Women’s Wednesday #31: Why Do Women Visit More Dealerships Than Men?

Women visit 30% more dealerships than men when buying a car. Several factors contribute to this variance. According to KBB, women are twice as likely as men to be undecided about which car they want. Add to this the fact that women are less confident (38%) about car buying than men (58%), and take longer to make a decision; 75 days for women vs. 63 days for men.

The tendency for women to shop at more dealerships, coupled with different buying criteria, can be turned into an advantage for any dealership willing to lean in and take the right steps to meet the needs of this emerging segment of car buyers.

4 Ways to Attract Women to Your Store
Check this out — 60% of women do not purchase from the dealership brand closest to their home.

1. Women rely on car dealership reviews 50% more than men and they prefer reading reviews written by women. A dealership will benefit from encouraging happy and satisfied women clients to write reviews. This has an additional benefit, because women who are satisfied will leave a higher-scoring review.

2. Nearly one-third of women report their dealer’s website as “unhelpful”. Making sure your website appeals to women will keep them on the site longer and help speed a buying decision. This means knowing and highlighting what matters to women, such as durability, safety and economy, not just MSRP.

3. Women rank respect and trust at the top of the list when it comes to working with a sales advisor. Customer excellence ranks higher in a purchase decision than finding the best price or deal. Creating a comfortable environment that establishes trust and respect makes the difference for sales now and in the future.

4. Women now account for half of car purchases and influence up to 80% of auto buying choices. In a study by University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute, women drivers now outnumber male drivers 105.7 million to 104.3. Understanding these statistics and reflecting them in your sales approach and process are important to foster an environment of trust and respect.

Ready to Sell More Cars to Women?
Right now get a FREE TRIAL to the Women-Drivers.com Marketing Program. CLICK HERE to have a dealer advocate contact you with details.

Women’s Wednesday #30: 5 Ways to Deliver an Outstanding Service Drive Experience to Women | Lexus 300h Review

Women are responsible for two-thirds of the vehicles brought in for repair. Dealerships who understand this and seek to deliver the ultimate customer experience will reap the rewards at their service drive.

Offering top-notch car services in this department is critical for retaining women clients, as well as for up-selling a new or leased car to them and their family in the future. For a complete dealership experience, here are 5 key features of a women-friendly service department.

1: More Women: Women make up only 1 out of every 5 employees at auto dealers. Adding more female service advisors makes many of your female (and male) customers more comfortable to ask questions about the repair.

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2: Use Technology to Educate: It is essential to adopt modern technologies, instead of just focusing on communicating a repair verbally, especially with women who may be cynical and not trusting about what repair is being recommended.

Use mobile apps, expert illustration content and web based tools to visually explain car repairs with real-time photos and videos, like ClearMechanics.com or others. By presenting hard visual evidence, women will understand repair needs in a quick, clear manner.

3: Comfortable, High Tech Lounge Area and Courtesy Vehicles: Women often wait at the dealerships during repair work. To ensure they feel comfortable and make good use of their waiting time, go beyond just having seats and a TV in the waiting area. Make sure the lounge area has:

  • Comfortable seating
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Play area for kids
  • Impeccably clean restrooms
  • Coffee, Fruit, Water, Soda

More importantly, provide the #1 requested concierge item from women: a courtesy vehicle if their car is going to be in overnight. What will that afford your dealership? Loyalty from moms, business women, single women, divorced women, widowers, etc., who can now independently get themselves home and don’t have to rely on family or renting a car while their car is being serviced.

Don’t leave this for the luxury brands to offer. Regardless of what flagship brand you sell, market the convenience and ease that your dealership delivers.

4: Expand Hours: NADA DATA reports most service department are open 56 hours a week compared to 80 hours on average for a specialty car repair chain store. To deliver top-notch service, consider expanding servicing hours. Research shows that 3 in 10 households are run by single moms, highlighting how women are juggling work, home and children. Getting to the dealerships 3-4 times a year is not the easiest thing to do during the hours of 9 – 6pm. By offering flex hours, women can bring their car to you and you retain more customers.

5: Don’t Just Hear. Listen. Everyone likes it when they are listened to. Put your best listener in the service drive to hear what women say – and, what they don’t say. This department is critical for maintaining retention. How will you know when 4 in 10 women leave your dealership and DON’T return? An unhappy woman will pay the bill, leave your building, and you will never hear from her again.

By listening to what they have to say, women naturally feel more empowered and relaxed. They know that once they have communicated their opinion to the service provider, they will be served better.

