This might sound obvious, but it’s worth repeating: To be successful in the automotive industry (or, frankly, any industry), you must understand your customer base and be able to deliver an experience that speaks to them in a positive way.
I recently caught a news story about a woman named Patrice Banks, owner of Girls Auto Clinic Repair Center. Her business is a great example of how to customize an experience based on a specific customer segment. She is disrupting the auto services industry with an auto clinic that offers full-service auto repair, performed by female mechanics. Customers can also enjoy manis, pedis and blowouts, while waiting for their cars to be serviced, relaxing in a plush lounge tailored specifically for women. (Yes, you read that right: manis and pedis while your car is being serviced.)
What did I like so much about this story? Patrice Banks clearly understood her customer base and knew how important it was to create an exceptional experience for those customers with every interaction. She knew that women felt intimidated, disrespected and taken advantage of when they went to have their car serviced. She opened an automotive business, offering a customer experience that was geared toward women. It was based on trust, education, inclusion, and empowerment. Brilliant.
Patrice Banks is capitalizing on guiding principles that, based on industry research (and echoed by my 10+ years of automotive services experience), are critical for success:
- I need to trust you
- I need to be informed
- I need to be respected and listened to
- I need to feel comfortable during the experience
- I need convenience
- I need you to know me and my car
Establishing a key competitive differentiator in the crowded automotive industry is challenging. Yet, it’s critical. It’s this difference that determines whether a company will be able to grow and retain its customer base or lose them to the competition.
I love that! Patrice Banks understands how important customer experience is to businesses today, and she builds trust with WOMEN from the moment they drive onto her lot to the moment they drive off.
If you haven’t heard about Patrice Banks, owner of Girls Auto Clinic Repair Center, check her out:
Elizabeth Mertz | Director of Client Services
Liz’s areas of expertise include strategic planning, account development, campaign analysis, campaign management, and franchise marketing. In addition to leading high-volume accounts at Catalyst, she’s held management positions at Vertis and Draft Worldwide.