Katie Mares: A Series on The Decision Maker

Most of us are aware of the disparity of female presence in dealerships.

Only one in five employees are female. We are also aware that the majority of decision-makers when purchasing a car are female, and that’s a huge disconnect. Ultimately, the car-buying experience is designed by men, delivered by men, for men.

But why? Women hold 80% of the influence when purchasing a vehicle and 65% of buyers are women!

Why do you want to take the time to create ways to tailor your Consumer Brand Experience to the female consumer? Of course, there’s the obvious: she’s the Chief Purchasing Officer in her home. But also, she is also your number one referral source.

Carl Sewell, the author of ‘Customers for life,’ states that the lifetime value of a customer equates to $517,000. By not curating an experience for the female buyer, not only are you losing her lifetime value, you are also losing the potential of her referral network.

Here’s the kicker: the female customer is built differently than men. It means the excellent experience you think you are providing actually isn’t – not in her opinion anyway. Perception is the reality, and it no longer matters what you think is exceptional service. It only matters what she feels is exceptional service.

When it comes to perception and seeing, feeling, hearing, and sensing things, there is no such thing as objectivity. The consumer sees, hears, and feels from where they stand, not from where you, the sales associate, stands.

There is often a big gap between what experience we are providing and what the consumer -especially the female consumer – thinks he or she is receiving.

A study by management consulting company, Bain, calls this disparity the “delivery gap.” In a study of 362 firms, Bain found that 80 percent believe their business offers a superior proposition or experience. However, only eight percent of customers held that same view. The extent of this difference is extraordinary.

We may think we are providing an experience that is welcomed by our consumers when in fact we are offering them an experience that we feel is right for them.

The golden rule that Grandma preached as we grew up – to treat others the way you would like to be treated – is a thing of the past. The higher standard that is demanded by customers in this day in age, especially the female consumer, is the platinum rule – treat others the way they want or need to be treated.

By designing your consumer brand experience from her point of view, you will be able to speak to what she sees, hears, smells, and feels and ultimately close the “delivery gap” between perception and reality.

So HOW do you Close the Delivery Gap?
In this four-part series, we are going to unpack one tip each week on how you can tailor the consumer brand experience in your dealership for the woman consumer. We will give you excellent ‘how to’ knowledge that you can take back to your dealership.

If you’re not leveraging your female customer base to increase loyalty and referrals, then you’re missing out on top line sales.

Get ready to learn how to do just that!
Katie Mares CTDP, MCATD, CPSA, CSP is available to train your organization and brings her expertise to the automotive industry. She is a dynamic speaker at Women in Automotive and Digital Dealer Conferences. Among her offerings:

– Program Development
– Brand Standards
– Leadership Development
– Coaching Sessions
– Retail Workshops
– In-Dealership Implementation
– Ongoing Support

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