t be accomplished. It sounds nice as a concept, but after all we are humans, not robots. We can’t be shaped and programmed to treat everyone the same. And, who would want that anyway? Certainly not your customers. But, it’s more than semantics.

It Simply Isn’t True
Does a physician treat all her patients the same? Does your child’s teacher treat all his students the same? Of course not. They would have a pretty bad reputation if they did. Why? Each patient has his own well-being issues and each student performs at her own learning style that is personal to them. Why would it be any different for a client or customer purchasing a car? What brings them in, their finances, influencing factors, comfort and ability to negotiate are all personal and individual.

Don’t Let Past Experiences Interfere with Sales
It’s important to advise and remind your sales team not to let their past experiences interfere with their sales engagement. But that is much easier said than done! Folks who sell cars are just like us all; sometimes those experiences from the past influence the way we behave in the present. It’s largely because each and every one of us has a neurological make-up filled with fright and flight responses. Let’s take a closer look.

Sales advisors interact with numerous customers every day. The good, bad and ugly experiences, behaviors, reactions and emotions of previous situations are all stored in the human brain. When confronted with a similar situation, whether consciously or not, elicits reactions based on past recollections, right? A dealerships’ sales team undergoes the same level of training. How is it that some sales advisors are very engaged and sell to women with ease? Others, even seasoned ‘car guys’, may get through it, but have less comfort and success.

Customized Treatment is Critical
Today is about customization, both in offering tangible and intangible services. The same holds true in selling and approaching customers. Using the same opening line to sell customers equally isn’t going to work. Being ‘customer-focused’ means going the extra mile in delivering quality experience to each customer individually according to their preferences.This means dealerships must ensure that their team of experts on the sales floor and BDC don’t deliver cookie cutter lines, openers, or emails to customers; but rather understand each customer as well as possible. That’s what customers are now looking for. Not, just a sales exchange. Wow, it’s a tall order!

Understanding the customer is more crucial today because our industry is shifting from male to female-focused, leaving dealership management trying to truly understand this growing market segment. It’s time to break away from some idea that you are ‘treating everyone the same’ and start to deliver tailored treatment to each customer.

For 7 Tips on How to Customize the Customer Experience, and more on this topic Click here to read

Want to Sell More Cars and Distinguish your Dealership to Women?
Click here

Did you receive a Free copy of the 2014 Women’s Car Buying Report? Click here

 
Good Selling!