Within our industry, there’s been much discussion and activity lately related to the value of vehicle preventive maintenance, the benefits of car care awareness and the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act (HR 2735) – all of which have a direct impact on the profitability and viability of your business.
The latest topic to join the ranks is that of the female motorist, particularly their buying power in the aftermarket. An exclusive new study commissioned by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), Vehicle Maintenance & The Female Motorist,* analyzes the attitudes and perceptions that drive women’s behavior regarding vehicle maintenance and repair.
Key findings of this study include:
Nearly nine out of 10 female motorists are at least somewhat involved in the decision-making process for their household’s vehicle maintenance and repair needs;
Sixty-eight percent of female motorists claimed to follow their recommended vehicle maintenance schedule closely (while 78% feel that following the schedule is “important”);
More than two-thirds of decision-making women (68%) always take their vehicle in for service themselves; an additional 21% of women share that duty with someone else;
The most effective reminders to women of the need to schedule maintenance are windshield stickers (57%) and regular mileage intervals. While 86% of women said they have read their owner’s manual at one time or another, only 35% used it as a maintenance reminder.
So, what does all of this mean to you? You must realize the potential impact of the female motorist to your shop’s bottom line, and look for ways to grow that business.
First, take a look at your own customer base to see what percentage of them are women. Then, do an internal audit to determine how your shop can provide better service to women customers. The numbers speak loudly and clearly that women customers represent a very important and powerful segment of your customer base.
These numbers also underscore the need for education. Realize that women customers are more likely to be moved into taking action regarding vehicle repair and maintenance, if features and benefits are outlined for them.
Take the time to thoroughly explain why certain repairs are needed, how vehicle systems operate and interact with each other, the effects of vehicle neglect, and the value of routine vehicle maintenance and repair.
Gaining their trust will give you a competitive advantage and will bring your shop one step closer to securing the business of these valuable customers.
* For more details or to order the study, go to www.aftermarket.org (click the “study” button).