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Do You Have Many Female Customers?


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There is an ever increasing percentage of women that are decision makers in where the family funster goes for repairs. The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association discovered in a recent study, almost 90% of women are now involved in the decision process for their vehicle’s repair and maintenance, 68% of them take the vehicle to the shop themselves, 45% are solely responsible for their auto repair and service decisions.  That is amazing.  Do you have 60% or 70% female clients? What do you do to adapt to this changing dynamic?

 
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A good friend of mine uses TV ads as his main driver for new customers. After seeing that more of his customers were women than men, he decided to move his commercials to "female friendly" shows. HGTV and the like. He saw an immediate drop in his results. After some digging, he found that in married couples, the wife decides how much they're going to spend on car repair, but the husband decides where to take it. This was true in his market, no matter which spouse takes the car to the shop.

This is a generalization of course, and isn't true in all cases, but it was enough to make him move his commercials back to the previous shows.

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We do have a high female customer percentage for our general automotive repair.  (The performance side, not so much.)  Here are a few things we have worked on to gain and keep our ladies as customers.

1.  Our waiting area is female friendly, AND VERY CLEAN.  Our restroom is VERY CLEAN.

2.  Our service writer is very respectful and does not talk down to the customer.  He jokes that he will treat her like his daughter/sister/mother/aunt/grandmother.  He makes sure she understands the what and why of the repairs.  He will also prioritize if there is a laundry list of repairs.  The most common categories are: immediate, soon, before the change of seasons.

3.  Show and tell.  We will bring the customer to the back and show them on their car what is going on.

4.   Honesty.  Before we had our shop, I had a couple of bad experiences with other shops in our town lying to me.  My coolant flush turned into replacing parts that were brand new.  My brake job turned into my brakes never being changed and I was charged for pads, rotors and calipers - my calipers were custom painted and I was told they put new ones on and they all come that custom color and they lost my wheel center cap. I was told it came in without it.  The owner of our shop (my husband) vowed that the experiences I had would never happen to our customers.  

5.  I'm female, I am mostly in the back office, but I wander up front, I answer phones and will make some appointments.  I will chit-chat with the ladies.  They seem to like the fact there is a lady working here.  

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Thanks for your insight PAPShop. I think you will agree, females are relationship buyers. If your shop builds a relationship with them, they are amazingly loyal. Women can quickly go from customer, to client and then become advocates.

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Yea I've noticed that we have a pretty large female customer base that calls the shots AND ive noticed that it's the women that find us online! I always ask customers how they found us, this is a ongoing response: "my wife found you guys online and said you have great reviews."

 

so for me me a lot of times the husband brings the car but the wife finds us online.  Now that's completely different than tv commercials. I can see how it'll work the other way around with tv

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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