Ready to Sell More Cars to Women?
Right now get a FREE TRIAL to the Women-Drivers.com Marketing Program. CLICK HERE to have a dealer advocate contact you with details.

Women’s Wednesday #29: Poor Service Review? How it’s Handled is Key to Your Success | Chrysler 300 Ltd. Review

So, you’ve received a poor review from a woman customer. Now what? First, remember poor reviews will happen. Someone will be unhappy with your dealership at some time. The same happens to Starbucks, Apple and Nordstrom. As long as the poor reviews are infrequent, they really are good news. Why?

  1. Customers expect to see a variety of ratings when reading reviews. If all are “exceptional”, customers will think they aren’t seeing the whole picture.
  2. 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.

  3. You have a chance to correct the issue. Your dissatisfied customer could have not mentioned the problem and just told her friends. Instead, she took the time to tell you about it, and now you have a chance to work on it – and most importantly, the relationship.
  4. It allows other women prospects to see the entire thread and see the larger picture as well as understand how you respond and treat customers.

The key issue for any ‘poor review’ is how you handle it. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Use rating services that allows this type of feedback to be held offline until you have a chance to resolve the problem. (Certified Dealers on Women-Drivers.com allows 10 working days for customer resolution before posting the review.)
  2. Carefully read and note the real issue. Determine if it's a problem you need to address internally. Don’t dismiss it or think it is a one-time problem.
  3. Discuss the problem in a prompt manner with your customer. Be sure to thank her for the feedback and make sure she has been “heard and gotten.” Once the issue is firmly resolved, you may consider:
    1. Offer a service coupon and ask her to give you a chance to make up for the inconvenience.
    2. A follow up call from the Service Advisor of even the GM provides an appreciative touch.
    3. Free car washes or lunch for two can be in order.
  4. Did You Know?

    Customers who leave a bad review have taken the time to tell you about it rather than just walking her business elsewhere. View this as an opportunity rather than a threat and reap the rewards. Customer retention and recognizing the residual revenue in the service drive is paramount. Keeping a customer costs a lot less than getting a new one.

  5. Resolve the issue internally, even if it was a one-time problem. If one customer reported the issue, other customers may have experienced the same thing.
  6. Ask the customer if they are willing to re-write another review based upon this issue being resolved to their satisfaction.

Ready to Sell More Cars to Women?
Right now get a FREE TRIAL to the Women-Drivers.com Marketing Program. CLICK HERE to have a dealer advocate contact you with details.

Women’s Wednesday #28: Summertime is Service Time | 4 Tips to Get Women in for Service Drive Check-ups

The July 4th weekend has passed, and summertime travel is in full swing. It’s a busy time for your women customers, but also the best time for them to have a safety and service check-up. Here are 4 tips for bringing your women customers into your service center.

Did You Know?

The #1 requested item from women in the service drive is a courtesy vehicle? Be sure to provide this and delight your customer when the service work needed on the car will require it to be in the service drive for an overnight or two.

  1. Safety first. Offer content on your web site outlining the need for a summer safety check. Explain what services are recommended and why. No woman wants to be sitting with her family alongside the road waiting for a tow truck or service vehicle.
  2. Offer specials. Create a Summer Service Special targeted toward woman and families. Include a gift basket of summer travel items, including games for the kids, sunscreen and a small first aid kit.
  3. Get the word out. Advertise your service specials on Facebook and your social channels so women clients can share them with their friends.
  4. Think convenience. Women may be trying to juggle work, kids out of school and family vacation planning. Adding a service visit may just seem like one more thing to do on a never ending list. Make your service lounge area extra comfortable for summer visits, so her time is more like a welcome break. Be sure to offer games for the kids, too.

Summertime is a great time to remind your women customers that you are there for them, helping to make their vacation safe, comfortable and convenient. Providing them a summer service special will be something they can add to their list of pre-vacation tasks year after year.

Ready to Sell More Cars to Women?
Right now get a FREE TRIAL to the Women-Drivers.com Marketing Program. CLICK HERE to have a dealer advocate contact you with details.

Women’s Wednesday #27: 3 New Ways to Advertise Effectively to Women | VW Golf Review

Car advertising is heavily slanted towards price. The buying demographic has shifted to women who now make up more than half of the sales, and influence over 80% of the deals. Today, it makes sense to move advertising to accommodate this powerful market sector.

Did You Know?

When women are asked why they bought a car at a particular dealership, the “Sales Advisor” was the #1 reason. “Price” and “Dealership Reputation” tie for second place.

