Third-generation Subaru four-cylinder boxer engineEnlarge Photo
Men and women split purchasing responsibilities right down the middle and according to Jody Devere, CEO and founder of AskPatty.com, women influence 85 percent of all buying decisions. The statistics appeared in a Q&A interview available at Search Auto Parts.
Devere traced the current interest in marketing to women back to two best-selling books published in the beginning of this decade. From there the appearance of the blogosphere, social media and networking sites in the mid-2000s gave early adopter women a platform from which to “seek information in this ultimate arena of sharing and exchanging ideas and, most importantly” being heard.
Women coupled a motivation to seek truth and a desire “to understand and feel a connection to a brand” and discovered evolving automotive sites around the web. Then they started to become pivotal in making transportation decisions. Devere points out that it may be woe to the business that violates their trust as women have no compunction to calling out companies “via every social media channel at their disposal.”
So how does this thirst for knowledge and desire to connect play out in the service bay? Devere says that auto repair facilities shouldn’t discount women’s interest in things automotive. The quest for value, especially in the current economy, is driving women to seek additional education about everything in an effort to make informed decisions.
The need for truthfulness and transparency in dealing with women about their cars comes through loud and clear in this interview. It seems to me that those qualities should be guiding principles regardless of who is dealing with the repair facility – man or woman.
So what is the real life test that an operation is dealing with you truthfully and transparently? While you may never be able to grasp the finer points of the need for an engine coolant temperature sensor or how a ball joint is essential in your vehicle’s front suspension, you can evaluate the statements made by your own truth-o-meter.
Ask yourself how willing was the company to share why a certain part needed replacement? Was there an effort made to inform and educate you about your car as the sale was being made? What was the reaction to any questions you raised, were they defensive or responsive?
So what would an explanation for that coolant temperature sensor replacement sound like on a 2003 Ford Taurus? It would include a statement of how the sensor allows your car’s cooling system to know that an assist is needed to ensure that the car won’t overheat. This help would come from the electric fans mounted up by the radiator, they draw air through the radiator cooling down the coolant and preventing the car from running hot.
The fans operate thermostatically only when called for when stopped in traffic, for example. The sensor is what tells the system the fans should be turned on.
So the explanation should not be anything too technical or weighed down in automotive jargon and certainly shouldn’t be condescending either. Remember that in something that can seem as foreign as auto repair, knowledge is power and if it seems like the repairer is trying to limit your knowledge it can be a sign of his reluctance to be truthful and transparent.