Twenty-five per cent of women in the United States defect annually from their dealership’s fixed ops department due to communication inconsistencies, according to Women-Drivers.com (WD).
The company says the percentage of defects translates to an average loss of $1.03M in sales. Its 2021 Women’s Fixed Ops Trends looks at the percentage of women reporting by brand and where they did not receive a follow-up communication (such as the CSI, review, “thank you” email, or educational blog) after their service visit.
The numbers put Nissan at the top with 30.3%, Jeep at 27.7%, Subaru at 23.1%, Toyota at 21.6%, Chevrolet at 21.0%, Honda at 17.7%, and Ford at 9.4%.
WD also followed up with a survey that indicates women’s preferred communications when servicing a vehicle, and found that about 70% preferred email and phone calls. Specifically, 41.2% prefer email, 32.3% prefer phone calls, and 26.5% prefer text.
“The quickest and most direct way to communicate with them is with text,” said WD in its blog and updates page. “Make the task to convert them to text and the advantages of this service. Have a cascade of communication preferences. If you don’t reach them one way, go another route.”
As WD notes, women purchase for the experience, so dealerships need to communicate in new ways. SMS for example will improve loyalty and retention with this particular market, but text messages need to be relevant and short. The company also advises letting customers know that you will be using text (so, get an opt-in), and to be sure your dealership is recognizable and is identified on their phone.
They also advise watching boundaries — as in, “don’t always be selling.”