With women making more and more of the buying decisions, automotive companies are starting to pay attention to what attracts female buyers to their products.
The following article is a good example of what could still be done to improve popular automotive venues -in this case, auto shows. Anne Fleming, president of women-drivers.com, does a great job of advocating better service for female buyers, and I always enjoy reading her thoughts and advice.
What do you think needs to improve in the automotive industry in order to make the atmosphere and service more female-friendly?
Check out the article in its original location on theoaklandpress.com here.
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As president and car-buying advocate with Women-Drivers.com, Anne Fleming knows her way around cars, and she believes auto show organizers could find ways to make shows — such as the North American International Auto Show in Detroit — more appealing to women.
Changing the show is important since, she said, “the longer women, couples and families stay, the better it is for the show and auto sales in that city.”
Fleming, who had 20 years in brand development for companies such as American Eagle Outfitters, developed Pittsburgh, Pa.-based Women-Drivers.com to provide web-based marketing solutions for car dealers that allow dealers to build trust with women car shoppers.
Fleming noted women now account for more than half of all car purchases and they influence and initiate up to 80 percent of them.
For auto shows, Fleming suggests organizers provide a variety of food choices as well as children’s meals.
“Not everyone wants stadium food,” she said.
A cluster area could be established with concierge services for women — a growing trend since many dealerships now offer boutique experiences for women.
The auto shows could offer “massages, vibrating chairs and cappuccino bars,” she said. “Make biscotti and chocolates available.”
Female greeters could highlight displays or provide sessions devoted to women’s concerns.
A special mother and family section could be set up with ongoing demonstrations throughout the show, she suggested.
A child care center could be available “so mom and dad can go off independently,” said Fleming.
The show could offer an area just for teens to take part in simulated driving videos, music downloads or even a chance to design their own car.
People hired by the auto show could demonstrate how to install a child’s car seat to maximize safety and minimize a parent’s back strain. Short seminars could be offered to show how to use the latest car accessories or tips on what to do if driving in bad weather or if you find yourself stranded.
Coupons could be handed out by dealers to encourage women to take a new car test drive right at their homes.
Organizers should provide ample seating at every booth to allow people to take a break, Fleming said.
Asked what she would like at auto shows, reader Eve R. Pickman said, “More WiFi hotspots and better cell reception.”
Women-drivers.com listed the top 15 brands for purchasing experiences ranked for women at dealerships. Mercedes dealers received the highest WSI (Women Satisfaction Index) ranking among women buyers with an almost perfect 4.89 score.
These top brands ranked consistently high with women customers who were very satisfied with the engagement and treatment by the sales person, their overall dealership experience, as well as the financing process. The brands are Mercedes: 4.89, Dodge: 4.86, Lexus: 4.83, Lincoln: 4.73, Chrysler: 4.63, Jeep: 4.61, Buick: 4.45, Chevrolet: 4.42, Cadillac and Toyota, both 4.39; Mazda: 4.36, Acura: 4.32, Honda: 4.29, Nissan: 4.27, Ford: 4.26 and BMW and Hyundai, both 4.24.
Contact Carol Hopkins at 248-745-4645 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @waterfordreport or on Facebook @OPcarolhopkins.