Statistics show that women influence the purchase of 83% of all consumer products, including 95% of all vehicles sold in the United States, which is just one of the reasons automotive retailer AutoNation - which owns and operates 302 new vehicle franchises in 15 states – has teamed up with WomenCertified to launch Car Buying Her Way (CBHW) a collaborative online car buying experience that’s been created especially for women in selected areas.
According to Edmunds.com, when asked to choose specific metaphors for the auto negotiation process, men chose “winning a ballgame” and a “wrestling match,” while women chose “going to the dentist.” Not surprising, eh?
The same study proved that women are two and a half times more apprehensive about haggling over pricing than men are. Eliminating the need for negotiation, CBHW allows customers to connect with salespeople as partners rather than adversaries.
Says WomenCertified’s founder and author of Winning the Toughest Customer: The Essential Guide to Selling to Women, Delia Passi:
“Eight in ten women feel undue pressure when browsing a dealership showroom and an equal number won’t visit a dealership without a male companion. We’re not only trying to change that one dealership at a time through the WomenCertified program, but we’ve also developed Car Buying Her Way as a stress-free alternative to a process that is necessary but frustrating for so many women. AutoNation Direct is part of a growing movement to raise the bar in providing the best customer service experience – not only to women but to every customer. As a whole, Americans are feeling less and less satisfied with the quality of service they receive. We’re trying to reverse this trend with WomenCertified. Studies show that when you meet the expectations of women, you exceed those of men. It’s a win-win opportunity for companies and consumers.”
All vehicles listed on the Car Buying Her Way site are offered at pre-negotiated pricing, which means haggle-free and hopefully less stressful car buying. CBHW customers are guided through the car buying process via phone and the web by a Personal Auto Shopper who has completed WomenCertified’s communication and customer service training.
WomenCertified is a training and certification program to help professionals increase sales through more effective communication, appreciation and an enriched customer experience.
In 2008, AutoNation Direct completed the requirements to earn the WomenCertified Seal for Customer Service Excellence. To earn the WomenCertified Seal, 70% of a company’s sales and service team must complete a specialized customer service and gender communications training program that teaches what women want in a buying experience.
Based on Passi’s research and expertise in women’s communication, shopping habits and preferences, WomenCertified focuses on attentive customer service, active listening, effective gender communications and building trusting customer relationships.
“The bottom line is, a woman needs a car – but she doesn’t need the stress, the shoddy service and the confrontation that, until now, came as a package deal with that car.”
Unfortunately for most of us, the Car Buying Her Way service is only offered in California, Colorado and Florida, but there are plans to expand the service later this year – and I don’t think it can come soon enough.