Women now place eight of every 10 phone inquiries regarding the purchase of tires and automotive service, according to Continental General Tire Inc. Thus, a well-thought-out marketing approach to this traditionally overlooked group ought to be a must for every retail tire dealership.
Any such plan should call for more than merely sprucing up an outlet's customer waiting area, restroom facilities and overall appearance-necessary as such changes might be.
Dealerships also need to direct more retail attention to female motorists in order to garner their share of this important and rapidly growing market segment.
One tried-and-true way of doing so is the familiar ``women's care care clinic,'' which many Continental and General dealers currently are offering in North America with the assistance of their tire supplier.
CGT provides a kit designed to help dealers get these projects under way, including a booklet explaining how to plan and conduct a car care clinic, ad slicks and a news release to announce the event, plus certificates and other handouts they can present to participants.
But with or without such help, most dealers will have no trouble setting up and conducting such a clinic-and the experience could pay off handsomely.
Advertising a ``free car care clinic for women''-particularly somewhere other than on the sports pages-offers one means by which dealerships can set themselves apart from the competition while also building name recognition and consumer trust. (See story page 11.)
Furthermore, the prospect of inviting 30 female guests into what long has been a male-dominated business setting is almost certain to open management's eyes to needed housekeeping and/or remodeling improvements.
It's also likely to make employees more sensitive to the concerns of women customers-who often complain of ``being talked down to'' or made to feel ``taken advantage of '' when patronizing automotive service outlets.
Women's (preferred these days to the term ``ladies' '') car care clinics help foster trust and respect on the part of female customers for their auto service providers.