US-based research by dealer management system company CDK Global has shown that dealers that invest in attracting more women to work at their businesses see a customer experience (CX) boost.
For the past several years, CDK has researched key topics influencing women in automotive from both consumer and industry perspectives to surface insights that drive the industry forward.
In response to these findings, CDK undertook both qualitative and quantitative research efforts to better understand how dealerships are actively investing in CX roles, why women may be drawn to and succeed in this type of role and how investments impact customer retention and ultimately dealer success.
These studies conducted by CDK provide material support for the expansion of CX roles within dealerships, the value of hiring women into them and the illumination of a CX growth path that can translate to big wins for dealers, their customers and women in automotive.
John Hickey, executive vice president, North America Customer Experience, CDK, said: “Combined, these studies tell a compelling story about why women are natural leaders within the customer experience organisation and this can greatly impact customer retention and satisfaction within the dealership.”
CDK found that customers who interacted with a CX manager were significantly more likely to recommend a dealership than those who did not (measured using Net Promoter Score (NPS), ultimately resulting in +18 points).
This impact is magnified for female customers (+25 NPS) compared to male customers (+12 NPS).
Through interviews with women in dealership CX roles CDK found that managers serve as cross-functional resources, responsible for resolving customer problems, gathering and understanding customer data, personalizing experiences and making customers feel comfortable.
The female CX managers interviewed attributed their success in the role to certain leadership traits and behaviors, such as compassion, empathy and communication, including deep customer listening.
CX roles vary by dealership CX maturity. From tactical and operational roles to leaders and strategic partners, illuminating a potential career trajectory for women.
Of those interacting with a CX manager, nearly all found the role to be very or extremely important (94%) and reported high likelihood of repeating business with the store visited in the future (97%).
CDK is conducting ongoing research to learn how dealers can make a twofold investment in women and their customers through the growth and development of CX roles.
Kathy Gilbert, director, customer success, CDK, said: “This research helps demonstrate how dealerships, their customers and women in automotive benefit, which is a clear win for the industry.
“Proving relevance through research allows dealers to make data-driven decisions and take actions that improve profitability.”