You may remember us posting an article about the importance of female-friendly garages back in 2021 (it feels like ten years ago!). We feel so strongly about this topic that we felt it deserved another post. A year later, we still come across multiple customers who are initially nervous that we’re overcharging them or lying about something they need. This is particularly pertinent amongst our female customers but not completely uncommon with other genders. We treat every single one of our customers in the same way; never ripping people off, taking advantage of their potential lack of knowledge or making them feel embarrassed for this. But, unfortunately, at some garages, this is the reality, which sadly has resulted in everybody being a little wary of putting their trust in a new garage.
You are not alone if you’re a woman who has dreaded taking your car to a garage. A whopping nine in ten women believe they are treated differently at auto-repair shops than men. And with 31% confused by jargon and 28% nervous about asking technical questions, it’s no wonder women view a trip to the dentist more favourably than getting a car serviced, according to AutoMD. Yet, shockingly, despite the statistics above, many auto-repair garages are not making an effort to be ‘female appropriate.’
First impressions count, and if women, men, or people of any gender walk into a dirty, uninviting reception area, they are likely to feel uneasy from the off. Even things that may seem insignificant, like old, faded calendars on the wall and insufficient lighting, can impact how comfortable someone feels. On the contrary, a light, airy space with plenty of seating and tasteful decor will have the opposite effect. Another essential aspect of a reception is the right staff. A warm smile, friendly demeanour, and understanding approach go a long way to building trust and calming nerves.
Confused.com states that over a third of women motorists worry a mechanic will rip them off. This is a scary statistic, but it’s understandable given that some technicians use jargon and fail to explain what the car needs and any work completed. Then there’s the fear that you’ll be laughed at if you misunderstand anything. On the other hand, an honest garage would go through everything in detail and layman’s terms without patronising. The reception/admin team and mechanics should treat each customer with respect and compassion.
No garage should conduct work before getting prior approval from the customer, regardless of gender. This may seem like a given, but you’d be surprised how many garages aren’t so forthcoming when communicating effectively with customers. You may have heard horror stories about garages taking advantage of women, perhaps overcharging them, or doing more work on their car than discussed and still being charged for it. In fact, according to a study performed by The Times, women are much more likely to be quoted high prices for car repairs than men for the same services. It’s important to note that this isn’t always the case, however.
A handful of garages make providing a safe, welcoming environment and services to people of all genders a priority. With our all-female receptions and knowledgable, helpful technicians, we at K Brown Auto Repairs are dedicated to treating all customers with the same courtesy and care, regardless of gender.
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