Combine the proper ingredients to boost your bottom line
By Anne Fleming
Many combinations of formulas can work, but finding the optimal chemistry with women customers can seem complex.
Use this handy chart from Women-Drivers.com as a guide for creating the right synergy with your female customers and reap the benefits of a better bottom line.
Think of the dealership web site as the first stop in the shopping experience for your potential customers and leads. The idea for a new car may come late at night, and having a easy-to-use, informative web site a few clicks away can be the means to a successful engagement.
Facebook, Twitter and your dealership’s web site are likely to be a shopper’s next stops after your web site. What kind of Internet chemistry are you creating? Is your web site appealing and personal? More importantly, will it engage your buyers? A good web site is one that lets a shopper follow an easy path to desired information, including reviews and car searches. And don’t forget about demographics. Web sites should always show your target demographic, including women in various life stages. Value-add content will help to bring shoppers and customers back again. In today’s mobile-enabled world, a web site needs a proper mobile version that can be easily navigated and viewed. Lead generation is a must, and short and sweet is the right formula in the Internet world.
Social media is a great way to engage customers in a more personal way. Fun and interesting tweets and posts will send your message across the social network. Responding to customer questions and comments is a must-do. Daily posts show that your dealership is actively engaging with your customers, prospects and leads. Video testimonies from your happy customers can deliver a powerful message to social media followers. Facebook and Twitter are perfect ways to get the word out about special events and offers. But, be clear, never lead with offers and “do you wanna buy” posts. Be a trusted resource and provide educational and engaging lifestyle and life-stage content. Be sure to pay attention to demographics. Reviews by women for women will bring great results, as women rely on reviews more than men.
The objective of a web site and social media activities is to provide effective communication and digital advertising, but traditional advertising still matters. Anyone can advertise a car; good advertising sells the dealership and service center, too. Offer women-centric ads that address what matters to women buyers, like safety and practicality. Differentiating from the competition is critical. Everyone offers the best price and experience so it is important to seek ways to convey trust and show that your dealership is more convenient and will be there for her during servicing and for her next car purchase. Advertising chemistry should be one of engagement and service.
Perceptions about a dealership will begin to form as soon as a woman prospect or client walks in the front door. Aesthetics matter, so be sure to make a good first impression. Flowers, artwork, fresh paint and a warm environment can add comfort to what can be a stressful experience. When your customers see a balanced workforce that reflects your demographic, it shows that you are heading into the future.
When a woman shopper walks into the showroom, sales advisors have the task of creating the chemistry of direct engagement. A good impression is mandatory, and goes beyond a good appearance and friendly demeanor. Successful sales advisors will be respectful, trusted advisors who can quickly discern needs and priorities. Emotional Intelligence is a key part of a successful formula. Being able to perceive a woman’s emotions during the buying process can make the difference between a good sale and a lost sale – a reaction that ignites or fizzles. Effective sales advisors are excellent listeners who understand that they are selling the dealership and years of potential service. A woman client is buying things that go beyond transportation, including freedom, confidence or caring for her family.
F & I
The Finance and Insurance Department typically can create stressful reactions, and a customer may engage in self-doubt in this phase. Did she get a fair price? Can she really afford the payments? Is this really the right decision? At this stage, a woman buyer will look for reassurance, a seamless transition and straightforward answers. If she becomes frustrated and leaves, odds are 6 in 10 that she will not return and she will buy from a competitor. The deal is nearly done; don’t let it fizzle out.
Creating good service chemistry is every bit as important as finalizing the car buying deal. This critical relationship can deliver revenue to your dealership for five to eight years, and can result in a customer returning again to buy a new car. Don’t wait for your customer to have to make a choice when it comes to service. Create the chemistry immediately by offering coupons for the next oil change.
Showcase comfort and convenience during this less than welcome task. A courtesy vehicle is a must, as well as a comfortable waiting area with Wi-Fi. Dealerships that build great chemistry go beyond the standard offerings and provide healthy snacks and beverages, PlayStations and child play areas as well as a workout room and business lounge. A waiting customer can be offered educational videos to learn more about her car and servicing. Consider adding retention programs like birthday cards and coupons, bring a friend events, women’s seminars and frequent customer rewards. When she picks up her car, she will thank you for that car wash and vacuum. Be sure she knows that the service you provide is trustworthy and safe.
What is the best way to create chemistry that ensures a good reputation? A Director of Customer Experience can take a true pulse of your customer’s journey and chart course corrections if necessary. Solicit fair and accurate reviews, thanking and acknowledging your customer’s contribution to your dealership’s success and fostering transparency. Be sure to use reviews by and for women in your advertising, outbound emails, web site and social media.
Your Ideal Buyer
Knowing the chemistry of an ideal woman buyer will help create goals during the sales and service process. Continually refining the customer journey can increase the number of ideal buyers at the dealership. Fostering confidence and comfort during interactions means that a woman customer can drive away in a car that she loves, feeling satisfied and excited about the purchase. Feelings of empowerment ensure that communications are thorough and effective. If she has a question about her car deal, she knows exactly who to call. She is willing and eager to share her exceptional experience with others, and give glowing reviews and referrals. When it comes time to trade up, she doesn’t hesitate to return to your dealership for her next vehicle. And the chemistry continues.