How to Get a Lifetime Customer and How to Lose One Forever

I had my car smog checked a few weeks ago. When I got ready to pay I was given a list of things that needed fixing on my car. This was a surprise to me because a few months ago when I had work done there were no problems. I was told I needed my brake fluid changed, my alignment done, new spark plugs, a new brake light, a new license plate tag light and a few other things. I was puzzled and suspicious especially when I wasn’t given an estimate of prices to make the repairs.

Oh, let me say I went to this new place after the business I had been to a few months ago closed down and had their phone number forwarded to the new place. I was shocked that an automotive repair shop that had been open for years closed suddenly and with no notice to customers. I hadn’t received a postcard, letter, email or phone call that my repair shop was no longer going to be servicing my car.

Hmm, poor marketing could be a huge reason why it went out of business. I also hadn’t received a time to get your oil changed notice and my car was overdue for an oil change. Another failure to communicate with customers. In the past I’ve received repeated postcards from places for months that I only went to once and didn’t like their service and so never went back. Yet this place that I liked, didn’t keep up any continued contact about regular maintenance on my car.

Maybe I should’ve noticed this before hand but I hate getting my car serviced so I don’t think about it unless I have to travel out of town then I start thinking of checking out my car. I don’t want to end up stranded somewhere because I failed to get my car checked out. I have friends who’ve had that happen and then been at the mercy of out-of-town auto repair shops.

This new shop sent me a thank you card which I thought was good follow-up and then I got a letter about the supposed needed repairs. Again with no cost estimate enclosed which aroused my suspicions again. I also got a coupon for what seemed like outrages prices for an oil change and tune up.

I decided to ask a friend who worked as a Fleet supervisor about this list of repairs. After explaining the list he gave a derisive laugh and said I likely didn’t need any of those things done and to see a mechanic of his recommendation.

He told me it sounded like this auto repair shop where I had the smog check done at was trying to make some easy money off me. I didn’t like that at ALL! I called the first shop he told me about and scheduled an oil change. I figured this should tell me what problems I really have by seeing someone new.

At this shop I mentioned up front my car shimmies at higher speeds. Immediately the manager said I needed my wheels balanced and recommended a local tire store to do the work. I noticed he didn’t say I needed my wheels aligned and was willing to refer me to another business whose niche was tires and balancing tires, etc. I was happy to be doing business with the shop already and they hadn’t even started working on my car!

When I came back to pick up my car I found out the only new problem was the replacement of the license plate tag light which cost me all of $1.94. Who knows what the nefarious smog check place would’ve charged me for it. I even asked if anything else was wrong with my car. I was told it was in good working order and reminded to have the balance done at the tire shop.

Wow! What a huge difference. An honest mechanic willing to refer me to other businesses. This was even better than frequent mailers. I could trust this business to take care of my car and not over charge me. They may not know it but they have a customer for life. Finding a mechanic you can trust is vital especially for a woman.

In the past I’ve had auto repair shops try to rip me off because I’m a woman and not very car savvy. One thing they didn’t realize is I have male friends that I ask questions before getting new repairs done. That has saved me hundreds maybe even thousands of dollars. Plus I keep all my repair receipts so if some dishonest mechanic tries to sell me a repair I’ve already had done I can point it out and save myself money. And let me tell you it has happened more than once over the years!

Don’t business people realize the fastest way to lose a customer is to rip her off? And the quickest way to get a lifetime customer is to be honest and trustworthy? This is especially important when marketing to women. Women value relationships and trust is vital in relationships.

Cheat me out of even a nickel one time and you’ll never see me again. Be honest and I’ll do business with you for years and years.

Oh and I went to the tire shop and since I had purchased tires there before they balanced my tires for free. Now my car drives smooth like frosting on a cake! Sweet!

How Not to Market to Women

When you market to women you need to consider their wants and needs. If you don’t you’ll miss the mark entirely and possibly turn the women off from buying your products.

This happened to me today when I came across a Tom Ford Private Blend Lip Color Collection ad. I saw this promo video on a makeup blog I subscribe to in my RSS reader and my first thought was “Yikes, this sleazy ad does not make me want to buy lipstick.”

I love cosmetics and usually the advertising reaches out to me and has me eager to try new products. I don’t know about you but when I buy lipstick I’m not thinking about starring in some cheesy erotic video. Even the copy was creepy: “From Sublime to Perverse”, um how is implying perversion going to make a woman want to buy lipstick? More likely make her think of buying pepper spray to keep perverts away.

This ad turned me off to the whole idea of ever trying Tom Ford’s lipstick. What does a shot of low cleavage have to do with my wanting to buy lipstick? Or the phallic symbolism of the lipstick tube when the woman holds it up to her mouth as some anonymous man is ogling her?

Nothing in this ad made me want to buy lipstick. Instead it seemed like a commercial for a late night adult channel and not cosmetics. The video was clearly directed to men…when do straight men buy lipstick?

With a $45.00 price tag on a single tube of this supposedly high-end luxury lipstick Tom Ford needs to do a better job appealing to women.

You can check out the video for yourself below:

Check Out these Resources if You Market to Women

If you are trying to sell to woman you need to do some research. I found a few links you need to check out as you plan your marketing promotions.

If you want to find out if your website content markets effectively to women check out our Website Diagnostic Review. Direct Marketing Rx will do a Site Content Audit to see if your web marketing message is selling to your target marketing. Get started in two easy steps. Read about it at “Is your Web Content Earning or Burning Money?” or Contact Us directly for help now.

Wonder Branding
by Michelle Miller provides news & views on the female customer. Check out her post about The New Demography of Motherhood. The post discusses the change in age range for mothers and the impact cultural differences will have on your marketing campaigns.

Mashable
has a great article about marketing to women read it here: 10 Musts for Marketing to Women on Facebook.  My favorite point – Listen! Women like to have their needs heard and met. You can do it with the right marketing.

She conomy
is a guy’s guide to marketing to women. Check out some quick facts about marketing to Boomer Women.

Adweek Media
has a downloadable pdf report you can find here: The Family CFO.

Find out what women really want.  Knowledge about your target market can only enhance your marketing campaigns and increase response rates.