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Women-Drivers.com Releases List of Top Automakers for Service

January 26, 2012 | PITTSBURGH
By Auto Remarketing Staff

For dealers, service visits serve as a way to interact and check in with current customers — a convenient way to foster customer loyalty. And Women-drivers.com has just released a list that shows which dealers are succeeding in providing superior service after purchase, according to female customers' ratings.

Topping the list of highest ranked servicing car brands by women are two luxury nameplates, Mercedes-Benz (4.71) and Acura (4.67). Moreover, Mercedes-Benz also recently topped a list released by the site that showed the overall top car brands as rated by women. 

After tracking thousands of consumer reviews with regards to womens' purchasing and browsing experiences at dealerships, the site found that the luxury nameplate took the highest score in both categories.

Mercedes-Benz scored a 4.89 for purchasing experience and a 4.59 for browsing at a dealership experience.

On the site, dealerships' scores range from 1.0 to 5.0 on the its Women Satisfaction Index (WSI).

Honda and BMW followed the two leaders closely behind in the servicing department with scores of 4.62 and 4.57, respectively.

Why are these numbers so important? The site stressed that with "women accounting for about two-thirds of all dealership service visits," it is important for dealers to research what practices best suit their female customers.

Further explaining this logic, Anne Fleming, president of the site, noted, "The average customer buys a new car every 40 months, according to NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association). However, during the same time duration, those customers make an estimated ten visits to a dealer's service lane. These interactions are crucial to a dealership for several reasons. "There is a higher rate of net income that is derived from the service department, for starters; and if a she has a good experience, there is a much higher probability she will be returning to this dealership to buy, especially if she is staying with that brand," she continued.  "Brands that maintain very strong WSI servicing scores are continuously meeting women's expectations.

"It's all about trust and treatment," she concluded.

And just what were these brands' dealers scored on? Site officials cited the following:

  • Ease of scheduling service appointment.
  • Receiving an estimate prior to work being completed.
  • Being kept informed of the progress or any changes and the financial implications of those changes.
  • Being treated respectfully.
  • Work being completed to satisfaction.
  • Car being cleaned.
  • Plans to have service work done there in the future.

And with the average rating for all brands coming in at a 4.04, a few brands on the list hit below the desired mark.

Volkswagen and Chevrolet sat at the bottom of the list of the rated 15, with scores of 3.87 and 3.85 respectively.

Here is the complete list of the 15 brands with the highest servicing WSI scores at new car dealerships, according to Women-drivers.com:  

  1. Mercedes-Benz: 4.71
  2. Acura: 4.67
  3. Honda: 4.62
  4. BMW: 4.57
  5. Lexus: 4.42
  6. Buick: 4.23
  7. Toyota: 4.18
  8. GMC: 4.16
  9. Jeep: 4.12
  10. Subaru: 4.03
  11. Chrysler: 3.97
  12. Dodge and Nissan: 3.93
  13. Hyundai: 3.91
  14. Volkswagen: 3.87
  15. Chevrolet: 3.85

The company also noted that dealerships that score between a 3.8 – 5.0 are recognized and marketed as Certified Women-Drivers Friendly — a reputation tool which the site contends dealers can use to distinguish and leverage their business.

And the site's reviews are optimized for search engines, officials stressed.

For more information on the site's dealership reputation tools, see the Auto Remarketing story here.

Put Her in the Driver's Seat: Social Tools Empower Women's Car Buying Process

October 10, 2011 11:34 am by Jane Collins in Blogging & Social Media - BlogHer.com

BlogHer’s most recent study explores how women use social media to help make decisions during the car purchasing cycle. 

Methodology

In order to have a robust sample, the survey was fielded across two different populations online:

  • The BlogHer network (26 million women)
  • Total U.S. Online in 7 markets (Atlanta, Boston, NY, Chicago, Dallas, San Diego, Portland)
  • 1,090 total women aged 18-76
  • 377 total men aged 18-76

Social Media helps improve women’s emotional response while car shopping

We asked both men and women to describe their range of emotions while going through the automotive purchasing cycle.  Both genders listed “excited” as the primary emotion with men at 71% and women at 74%. Women were also more nervous (53%) during the process than men (42%) and less confident (30%) than men (37%).

However, when we filtered the same question results through those who had used either blogs or social networks to help with car information prior to purchase, the results were dramatically different.  Those women who used blogs for auto advice had their excitement level increase by +13%, while confidence for the blog users went up by a delta of +8 percentage points.  At the same time “nervous” and “stressed out” levels decreased somewhat among Blog users.  Women who used social networks for auto advice also had increased excitement and confidence levels.

