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.
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  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.

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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.

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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:

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  • 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.

Women’s Wednesday #26: Overselling: What is it Costing You?

Selling cars to women takes a confident equipped sales person with a high level of communication skills, personal engagement and EQ. Women visit 30% more dealerships and may take a longer time in the shopping funnel than men. Patience is another key aspect to making a sale. Understanding when to stop pitching ideas and pull back is extremely important. Going overboard can be perceived as annoying or assertive an end up being a deal-breaker.

Surefire Signs of Overselling
Here are some signs of overselling. These show shoppers may be changing their minds and no longer interested. Paying attention to these can help your sales team pull back when they start overselling without realizing it.

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1. Shopper becomes Distracted – When customers get busy with their phones while having a conversation with their salesperson, this is an indication that Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram are winning. It shows the potential buyer is losing interest and could leave soon if their interests or needs are not piqued.

2. Unease in Body Language – Body language, like averting eye contact and fidgeting, can be signs that are not hard to miss. These body movements show that customers are tired of listening to the pitch. They may believe their salesperson is trying to assert his/her personal opinion on them regardless of understanding what it is they want. This can cause frustration.

Did You Know?

One of the main reasons women go to more dealerships is NOT price. Rather, it’s because they want to get their buying experience “right”. If that initial engagement doesn’t go as well as they want, they will leave your dealership and go elsewhere. The sale and residual revenue have been lost forever. What’s the cost of your cumulative lost sales due to poor first engagement?

3. Moving Away From Salesperson – When women shoppers begin to move away, it shows the salesperson might have overdone it. This is the time to stop focusing on techniques and check in by asking them questions on their interest.

Tips to Avoid Overselling
1. Understanding what women buyers want and need is the key. Instead of pitching ideas right from the beginning, provide a space for women to express themselves. Ask questions and then ask some more. This is the best way to learn what their car buying needs are. It also provides a great opening to get related, so there is a connection; women buy when there is trust and respect provided. Listen to them first and then pitch ideas.

2. Friendly sales people are easier to talk to and women feel more comfortable around them. They find friendly salespersons more likeable. Our research shows that likeability is one of the top factors that help close a deal.

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.

Top Benefits of Car Leasing

For new car buyers financing their purchase is a big concern. Thoughts like ‘is leasing a better choice than cash payments’ is a very valid and important consideration. Let’s walk through the top benefits of car leasing and under what considerations it can be the best choice for buyers.

To begin with, leasing is not only a dollars and cent question, it is also a matter of personal taste, lifestyle and priorities. For example, if you want to drive and experience the pleasure of luxury driving but the car you want exceeds your budget, then leasing may be the best way to finance your car.

It is important to understand that leasing is typically a 3 year agreement. At the end of the term the owner must return the vehicle for a trade in or purchase the car outright. Terminating the contract before 36 months will lead to excess charges. Leasing brings with it a mileage limitation between 10,000 and 15,000 miles a year. If the owner surpasses the agreed on mileage, again, penalties will be added on when the lease is over.

Here are the benefits that you can enjoy through this mode of car financing.

Get More Car for Less Money

Unlike car loans that are based on the full price of the car, a lease is based only on he percentage of the car’s price. In other words, when you purchase a $32,500 car with a traditional loan, the full purchase price will be financed. However, through a lease you pay pay the difference between the car’s price and its residual value (the car’s worth at the end of the lease). Let’s assume your car’s residual value is 55% after three years. This means that the $32,500 car would be worth $17,875 at the end of the car lease. So, you have to make lease payments on the remaining amount, or, $14,625.

No Down Payment

Most of the lease agreements feature a no down payment option saving you hundreds of dollars. This makes new car purchase much more affordable and stress-free. What’s required at the time of lease is the registration fee and the first month’s lease payment.

Lower Taxes

Contrasting from a regular purchase, there is no sales tax* paid on the value of the leased car. However, in most states, do expect to pay both state and local sales tax when leasing.

*In some states including Minnesota, Ohio, Illinois, Texas and New York, individuals who lease are required to pay the entire sale tax up front. This payment is based either on the total sum of all lease payments or it is calculated on the car’s full sales price.

It is important to know that buyers who lease are mandated by law to carry both comprehensive and collision coverage to their car insurance policy.