The workshop is definitely not one of women’s top 10 places to go to, but lately, more and more women are starting to take their own cars to the workshops or at least accompanying their partners there. Women are generally known to be the pickier one of the two genders, hence paying more attention to detail and being easily impressed upon. So if you can impress the women, you can impress most customers.
Together with tyre manufacturer Goodyear, we did a survey with a sample group of 50 females to find out more about what they hope to see at workshops, particularly tyre workshops. Here are the findings:
1. Comfortable and Clean Waiting Area
Having a comfortable and clean waiting area will add to the professionalism of the place and also give customers a sense of security and trust. Although more than half surveyed said it is a ‘nice to have’, it is highly advisable that keeping the area comfortable and clean will definitely help to make the customer more welcome.
2. Usage of Toilets
The reason why 76% of the women surveyed do not use the toilet is because the toilets are “dirty and disgusting”. Many do not even bother to try and have a look at the toilet because they have a perceived impression that the toilet will not be a clean one. Change this perception and provide clean toilets with working flushes, dry floors and sufficient toilet paper, along with sweet air fresheners and bright lighting.
3. Visiting The Workshop With…
Ultimately, most women still trust men when it comes to matters of the car as it is after all, a male-inclined thing. However, more women are increasingly making the trips to the workshops themselves, hence the need for workshops to become ‘female-friendly’ and start educating them.
4. Pet Peeves
Ladies are not naturally inclined towards cars, thus getting them to understand tyres for example, might be like getting men to apply eyeliner. The top three concerns that the women had with regard to workshops is the “dirty, noisy and hot environment”, “unclear pricing” and “vague explanations”.
As mentioned earlier, women are fussier about the environments they are in and if they cannot feel comfortable in the workshop they will dread the visit to the workshop. Also, when they don’t feel good in their surroundings, it will be harder to connect with them and this will lead to poor customer service.
Due to the limited automotive knowledge that ladies generally possess, many are unsure of the pricing or brand choice suggested by the workshops. Most males might find it a waste of time to even try explaining anything about tyres or cars to women, hence giving very brief or curt answers.
However, if the effort is not even there to help educate the women then they will in turn not bother to understand the trade and its pricings. One of the survey answers cited “impatience when explaining or replying to my queries”, proving my point exactly. Another expressed irritation about the workshop simply performing duties without explaining what the problems are.
By slowly and gradually educating them, they will start to understand the nature of the business and the need of the product. When the reasoning behind the prices is unclear, this puts the women in doubt and hence no trust is built. Some automotive terminologies might be alien to women and so one must take the time to elaborate on what the terms mean. This way, they will not feel like they are being asked to do a lot to their car unnecessarily.
By removing their worry of being cheated, these female customers will start to enjoy the retail experience and life will become easier for you.
Other pet peeves include language barriers, lack of options for payment modes (some accept cash only), too pushy for sales, dishonesty of mechanics and bad service attitude.
Be more tolerant with the women. It might get slightly frustrating having to repeat yourself a few times, but it will be all worth it in the long run.
5. Suggestions to Improve
Sometimes the wait might get a bit long and not many women will want to wait around in the heat and noise for their cars to be ready. Giving them a corner to busy themselves with, along with a clean toilet, is the least one can do to keep them occupied.
Coming from a range of ladies who visit different workshops, here is a compiled list of the things that women want during their workshop visit:
• A private waiting area without being eyed
• Air-conditioned waiting area
• Comfortable sitting area
• A clean toilet to accompany the long wait
• Water dispenser and snacks
• Latest newspapers and magazines
• Internet kiosks or free wireless
• More transparent information on pricings of the different brands and other hidden costs
• English-speaking staffs
• NETS or credit card facilities
• Shuttle services to nearby shopping centres