The difference in today’s market is that brand loyalty isn’t what it used to be. Women make purchases because they believe you’re selling something they need and perhaps saving them money, but they also know they have many options. A single bad experience with you can result in her making a decision to go down the street and taking her business elsewhere. Your products or services may be similar but the quality of your overall customer service can be why she will prefer to buy from you.
If women have a good experience with your business, they’re more likely to return and spend money again. Positive word-of-mouth is one of the cheapest and most effective means of growing your business and women are the most powerful positive or negative word-of-mouth advertisers. Women are three times as likely as men to tell someone about a personal experience, good or bad.
90% of customers identify word of mouth as the best, most reliable and trustworthy source about ideas and information on products and services (NOP World)
Recommendations from family and friends trump all other consumer touchpoints when it comes to influencing purchases, according to ZenithOptimedia. (AdAge, April, 2008)
Consumers trust friends above experts when it comes to product recommendations (65% trust friends, 27% trust experts, 8% trust celebrities). (Yankelovich)
Customer service for women cannot exceed the quality of the people who provide it. Think you can get by paying the lowest wage, giving the fewest of benefits, doing the least training for your employees? It will show.
Businesses and brands don't sell to women... people do.
Your employees will treat women customers the way they are treated. Employees take their cue from management. Do you greet your employees enthusiastically each day; are you polite in your dealings with them; do you try to accommodate their requests; do you listen to them when they speak? Consistent rude customer service is a reflection not as much on the employee as on management.
Want to know what women customers think of your business? Visit Yelp.com, My3Cents.com and www.consumeraffairs.com to name a few of the many rating sites woman research before visiting your store. What are women saying about their experiences with you? How are women buyers rating you? Reputation management is more important than ever in this very competitive marketplace.
Review users noted that reviews generated by fellow consumers had a greater influence than those generated by professionals. (comScore/The Kelsey Group, October 2007)
Remember that the challenge is as much winning the business of women as in keeping them as loyal happy customers. Each woman’s perception of your business will determine how well you do this and that perception will depend on the level of customer service you provide.
Jody DeVere is the CEO and President of AskPatty.com, Inc., AskPatty.com helps automotive retailers attract, sell, retain and increase loyalty with women customers, certified dealers are held to a high level of customer satisfaction.