Make a Friend. Make a Sale. Make Her a Lifelong Customer.
Unfortunately, the auto repair business has a tainted past when it comes to taking advantage of women. It’s just a fact. And there’s still residual distrust that you need to be mindful of, and eliminate. Do your part by respectively empowering women in making informed repair decisions. And while we don’t recommend treating women any differently than men, we do have a few suggestions to help you improve your business to attract female customers.
Keep Things Clean
That means an immaculate seating area with comfortable chairs and perhaps a few kid-friendly items. Keep things clean, uncluttered, kid-safe, and smelling as fresh as possible.
Provide Some Refreshment Options
Consider adding tea, bottled waters, juices and low-fat, wholegrain snack bars. And decent coffee. Really, decent coffee.
Clean Those Bathrooms
Scrub those toilets and sinks, wash the walls, or hire someone to do it right. Keep it well stocked with decent quality paper products as well as scented, moisturizing soap.
Keep Her Connected
There’s a good chance she needs to get things done while waiting, so offer free Wi-Fi and a place to work. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just adequate so she doesn’t lose any more of her time.
Hold Your Workers to the Same Standard
Train all workers to remember what their mother’s always told them, “Mind your manners.”
Speak Her Language
Don’t be aloof but don’t be condescending either. While you don’t want to get overly technical, don’t assume she doesn’t know cars. Make it comfortable for her to ask you what she wants to know and you’ll be her friend.
If you say you’re going to do something, do it. Then send her an email or postcard to thank her for her business. When appropriate, make a short phone call to simply make sure the problem is gone for good. The fact that you were being thoughtful goes a long way.
Host Car Clinics for Women
Cover topics ranging from simple oil changes to jump-starting a dead battery, to recognizing a failed alternator, etc. Make them an open forum where each woman will feel comfortable about asking questions and getting some hands-on experience.
Create and Publish
Provide tutorial videos on your website and social media channels. Let her know you want her to feel comfortable with the topics of car. Moreover, she might share with her network of friends as well.
Create Educational Brochures and Emails
Share some basics of car care. Use MailChimp or ReachMail to send her coupons/specials.
Add An Online Estimate Tool to Your Website
Or link to tools like the Autobytel Car Repair Estimate Calculator or the Service & Repair portal of Cars.com to help her get helpful information.
Get Certified With AskPatty
The AskPatty.com Certified Female Friendly® program is designed for shops to attract, retain and increase loyalty with the female customer through online training, tools and ongoing support.
Prominently Display Certifications
Accreditations and service guarantees in your shop and on your website are great little ads for your credibility.
Encourage Her to Leave Reviews
On key websites like Yelp, Angie's List and City Search - but don't stop there. Respond when possible -even when there's a negative review. Let her know you've heard her and you'll make the problem right.
Make Your Presence Known
Be helpful in the social spaces she goes to. Read Getting social to get sales.
Provide a mixture of auto-related topics (i .e., commuting, safety when traveling, traffic, etc.) written from a fun and personable point of view.
Include Photos and Videos
Share highlights of employees, putting faces to names, and bring a certain level of familiarity and comfort with your shop.
Showcase Female-Friendly Community Involvement
Participate in fundraisers that cater to women.