Your female customers make buying decisions based not only on how much they like your product or service, but how much they like you as a business owner. If you can make them feel comfortable about you and your company, you will break down some of the barriers selling to your female guests. Surveys reveal that a majority of decisions regarding vehicle repair are now decided by women, whether as single car owners or married household decision makers.
One survey of women drivers reported that 74% of women stated they were responsible for spending on their vehicles maintenance. And while women understand that dirt and grime are a reality of car repair, many of them feel more comfortable in environments that are clean and welcoming. A relaxed and comfortable female guest will return more frequently and will stay longer and perhaps be persuaded to improve her vehicles appearance and functioning in a number of ways.
Consider these things in working with your female guests:
- Describe your customer service first. Make your first conversations with her about your customer service. Emphasize how you take care of your customers and go out of your way to satisfy them. This focus, rather than a sales pitch, will let your female guests know that you care and respect them.
- Engage in relationship sales. Dont rush to close a deal or a sale. Establish rapport with your female customers. Become an advisor on solving problems, rather than a salesperson. Use body language that indicates you are open and generous with your time and attention, and speak about topics other than your products or services. By showing genuine interest in your female customers as people, you may not only get a sale, but you could have repeat sales.
- Provide female guests with testimonials. If other guests rave about you, let people know about it. This can greatly raise the comfort level of new female guests. You dont have to risk alienating anyone by bragging on yourself; let former customers do it. Post customer testimonials on your website and in your store, and dont be afraid to point them out to wary customers.
- Identify her needs. Instead of emphasizing product features, explain the benefits. Once your female guest knows you are interested in meeting her needs rather than selling her a product, the comfort level will increase. Take your time to find out what your female guests really need and want, and then show them how you can meet those desires. This kind of respect engenders comfort and trust.
- Offer money-back guarantees. When you let a female guest know she can have her money back if she is not satisfied, you demonstrate confidence in your product or service and show respect for her. This can raise her comfort level. Though you may occasionally have to refund money, this loss will be offset by the number of repeat customers who are satisfied with your products and services.
M5 Management Services offers various suggestions to make a lounge area more comfortable for your female guests. These include:
- Adding pictures, perhaps even historic or community photographs, of impressive work done by your establishment. Written testimonials are great too. These can be worked into a video or slideshow kept running on a loop in your customer lounge.
- Offering coffee, tea, cookies or popcorn. A popcorn maker can be very inviting for younger visitors to watch and sample from.
- Choosing warmer colors and softer furniture when remodeling to create a more inviting atmosphere.
- Adding other relaxing touches like plants or an aquarium or small fountain.
- Including female-friendly reading choices among your lounges book and magazine collection.
- Giving your customers free (and simple) Wi-Fi access.
- Including a small section for small auto accessories such as air fresheners, wiper blades, and waxes.
While you do not want to make your waiting room over full or untidy with untouched products, many women do not enjoy making a separate trip to the auto parts store and would be happy to pick up new wiper blades when they get their oil changed. Pamphlets or tutorials on how to make small repairs like checking and refilling fluids would also encourage them to be a part of their vehicles care, while cutting nothing from your bottom line.
For women, however, trust trumps convenience when it comes to auto repair. So anything your shop can do to promote the impression that it does good, reliably priced work, is involved with its customers and community, and cares about their experience will help. Annually, women spend upwards of $300 billion on auto repairs and service, so this is not a market you can afford to ignore.