All customers want the “best” deal possible and women are no exception. In fact, 7 of 10 women report that price is a top factor in purchasing a particular vehicle.1

What Does this Mean for Your Dealership?
It means that applying “softer and smarter” factors can improve the overall messaging effectiveness in traditional TV, radio and print advertising. Improved effectiveness increases reach, and provides more advertising dollar value. Let’s take a closer look:

Idea #1: Ensure your advertising conveys reputation, trust and respect. Reviews and scores are subtle forms of advertising that are ongoing, persistent and pervasive. Frankly, they create an evidence-driven reputation. Numbers speak louder than words. Emphasize your dealership’s rankings and how you compare with others in your brand category and geographic area. Consider using:

    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.

  • Customer Testimonials: Authentic and local testimonials will personalize your advertising and convey a customer-centric approach.
  • Reviews, especially reviews from women. Women are 50% more likely than men to read reviews, and prefer reviews written by women.
  • Statistics to convey reputation, e.g., “#1 in customer satisfaction” from reputable sources.
  • Positive words that convey a high level of service: happy, comfortable, delighted, pleasant.
  • Supportive Digital content. Make sure your web site conveys inclusion, with women as an identifiable demographic. Showcase reviews on your home page.

Idea #2: Supplement competitive pricing with specifics that speak to women. Show women (happy women) in your ads. Include a broad demographic. Photos speak volumes and convey emotions. Remember, 50% of car buyers are women; and 53% of millennial buyers are women.

Idea #3: Show that your dealership is more than a showroom full of cars. Be sure your advertising includes:

  • Showcasing your service center. Mention courtesy vehicles, and any other amenities that show the value you place on customer loyalty and an ongoing business relationship. Ensure your advertising promotes the message “when you buy from us, you receive a good price, PLUS you receive great service.” Describe what “that great service is.”

Putting these ideas into practice
Using these ideas can mean a fresh conversation with your creative agency. Let them know what you want to convey as you reach out to women buyers. A comprehensive advertising program is the best way to start the process of customer engagement. Including and targeting your most powerful buying segment will increase your overall advertising success, provide more value from your budget, and drive more dollars to your dealership’s bottom line.

Ready to Sell More Cars to Women?
Right now get a FREE TRIAL to the Women-Drivers.com Marketing Program. CLICK HERE to have a dealer advocate contact you with details.

Who Could Ever Forget His Or Her First Car?—Not Many According To A Michelin Survey

New campaign asks drivers to share their #FirstCarMoment and expand tire safety knowledge

Getting the keys to your first car is a moment that people never forget. For most of us, that car – old, new or somewhere in between – represented a newfound freedom and independence. And of course, that freedom of driving carries an enormous responsibility to stay safe on the road. A new survey commissioned by Michelin North America finds that four out of five Americans can tell you about the make or model of their first car, but only one in five (21 percent) remember the type of tires – a key contributor in road safety.i

The survey also found that:

  • More than half of Americans (58 percent) got their first car before age 18.
  • While half (57 percent) purchased their first car themselves, more than one-third (39 percent) received it from someone else (either as a gift specifically purchased for them or as a hand-me-down).
  • When thinking about their first car, one-third of Americans (33 percent) were not familiar with how to maintain tire tread, and only half (53 percent) kept a tire pressure gauge in the glove box.

While tire safety is critical to consider all year long, summer is a significant time to remind people of its importance. The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day marks the 100 Deadliest Days for teen drivers, based on accident data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and National Safety Council.

This summer, Michelin is kicking off a new effort encouraging consumers to share stories about their #firstcarmoment and learn more about the importance of tire safety.

“As a tire manufacturer focused on road safety for over 125 years, we feel we have an obligation to remind drivers that whether or not their first — or current — vehicle is in the best condition, their tires should be,” said Pierre Barrard, director of marketing, Michelin North America. “Ultimately, we want to reinforce that what matters most is the safety of the driver, their car and its tires.”

Accidents due to improper tire maintenance are preventable, and simple steps can save lives. Checking your tire pressure monthly with a pressure gauge and learning how to properly check tread depth are easy tasks that can help drivers correctly maintain their tires and contribute to overall vehicle safety.

The campaign is an extension of the company’s larger effort increase awareness of road safety. To learn more about the campaign, visit Michelin Man on YouTube. To learn more about tire maintenance and keeping young drivers safe on the road, including how to check tire tread and pressure, visit beyondthedrivingtest.com.

Based on phone survey of 1,009 adults living in the US. ORC fielded the survey from June 4-7, 2015; the survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.1% at a 95% confidence level.