Ninety-eight percent of technicians are men, so it’s not hard to see why women feel auto shops don’t understand women. When you’ve got a staff that’s dominantly composed of one gender, it’s easy to forget the other. Here are five things your team needs to understand about how female drivers think.
1. They don’t buy auto repair—they buy our service.
Because women generally don’t understand auto repair, they don’t really care how qualified you are per se. We know that is not that’s not entirely true—they do care. But because they have an information blockage, qualification is not the most important thing in their minds. Women are more interested in your personal character.
What led you to become an auto professional? How does it feel to help people get back on the road? Why are your technicians better and different from other technicians? Answer these questions through your actions and behaviors. You’ll connect with women and make them want to come back.
2. They like to know they’re getting a good deal.
Women love a good sale. Yes, that’s a stereotype, but let’s be real: It’s true more often than not. This is why you’ll see a lot more women than men braving a trip to Target on Black Friday. Eek!
Some women might tell you: “I need to do this repair/service, but I’d like to compare prices first.” Don’t let her walk out the door! Instead, reply with: “I understand you want to get a good deal. Let me make your life easier. I’ll go ahead and pull up our competitor’s prices right now…”
Here’s another idea. A lot of auto shops won’t list their prices online. But you can use websites like RepairPal to find the average cost of different services. Share that total with curious drivers. If your price is significantly different, explain why. Maybe it’s a simple: “Our crew is so skilled that we promise to do the job right the first time. Other shops aren’t so confident. Quality has a cost.”
3. They are afraid of being taken advantage of.
Women don’t want to be the victim of a scam. They’ve heard plenty of stories about females who got preyed on by a dishonest auto shop. Thus, they might be leery at first.
It takes time to overcome this hurdle. You’ll need to be 100 percent transparent about repair prices. And you can’t catch a woman off guard with a cost she wasn’t expecting. She won’t come back.
The most important thing is to get permission before additional repairs. Ask your service advisor to get a phone number for every customer. If your crew identifies an issue, call the driver. Explain why the repair is necessary (in plain English!) and ask for her to authorize it.
4. They want to learn how their car works.
Women aren’t disinterested in cars. They just haven’t been asked, “Would you like to learn?” Why not solve that problem? That sounds like the most proactive thing you could possibly do!
It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. Show her how to pop open her hood and check fluids. Point out the scheduled maintenance in her owner’s manual and explain why it’s good to follow. Ask her, “What else are you curious to know?” Answer her questions. She’ll be so appreciative!
5. They will talk about their experience.
Women love to save loved ones from trouble. If they eat at a restaurant to die for, they’ll tell their friends in a Facebook status. If they get mistreated by a technician, they’ll warn everybody.
No matter how awesome or awful a woman’s experience is, rest assured she WILL talk about it. If your customer service is poor, this can wreck your online reputation. Reviews are a big deal. Make sure women have nothing but wonderful things to say about your auto shop.
Every auto shop should care about making women feel comfortable. We need to prove men and women are treated equally by the auto industry. Otherwise, our reputation will continue to suffer. Share this article with any auto professionals you know. They’ll appreciate the insights.