CDK's purchase of Auto/Mate may create a major disruption in the dealer management system (DMS) industry. Here is our take. DOWNLOAD
Women are responsible for two-thirds of the vehicles brought in for repair. Dealerships who understand this and seek to deliver the ultimate customer experience will reap the rewards at their service drive.
Offering top-notch car services in this department is critical for retaining women clients, as well as for up-selling a new or leased car to them and their family in the future. For a complete dealership experience, here are 5 key features of a women-friendly service department.
1: More Women: Women make up only 1 out of every 5 employees at auto dealers. Adding more female service advisors makes many of your female (and male) customers more comfortable to ask questions about the repair.
2: Use Technology to Educate: It is essential to adopt modern technologies, instead of just focusing on communicating a repair verbally, especially with women who may be cynical and not trusting about what repair is being recommended.
Use mobile apps, expert illustration content and web based tools to visually explain car repairs with real-time photos and videos, like ClearMechanics.com or others. By presenting hard visual evidence, women will understand repair needs in a quick, clear manner.
3: Comfortable, High Tech Lounge Area and Courtesy Vehicles: Women often wait at the dealerships during repair work. To ensure they feel comfortable and make good use of their waiting time, go beyond just having seats and a TV in the waiting area. Make sure the lounge area has:
More importantly, provide the #1 requested concierge item from women: a courtesy vehicle if their car is going to be in overnight. What will that afford your dealership? Loyalty from moms, business women, single women, divorced women, widowers, etc., who can now independently get themselves home and don’t have to rely on family or renting a car while their car is being serviced.
Don’t leave this for the luxury brands to offer. Regardless of what flagship brand you sell, market the convenience and ease that your dealership delivers.
4: Expand Hours: NADA DATA reports most service department are open 56 hours a week compared to 80 hours on average for a specialty car repair chain store. To deliver top-notch service, consider expanding servicing hours. Research shows that 3 in 10 households are run by single moms, highlighting how women are juggling work, home and children. Getting to the dealerships 3-4 times a year is not the easiest thing to do during the hours of 9 – 6pm. By offering flex hours, women can bring their car to you and you retain more customers.
5: Don’t Just Hear. Listen. Everyone likes it when they are listened to. Put your best listener in the service drive to hear what women say – and, what they don’t say. This department is critical for maintaining retention. How will you know when 4 in 10 women leave your dealership and DON’T return? An unhappy woman will pay the bill, leave your building, and you will never hear from her again.
By listening to what they have to say, women naturally feel more empowered and relaxed. They know that once they have communicated their opinion to the service provider, they will be served better.