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Home / Articles / Columnists / Happy Motoring /  Are Repair Shops Missing Out on Catering to Women?
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Friday, February 8,2019

Are Repair Shops Missing Out on Catering to Women?

By Teresa Aquila  

Purchasing an automobile is the second largest purchase a person makes next to owning a home. In today’s world of automotive technology, car features seem to change by the day. Researching a car that will suit your needs and personal desires is a must before heading out into the world of car salespeople.

I am not one who enjoys visiting car dealerships. Before you even exit out of your car, the sales staff is preying on you like a buzzard looking for their daily meal, hoping to land a sale and a nice commission.

Women are single purchasers of automobiles these days. Statistics show that In the U.S., there are half a million women actively looking to buy a new car at any given time. They have a serious influence on all automotive purchases (85 percent), from the showroom to the service lane. Yet, 74 percent of women feel misunderstood by the automotive industry. Between buying new cars and getting them serviced, women spend about $200 million in the US. That’s a staggering statistic for sure!

With the shift in automobile ownership, women are 65 percent of licensed drivers in the United States. The question is, are businesses like dealerships, autobody and auto repair shops considering catering to women? Corporations own a fair share of most repair shops, mainly made up of the male gender, so understanding their customer base is important to their bottom line. To stay competitive, these shops need to reconsider their approach to all customers, not just women. Although more women are branching out into this mostly maledominated industry, and opening up shop with quite a following.

Women may not know or understand what the shop is explaining to them when it comes to their car’s repairs, so don‘t try using fancy terminology as a scare tactic. What women want is to be listened to and valued, not talked down to and feeling helpless. Shops are in business to make a profit, upselling is one place to do that. Upselling helps pad the bottom line. A lot of times, these upsells are unnecessary for the car owner, and women fall prey to this. The shops use scare tactics to lure them into accepting their evaluation and signing the work order to complete the repair.

“The old stereotype of women being fearful and at a disadvantage going into a car dealership seems less true than ever. The world where millennials grew up differed greatly from that of older generations,” said Jessica Caldwell, director of industry analytics at Edmunds. “For many, both parents worked, and they made equally financial decisions, which is reflected in their different attitudes toward gender roles in car shopping.”

Are women in fact as good as men at car shopping? Neither Edmunds nor anyone else appears to have gathered broad empirical data. But in a small survey of 2,500 people by the leasing site Swaplease.com, women reported having negotiated lower monthly lease payments on mainstream brands.

I have seen my fair share of shops where their atmosphere is far from female-friendly. The days of making the waiting room look like someone’s man cave is no longer acceptable.

Women expect the shops to be more appealing, not intimidating and dirty.

The bathroom is one place to start.

Having a hook on the stall door is a plus since most women carry a handbag, and the thought of placing it has its own issues. Brownie points for offering snacks, tv, wifi, while they wait; or even better, a shuttle service so they don’t have to wait there at all. Women will most likely have kids in tow when they need to visit a repair shop, so having an area for kids to occupy their time with toys is an added plus.

With the 21st century come changes, and as a potential car buyer, or a current owner, make sure you are in charge of your cars repairs. The woman of today knows her mind. She is unstoppable once she gets going. She embodies the quintessential spirit of the 21st century. Carter to your customers and watch the bottom line grow.

Happy Motoring!

 

 

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