- The dealership, which employs 25 women in sales, service and F&I, offers new-car buying tips aimed at making shopping easier for women who are uncomfortable with the process.
- The tips include how to find the best deal, good times during the month to shop and explanations of some commonly used car-shopping terms.
- If a shopper wants to work with a female dealership employee, that's easy: The Web site lists all their names, titles and e-mail addresses.
CORNELIUS, North Carolina — It's no secret that many car shoppers now begin the car-shopping process online, and what they find there can set the tone for their visit to the dealership.
In hopes of easing the transition — particularly for women car shoppers who aren't familiar with the car sale process and industry terms — Lake Norman Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram has added an informational page to its site. With a touch of Southern gentility, it's called For the Ladies.
Robin Smith, co-owner of the dealership, says she began the outreach because of the women in her life who have shopped for cars and the experiences they have had.
"I have single women friends who buy cars alone, but have sometimes needed a little help," she says.
The Web page offers advice to help women be more effective car shoppers. These tips include help on picking out the right vehicle, negotiation information (including best times during the month to shop) and ways to gauge creditworthiness before a dealership runs a credit report. Although the page is called For the Ladies, the tips could ease the anxiety of any car shopper.
In addition to buying tips and suggestions, Lake Norman Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram's For the Ladies page makes it easy for women shoppers to find a female staffer with whom to work. The page includes their names, e-mail addresses and departments. If a customer wants to work with a saleswoman, service advisor or finance and insurance manager, she's easy to reach.
Smith says that was added to address a need she'd identified.
"I noticed that some of our female shoppers gravitated to our female associates, and as one of the owners, female customers would on occasion ask me who to work with," Smith says.
Smith is proud of the number of women on her team. There are 25 of them. Having just one or two women working for a large business usually isn't enough to change the relationship with female customers, Smith says.
"Many dealerships have very few, if any, female employees," she says. "We have a diverse staff, with women in our parts, sales, service and finance departments. In fact, two of our top salespeople happen to be women."
Smith says the outreach has gotten great feedback from her customers.
"The car business has a reputation of being a little tough. These steps help add a softer side."
Edmunds says: More and more dealerships are finding ways to make shopping easier, but most wait until the shopper is already in the store. Helping shoppers prior to the purchase process is a great way to build brand and store loyalty — for the ladies, and the gentlemen, too.