Looks like dealers in Italy are struggling to gain the confidence of their female customers, just like some dealers in the United States.
And the potential remedies could help stores on both continents.
According to a study conducted by CDK Global in North America, 43 percent of women in Italy do not trust dealerships.
The research carried out by CDK Global revealed that many women feel uncomfortable when they are looking for a vehicle to buy, precisely because they are women. Analysts at CDK Global scrubbed 64,000 reviews, finding that 43 percent of women do not trust the automotive industry and often describe their buying experience at dealerships in a completely different way than men.
The study found that the reviews and the language used by the customers contain valuable information to understand what is appreciated or not in their experience within the dealerships. The words “stressed,” “confused,” “disregarded,” and “intimidated” were among the top ten most used by women, and many of them, especially in sales and service reviews, said they felt “insecure” or “stupid.”
“It is already known that women are generally not comfortable at dealerships, but research highlights the real extent of the problem,” said Renato Dagostino, general manager of CDK Global Italia.
“In fact, women are increasingly influencing the purchase decisions of the car, which is why it is very important for dealers to make sure they offer women the right shopping experience,” Dagostino continued.
The reviews were divided by department (sales and service) and then further distinguished on the basis of the final judgment. The words most widely used by men and women indistinctly highlight that the most felt need in general is to receive a “fair” treatment from the dealership staff, who is “available” and able to make the customer “happy” at the end of the experience.
However, the results showed significant differences regarding the elements that influence the experience of men and women.
Men, in the reviews, focus much more on the product, while women focus in particular on the interaction with the dealership staff, which highlights the importance of rethinking the “customer experience” reserved for female customers.
For women, “understanding” was the most used in positive sales reviews, often along with other adjectives such as “kind” and “considerate.”
In both sales and service, women have noticed that the “smile” of staff (even those with whom they did not interact directly) contributed to creating a positive experience.
The experts of CDK Global were based on the evidence that emerged from this analysis to suggest the following advice to dealers, aimed at improving the experience of women in dealerships:
—Keep eye contact and smile: Help build a positive climate of trust and a lasting relationship.
—Find out what is important in a vehicle they are looking for: Positive reviews underline the ability to listen and the willingness to understand their specific needs.
—Give clear information: Explaining the various issues in a comprehensive way can eliminate any concerns or doubts of the customer, putting her at ease.
—Giving continuous and constant updates: Many positive reviews include the word “continuously” in relation to communications and interactions with the dealership.
—Offer a welcoming environment at the dealership because the details are important: Provide amenities such as clean bathrooms, WiFi in the waiting area, a children’s area, free drinks and a variety of reading materials.
—Create targeted advertising campaigns: Differentiate messages for women.
Researchers at CDK Global have found that many dealers are already on the right track and that this often positively surprises women who go to the dealership. The results show that dealers can seize the opportunity to stand out as companies that are particularly attentive and sensitive to female customers.
For more information on CDK Global in Italy, visit www.cdkglobal.it.