5 Ways to Win More Women Customers

Did you know that there are more women driving cars in the US than men? According to the statistics, more than half of drivers on the US roads are women—116 million women compared to 113 million men.

Why is attracting women to your auto shop so important?

It stands to reason that the cars being driven by these millions of women will need service and repair. And those customers need to feel comfortable in your shop, give you good reviews, come back for repeat service, and tell their friends. But many women are unsure about taking their car in for service. It’s still a male-dominated industry, and women often feel left out.

One of the reasons women are nervous about taking their vehicle in for repairs is because they suspect being taken advantage of. According to a study by the  Journal of Marketing Research, some shops were found quoting women higher prices for auto repair.

However, the same study found that this wasn’t the case when a customer mentioned a “benchmark” price for the repair. Shops were more likely to provide a cost reduction if asked by a woman than by a man.

It’s a smart move to provide that price reduction. Shops are doing their best to win business from the female market but may not know how to go about it. Here are some ways you can make women more comfortable in your shop.

How can you add more women to your customer base?

Since women are a sizable chunk of your customer base, it’s a smart decision to cater to their needs. Let’s discuss some ideas to make your shop more female-friendly.

1. Know your customers

Women are vocal and more likely to ask questions. Emily Chung, licensed technician and owner of Auto Niche, uses a technique incorporating “word count” to assess customers. Some will simply talk more, and others less.

“Women talk an average of 3 to 1 versus men, meaning they’re more likely to speak,” says Chung. She has trained her service advisors to recognize these speech patterns and address customers in a way that works with their speaking habits. This requires paying attention and responding to inquiries in a way that smooths the process.

It might help to specialize in cars women are driving too. Research by MarketWatch has revealed that women prefer more practical vehicles, while men prefer more performance-oriented models. The image below lists some popular vehicle models among women.

2. Be transparent

Chung also swears by digital vehicle inspections (DVI), which show repairs through images and documents the required work. Explaining the type of work required, showing the part that needs work, where the service needs to happen, why and when it’s needed, goes a long way to building trust.

It’s reassuring for customers to see the proof of what’s actually going on and have a transparent conversation with a professional. Anyone can appreciate that, especially women, who have their own expectations and standards.

We have an article that tells you everything you need to know about digital vehicle inspections to build customer trust.

3. Keep it clean and functional

One of those expectations and standards applies to cleanliness. Layout your auto repair shop so that it’s easy and safe for everyone on site. Additionally, with women doing multiple things simultaneously, you should consider improving the experience for them while they wait.

Here are some ways to do so:

  • Keep your bathroom and waiting area clean and comfortable to use. A well-lit area with tasteful decor can make your shop more welcoming.
  • Make it safe for kids. Women are usually caregivers and may bring their kids along. Consider making a play area or handing out coloring books to them. Doing so allows you to build a relationship with them.
  • Provide free Wi-Fi access to your customers. Women might want to get some work done on their laptops or phones, or just browse social media. Equip your waiting area with power outlets so that they can charge their devices whenever they need to.
  • Do you offer coffee and snacks? Your reception area should be pleasant and inviting. Is there a magazine or newspaper to read? Snacks and a way to pass the time can really help improve the customer experience!

4. Use social media

An astonishing 75% of Facebook users and 43% of Instagram users are women, says the Pew Research Center. They’re more likely to go online using their phone. That’s another reason for your shop to be active on social media and other online platforms.

Women are very active online and have probably found you via researching various third-party review sites. You should be monitoring those sites, and responding to any reviews, whether positive or negative. Use those channels to promote your shop with timely messaging, promotions, and features.

5. Educate your customers

Another way to use social media is to educate your market about their car, especially the need for items like preventive maintenance, winter tires, etc.

Your staff should take any opportunity they can to inform your customers—women and men alike—about how a service can be a long-term investment, how it can benefit the resale value of the vehicle, and keep it on the road longer.

You may even want to consider holding a special women’s car-care clinic, to educate women on the various parts and functions of a car.

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There are many women drivers on the road, and making them feel comfortable in your shop can win their business. As more women have become the breadwinners and look after their car needs, the industry has tried harder to win them over. Everyone wants to be treated with respect and transparency—it could be the smartest move you can make.

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