Annual Report Reveals Trends in Vehicle Service Scores Among Women
Sixty-two percent of car buying women report that they return to the dealerships where they first purchased their vehicles to then have them serviced or repaired. That statistic highlights the potential to grow value among this critical market segment.
Changing family dynamics have put women squarely in the driver’s seat, with an estimated one half of all cars sold being purchased by women—who are then directly responsible for decisions involving vehicle maintenance and service appointment scheduling.
This makes offering post-sales service on her terms a value proposition worth embracing.
“If a courtesy vehicle is available for her use, make that known, as the company reports that 67.5 percent of women ranked it No. 1 on their concierge item wish list.”
The 2017 U.S. Women’s Car Dealer Report published by Women-Drivers.com outlines women’s Top 15 rankings of the Vehicle Service experience by brand. Key findings from that annual report follow.
It All Adds Up
With 4,653 female drivers weighing in, the 2017 U.S. Women’s Car Dealer Report presents game-changing data that offers a combined view of the outcomes of car buying experiences for women who rated car dealers and completed opt-in surveys.
That data adds up, providing insights auto dealers nationwide can benefit from—especially those who are looking for ways to increase their engagement rates, as well as:
- Dealer Satisfaction Scores – High trust and comfort levels are must haves for women.
- Fixed Operations Income – Service alerts and courtesy vehicles keep her coming back.
- Future Purchase & Referral Rates – Listening without interrupting earns repeat business and valuable referrals from her.
Numbers in parentheses represent aggregates of each brand’s individual Women Satisfaction Index®, or WSI, score according to Service reviews posted for branded dealerships. Scores range from 1.0 (lowest) to 5.0 (highest).
Top (15) Brands by Women’s Service Experience
- Volvo (4.95)
- Mercedes-Benz (4.93)
- Audi (4.91)
- BMW (4.90)
- Porsche (4.89)
- Lexus (4.88)
- Ford (4.84)
- Volkswagen (4.82)
- Jeep (4.71)
- Chevrolet (4.64)
- Honda (4.63)
- Nissan (4.63)
- Lincoln (4.62)
- Dodge (4.58)
- Subaru (4.54)
Driving her back onto the lot for vehicle servicing need not be an arduous task.
Becky Nixon is an industry authority and thought leader with 32 years of experience who ensures the profitable functioning of automotive servicing, parts and body work departments. As Director of Fixed Operations Training for David Lewis & Associates, she offers the following insights.
“Psychologists tell us that women are generally detail-oriented and inquisitive by nature,” Nixon explains. “Yet, many dealership Service Advisors continue to educate customers the old-fashioned way. Instead, when advising a female customer on a particular need or maintenance task involving her vehicle, explain—in detail: what’s needed, why a problem occurred and what the repairs entail.”
“Convenience being the key, all recommended repairs or maintenance must come with an honest and definitive timeline attached.”
Feedback received from women who turn to Women-Drivers Certified Trusted Dealers confirms Nixon’s advice. They want their questions answered, their cars serviced in a timely manner and a service experience that makes them feel better about their initial purchases.
“As a woman,” Nixon attests, “I tend to trust knowledgeable and comprehensive feedback or instruction on matters of a particular concern to me. Dealership service personnel are trained, by manufacturers and brands, to recognize that building trust among female customers opens up new possibilities in future vehicle sales.”
In that way, making women feel heard, appreciated and understood goes a long way toward earning their repeat business—and referrals.
The Last Word on Service
There already exists a time frame during which women return to the original dealership for recall repairs or mandatory service visits associated with vehicle warranties. To keep them coming back for service after those first few years have passed, it is imperative to offer relationship-building perks which distinguish the service bay.
They include free car washes and once yearly ‘we-appreciate-your-business’ detailing offers. At a minimum, dealerships should offer comfortable seating in lounge areas, Wi Fi connectivity with nearby power outlets, entertaining play areas for children, clean restrooms and refreshment stations stocked with quality coffee, tea, water and healthy snacks.
Another way to ensure auto dealer success, in the vehicle servicing arena, is to adopt marketing strategies that speak to women’s concerns. A dealership’s website and e-newsletters are great avenues for targeted advertising and innovative selling strategies, if they shed light on service offerings of benefit to her and provide a deeper understanding of maintenance procedures.
Women frequently scan these resources for links and data that help them assess a potential need for repairs (i.e., worn out windshield wipers, squeaky breaks) and schedule oil changes or other routine visits. Labeling that content as educational or aimed at ensuring their families’ safety can also boost a dealership’s brand image and trust among female customers.
If a courtesy vehicle is available for her use, make that known, as the company reports that 67.5 percent of women ranked it No. 1 on their concierge item wish list. The same goes for other service-related perks, which leave a lasting impression and are just what women are looking for.
Author: Anne Fleming
Anne Fleming is president of Women-Drivers.com. The company has innovative solutions to assist dealers in showcasing their trust + commitment to women buyers and in turn expand their sales to this powerful buying segment.