The Female Car Buying Experience: Journey Through Her Eyes
Why does it matter; why should you tailor the brand experience to the Decision Maker; the woman?
Besides the fact that women are the original social media, sharing their stories of outstanding experiences and happenings in life with just about anyone that will listen, they have now been given a platform to spread their message far and wide, and the whole world is listening. On the opposite end of exceptional experiences an inconsistent and disjointed experience (which is what most women receive when shopping for a vehicle); women will share these stories with the same passion as they do the good ones.
Women are also the Chief Purchasing Officer in their home and are the number one referral source. Carl Sewell, the author of Customers for Life, states that the lifetime value of a customer equates to $517,000. By not curating an experience for the female buyer not only are you losing her lifetime value, but you are also losing the potential of her referral network, and with the social platform she is handed; Ms. Social will let the world know her opinions on a massive scale.
Let’s face it; although we would like to have seen a more significant shift in gender equality through the years, there hasn’t been a huge leap forward. 85% of the world’s executives are still men, and in the car industry, men hold over 80% of the positions within dealerships. This means that the car shopping experience is still designed by men, for men, and delivered by men. The urgency to flip the lens, put ourselves in the shoes of the world’s most influential consumers and create standards that help sales associates create an experience that lives up to her expectations is even more prevalent as women will walk away and choose another dealer to purchase from.
Want to know why it’s important to focus on her experience? The female consumer has a direct impact on your top line and future success!
Here are five tips to tailor your brand experience to the Decision Maker; The Woman.
1. Understand the Decision Maker.
It’s important to remember when creating a Consumer Persona for the female consumer that she wants to be understood first as a woman and second as a consumer. Flip the lens, understand your consumer’s life stages in order to tailor and personalize the experience you offer.
2. Journey through her eyes.
Once you have a 30,000-foot view of the female consumers that shop with you it’s time to break down the journey from her perspective. Perception is the customer’s reality. When designing a program for the female consumer (or any consumer or employee), it is imperative that the experience is designed from their point of you. The golden rule that grandma preached; treat others the way you want to be treated is a thing of the past. You must live by the platinum rule; treat others the way they need or want to be treated.
3. Create real relationships.
One of the most significant differences between male and female consumers is that women WANT to create a relationship with the sales associate; whereas men could go either way. In a recent study I lead, 69% of the female participants said that the sales associate didn’t take time to get to know her, the same 69% also said that they didn’t trust the sales associate. Women crave connection. Her decisions are driven by the way she feels about you, your brand and the experience you provide.
4. Train for EQ.
If a team member has high EQ, they will be able to execute tip 2 & 3, without this creating a real relationship and a tailored experience becomes very tough. It’s important to have the skills and knowledge to do the job; however, we can train most of these skills. One of the top reasons women walk out of dealerships is because they don’t like the way they were approached or treated. Those with high EQ can read people’s nonverbal cues and can adjust their approach based on the needs of each consumer.
5. Be consistent.
As I have mentioned, building a trust account with your female consumer base is extremely important when it comes to her desire to purchase a vehicle and refer you. Consistency is a key factor in the trust she has in you.
Each one of these tips will help to create an experience that will promote a female-friendly environment and increase the number of females shopping in your dealership, which untimely will increase your CSI results on all fronts.