Make your shop more attractive to female customers
Women are increasingly the decision-makers and the spenders when it comes to automotive care and maintenance, so creating a female-friendly culture and retail experience makes good business sense.
One the most obvious and marketable ways to demonstrate your commitment to your female customers is by achieving an accreditation with AskPatty.
AskPatty.com is a specialist online resource that provides expert automotive advice for women. On the site, women can find AskPatty.com Certified Female Friendly dealers, service centers and retailers in their area and useful information on all aspects of automotive care.
It also offers auto dealers, tire dealers, collision centers and auto service and repair centers the opportunity to become AskPatty.com Certified Female Friendly. AskPatty’s training and certification program shows them how to attract, sell, retain and increase loyalty with female customers.
Why should I become female-friendly certified?
The number of female driver’s license holders in the U.S., at 51 percent, now exceeds the number of males, and this trend is consistent across all age groups over 25. According to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), more than 65 percent of customers who take their vehicles to a repair shop for service and repair are women — and ASE president Ronald H. Weiner says that figure is only set to grow.
“More and more women are deciding where to take their car, minivan, light truck or sport utility for service and repair,” he said.
“As this trend continues, females will represent the majority of customers with whom technicians and service managers must communicate.”
Despite being the auto industry’s best customers and spending more than $200 billion every year buying new cars and servicing their vehicles, women say they hate going to auto repair shops. Many say it is worse than going to the dentist.
Women say they believe they are treated less positively than male customers and are overcharged, when what they really want is to be informed customers and receive top-quality customer service. So catering for female customers makes sense and secures loyal, repeat customers.
Why does it work?
“Women expect Nordstrom-quality service everywhere they shop, but they rarely find it,” said AskPatty.com chief executive Jody DeVere.
“Our Certified Female Friendly Locations provide this level of service and women love it.”
DeVere said that women overwhelmingly want great customer service and will return time and time again to a store that provides it. They will also tell their friends and make recommendations. However, bad customer service means they won’t return, almost all will tell people about it and a great deal will comment negatively online.
“So here’s the bottom line — delivering an outstanding experience for women is the best form of marketing,” she said. “AskPatty delivers an increase in customer satisfaction ratings, sales, referrals and increased loyalty with women.”
In figures, AskPatty reaches 30 million women per quarter, making it the premier online destination providing automotive advice for women in the U.S. and Canada. There are 3,700 AskPatty-certified businesses.
Mike Mitsos, owner and vice president of Mountain View Tire, which has 30 locations throughout California, said the company definitely sees more female customers than male and working with the AskPatty.com team has opened his eyes to the detailed attention and focus that female customers have “come to expect and quite frankly, deserve.”
“AskPatty.com has shown us ways to connect, identify with and retain this huge customer base,” he said. “The AskPatty.com micro website drives female consumers to our outlets and provides the user a wealth of automotive knowledge and insight. There are way too many benefits to list.”
How do I get on board?
The AskPatty.com Certified Female Friendly program is designed to help staff better understand and communicate with female customers and ultimately attract, increase and retain loyalty with women. Certification involves a 3.5-hour interactive video training and testing, and there is ongoing training in the form of monthly webinars and additional courses.
For more information, watch the introductory video.