Thursday, Aug. 02, 2012, 01:58 AM UPDATED 2:18 AMBy Auto Remarketing Staff
Women represent about roughly two-thirds of service/repair customers, and almost three-fourths of female consumers plan on taking their ride to the dealership to have it serviced.
These are just two of the statistics shared by Women-Drivers.com that highlight what the website has found to be critically important for dealers to examine: their treatment of women in the service lane.
“Car dealerships have to treat women respectfully or they risk sending customers to their nearest competitor: another dealership, or an independent specialty or ‘big box’ auto repair store,” said Anne Fleming, president of Women‐Drivers.com.
“Our service reviews underscore the bottom line for women – when they are treated respectfully and have a good experience, they return to that dealership again and again,” she added.
Releasing its midyear Women Satisfaction Index Service scores today, the site stressed the importance of customer retention for dealers, pointing out how vehicle owners typically take their car in for a service visit at dealership two or three times each year.
“The more a customer comes back, the higher the likelihood they will not only return for service in the future, but will also purchase their next car there,” officials said.
And women are commanding a significant share of the service customer base.
Citing the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, Women-Drivers pointed out that 9 out of 10 women participate in their household’s decision-making process when it comes to vehicle maintenance and repair.
“Industry experts say that 65 to 70 percent of the customers taking cars in for service and repair are women,” the site added. “The landscape of the traditional male‐oriented and male‐dominated dealership is changing.”
What’s more, the mid-year report found that 73 percent of women intend to have their vehicle serviced at the dealership sometime down the road and more than half (53 percent) of female shoppers will take their car in for service at the same place they bought it.
So which car brand’s dealers are tops in this area?
According to the midyear WSI Service scores, Mercedes-Benz leads the pack as the most “women-friendly” brand. Its dealers received a service satisfaction score of 4.70 out of 5.
“Women recognize that Mercedes‐Benz is the leader in the luxury car business,” says Dick Bennett, Mercedes‐Benz general manager at Jack Ingram Motors in Montgomery, Ala.
“At Jack Ingram Motors we take pride in establishing relationships with our customers, which is why customer service is our No. 1 priority, and we know that women pay close attention to the level of service they receive from their Mercedes dealership,” he continued. “We are also proud to say that both our parts and service managers are women.”
Placing second was Honda (4.64), followed by BMW (4.60) and Acura (4.43), respectively. Lexus (4.42) rounded out the top five.
Next on the list were Buick and GMC (4.25), followed by Jeep (4.22), Toyota (4.17) and Chrysler (4.09).
These rankings were compiled from nearly 1,400 reviews. Respondents rated their experiences in nine service issues. This criteria included items like the ease of scheduling a visit, cleanliness of the car afterwards, quality of the work, the level of respect they were given and more.