Create Customer Evangelists

Publish Date: 
May 1, 2008
By Genevieve Schmitt

WHEN A WOMAN IS FOND OF A product, she likes to share information about that product with her friends. Women are the most loyal and passionate advocates a company can have for its products or brand. As a powersports dealership owner, you can capitalize on that passion by having your satisfied female customers working on your behalf as, in a sense, customer evangelists. Here are some ways to make this happen.

 

TESTIMONIAL RESOURCE LIST

 

A woman loves to hear from other women who own or have tried the product she's thinking about buying. Testimonials go very far with women as long as they come off as genuine. You can use these testimonials to help sell motorcycles.

Start by identifying female customers who have bought motorcycles from you. Then narrow down the list to those who have purchased the models most women are buying at your store. Each manufacturer has several models that are more popular among women than men. Finally, contact those customers and identify who among them are ecstatic about their purchase — those who love the bike and love you because they had a great buying experience.

You can also use sales follow-up surveys to glean this customer information. For the purposes of compiling this list, include a question on the survey (if you haven't already) asking if the respondent may be contacted in regard to her answers.

You will probably have some idea beforehand who your customer evangelists are. They are frequent visitors to your store and are usually the ones volunteering to help out at your events.

Ask each potential evangelist whether she'd mind her contact information being included on a select list of women riders (your customer evangelists) who'd be happy to share information about the bike they own with a potential female customer of that motorcycle.

Be sure to screen these customer evangelists very carefully. They are going to be advocates for your dealership and for your brand. You want women who will say good things about their bike and good things about your store, but you also want them to be genuine and to speak honestly about their experience.

Compile a list of names and contact information and make it available to female customers considering a model that's on the list. Sometimes for a woman to make a decision on a large purchase, she needs that extra word of encouragement from a trusted source. Make the process easier for her by providing her with a source you trust.

 

MEET AND GREET

 

Again, starting from the premise that your customer evangelists are passionate about motorcycling and the type of bike they ride, invite some of them to a meet and greet where potential new customers and riders can meet them and pick their brains in an informal setting. This session can be part of a larger customer event like an open house, or it can be a stand-alone event. The point is to take advantage of your customers' excitement and passion for the brand.

Often these customer evangelists will be members of a riding club — either an independent group or a brand loyalist one. The fact that they're in a club means they want to share the motorcycling experience with others. These should be the first people you target to be your evangelists.

The fact that you even have customer evangelists will help raise your profile among the women riders in your community. Women talk. They will tell their friends that you are a female-friendly dealership.

I don't really like the phrase female-friendly, but it really applies here. I see a female-friendly dealership as going above and beyond in reaching out to women. The owner of such a dealership knows that having women in his or her corner will benefit the store in ways not yet experienced. Over time, as satisfied customers begin telling their friends, more women will frequent the dealership.

Seeing more women in your store may encourage you to stock more female apparel, and, perhaps, hold a ladies event. It's important that you acknowledge these new female customers by having special events and offering deals just for women. If you don't, these women will shop elsewhere.

I haven't met a woman rider yet that's not over the moon about the fact that she's now riding a motorcycle. Excitement and passion practically define a woman rider. Don't let the opportunity to capitalize on this pass you by.

Genevieve Schmitt is the founder of Women Riders Now, a marketing and communications company. Contact her at GSchmitt@womenridersnow.com or via editors@dealernews.com.