By Jack Bulko, AutoAid
To keep up on the current automobile industry trends, I read a lot of trade magazines. Recently, I came across an article that caught my eye, and I don’t know how I missed it earlier. It referenced a 2014 AutoMD.com survey that asked consumers about their experience with car repair shops. Many of the responses sounded familiar, people believed they were overcharged or not treated well by the mechanic, but what really surprised me was that most women prefer going to the dentist over visiting an auto repair shop. Purchasing a car at a dealership (another often painful experience) ranked just below the dental office visit. Ouch!
I knew that many of the women I had come across over the years told me that their visits to other auto repair shops were disappointing. Their typical experience started with ogling as they walked into a shop, followed by a mechanic who talked down to them and then proceeded to tell them some mumbo jumbo about their car without offering any explanations. The conversation inevitably ended with an expensive price tag. These women then left feeling condescended to, aggravated and defeated.
When I tell people that AutoAid is a female-friendly shop, I get a wide range of responses from smiles to giggles to “come on,” but it is a true statement nonetheless. We treat all our customers equally. Our repair work and pricing are fair and transparent, and our skilled mechanics are second to none in the industry. And because this is a family business, we work hard to keep our stellar reputation. We explain every part of the process to everyone who enters our shop whether they know how their vehicle functions or not. It’s our way of making sure that we keep the lines of communication open and lets our customers know that we have their back.
What Do Women Want from an Auto Repair Shop?
Although AutoAid treats female customers in the same polite, respectful and professional manner we do males, I often ask women what they want from an auto repair facility. I’m curious to see if we hit the mark. Here’s what I’ve heard. Women expect:
- Respect. First and foremost, women want to be treated like anyone would treat a valued customer, with respect. They don’t want to be judged on their appearance, on the type of car they drive or on their car repair knowledge. At AutoAid, we make our customers—women and men--feel at home from the moment they enter our shop. We take the time to introduce our staff, explain our diagnostic process, and inform them why a part needs to be repaired or replaced. We make sure they are comfortable in our Customer Service area while they wait for their vehicle or for a ride. AutoAid has been providing honest service to all of our customers for over 40 years.
- Information. Women want mechanics to be transparent and honest with them about what they are doing to their car, offer some explanation on why the car part needs repair or to be changed out, and provide them with the parts that have been removed if so desired.
- Additional Knowledge. They want to get a better understanding of how their vehicle functions even if they have little knowledge of what is going on under the hood. AutoAid’s staff offer to show customers where the malfunction is and what needs to be done to correct it. Our trained service personnel also explain the benefits of checking the car’s fluids and the condition of its tires before leaving on long road trips, and how this will prevent breakdowns and save money in the long run. By learning about how their car works, women can further build their auto knowledge base, making them savvier and more aware consumers.
- A Repair Warranty. Women want to know that there is some type of guarantee on the work that is being done and what that warranty includes. This allows them to feel more secure about the value they are receiving from the car repair facility. AutoAid’s warranty covers 3 years or 36,000 miles of Nationwide Protection on new car parts. This warranty exceeds AAA approved shop warranty requirements. An AutoAid mechanic is on hand to answer all questions and, if necessary, go through the warranty point by point. It’s all part of the service.
- A Written Estimate. In general, customers, including women, expect a written estimate. This not only protects them but also covers the shop. Otherwise, it could become a “he said,” “she said,” type of situation.
- A clean customer service area and restroom facilities. Women want to be able to use the restroom, change their child’s diaper or sit in a chair without getting the willies. A clean Customer Lounge area has always been a priority at AutoAid. We invite our visitors to enjoy the complimentary coffee and cookies, get some work done or watch TV. Women can feel confident in using the changing table in our super-clean restroom. See it for yourself in our virtual tour.
AutoAid’s female-friendly service checks off all these items and more. Our CarMD tips page, which can be found on our website, gives consumers a quick demo on how their vehicle functions. We realize that people have a choice of places to bring their cars to and that we need to make a good first impression. We do everything to make sure that the first time someone enters our shop their experience is so exemplary that they will return and recommend our services to others. It’s the only way we have ever done business!
To make an appointment at AutoAid, visit the Appointments page on our website, call us at (818) 305-6632 or visit autoaidrescue.com.