Resources for informing and influencing automotive purchases for women

Visits to a car dealer and word-of-mouth advice still top the list when it comes to women gathering information to help with a car purchase. Auto manufacture sites and blog review sites both rank in the middle of the list for car purchase research.  Traditional media such as TV (15.5%) and new media favorite Facebook (16.5%) were both at the bottom of the list as resources for automotive information prior to a purchase.

Top 10 Resources for Car Research and Information:

When we asked women to rank the resources above according to which ones they considered the most influential, the results were quite different for a few of the entities.  Visit to a car dealer, word-of-mouth and car review sites still topped the influence list.  However auto manufacturer’s site dropped from 4th to last place, while blogs, mobile and Twitter all moved up the list in ranking.  Personal and interactive types of media have higher levels of trust and influence among women than corporate or brand websites.

Top 10 Resources for Influence:

Going Green Gets Higher Interest From Younger Women

Hybrid vehicles get the highest scores as the preferred type of environmentally friendly car for all women.  However among women 18-27, all types of “green” cars have a higher level of consideration.  Almost 40% of the younger women would consider an electric car, and less than 10% showed no interest at all in the “green” car category.

Key Takeaways for Automotive Manufacturers

  • Social Media helps women get excited to buy a new car; blogs help calm her nerves and increase her confidence.
  • Women still come to you: Your site, your dealership. Shape their experiences there
  • Bring them real user experiences: On your site and on theirs.
    • Be an aggregation point for women’s voices
    • Participate and become a part of a woman’s social graph

4 Things Smart Dealerships Do when Women Buyers Visit

So a woman has stepped onto your lot and is looking to purchase a vehicle. What happens next and the direction the visit goes is largely determined by how the dealership, specifically the salesperson, engages and influences her experience. Research shows that 45% of women feel apprehensive and 34% are intimidated when shopping at new car dealerships. The factors that lead to whether she stays or goes to the competition can be summed up with several factors that are fundamental to converting a female visitor to a happy and long-term customer:

1. Treat her fairly and with respect, as the front negotiator. Be willing to work with her without any intimidation tactics, pushiness or condescending attitudes. If she is with her husband or a man, treat her as the front buyer and keep consistent eye contact with her.

2. Maintain a relaxed and no-pressure environment, allowing her to feel cared for and listened to.

3. Build trust by ensuring she understands the safety standards and warranty information. Appreciate that she may likely have children passengers. Answer all questions in a way she feels listened to, and make sure all her questions get addressed. Don’t use words like ‘always’ or ‘never’ – she will stop listening.

4. Make her experience enjoyable and educational, so she can drive away with more knowledge and awareness. Be the go-to knowledge provider and treat her with respect, which she will almost certainly share with her friends and family. Women account for 54% of new car purchasers, and influence 82% of the purchases for the family. Successful women-friendly car dealers know how to have all their sales and service team members work with women buyers with finesse and respect

AOL Autos Chooses Best October Lease Deals

October 22, 2010 | DETROIT
By Auto Remarketing Staff

AOL Autos recently picked 20 vehicles for what the site declared as the best October lease deals.

Contained within five vehicles segments — compact cars, family cars, compact crossovers, luxury SUVs and luxury cars — the list included three units from Nissan, the most of any single nameplate. Those three Nissan vehicles were the Sentra, Altima and Rogue.

Honda, Cadillac, Subaru and BMW each put a pair of vehicles on this AOL list. Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Volkswagen, Infiniti, Scion, Suzuki, Acura and Kia also had one unit apiece on the list.

“As economy slowly bounces back, the auto dealers are leasing more vehicles — and offering some great incentives keep the momentum going,” AOL Autos correspondent Gary Hoffman wrote.

The editor’s top pick for the month came from Honda, the 2010 CR-V.

 “When it comes to lease rates, it’s hard to find a compact crossover that can consistently beat the CR-V,” Hoffman declared.

“For a little more than $200 a month, you get a stylish, well-appointed small SUV that gets 28 mpg on the highway,” he continued. “It’s a good option for people desiring a little more from their vehicles. The price of the CR-V is relatively high, but that’s not something that you, as a lessee, would necessarily need to worry about.

“Honda can offer a good lease rate on the CR-V due to its high resale value,” Hoffman went on to add. “It will have no problem making a tidy profit on the car after you turn it in a few years from now.”

AOL Autos Best October Lease Deals

Compact Cars

Family Cars

Compact Crossovers

Luxury SUVs

Luxury Cars

Subaru Impreza

Volkswagen Jetta

Kia Sportage

Cadillac Escalade

Hyundai Genesis

Nissan Sentra

Toyota Camry

Suzuki SX4

BMW X5

Cadillac DTS

Honda Civic

Nissan Altima

Honda CR-V

Infiniti EX35

BMW 328i

Scion xB

Subaru Legacy

Nissan Rogue

Acura MDX

Mercedes-Benz C300

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