Infiniti Canada is the first OEM to ensure its entire dealer network will be WomenCertified.
The WomenCertified training program, exclusively represented in Canada by Coast To Coast Dealer Services, a leading automotive aftermarket company, has been training dealers and their staff across the country on how to market and appeal to all customers with an emphasis on relating to female buyers. Now after roughly two years of working with individual dealerships and auto groups, the OEM buy-in could mean the sky is the limit.
“By having a manufacturer on board with the program, we’re hoping that this will become a brand initiative for other automakers,” explained Sharlene Dobson of WomenCertified. “Having the support of Infiniti will help strengthen our platform and show other brands that this is a training program that gets results.”
Wendy Durward, director of Infiniti Canada dealer operations, said the decision to adopt the WomenCertified program comes from the realization that today’s consumer is ever-changing and that more emphasis needs to be placed on the female consumer. Infiniti is striving to become the brand of choice with the female buyer and with the help of WomenCertified, she said, they are confident they will achieve this.
“WomenCertified is a proven program that will allow us not only to provide the utmost in customer service, but it will also help change the way we present our dealerships to our customers overall,” she said.
“We are excited for our customers not only to see the difference, but to feel it as well. Infiniti has always been forward thinking and becoming the first manufacturer in Canada to become WomenCertified shows our commitment to be the best that we can be.”
Dobson says training for Infiniti Canada’s 29 locations will start with points in the Greater Toronto Area and spread out across Canada over a 10-week period. The program, which is available in French, includes a full day in each dealership for training and staging followed by online certification to complete the program.
The WomenCertified team makes pre-and post evaluations of every dealership, examining things like washroom set up and staging, vehicle placement and staging, cleanup recommendations, children’s area set up, lot clean up, decor ideas and more.
“Statistics show that women are involved or influence over 90 per cent of car purchases,” explained Dobson. “If they have that much of an impact on the sale, shouldn’t you work to cater to them?”
Both the WomenCertified staff and Durward point to extensive research showing the impact of women on vehicle purchases as to why dealers have been eager to sign up for the program.
“Women are the largest buying demographics in the world today and we will capture that market not only through our exciting line-up, but through the experience we will create through a very memorable sales and service process,” Durward said.
Bill Wereha, president and founder of Coast To Coast Dealer Services says since today’s customer is so Internet savvy, dealers must change the way they do business.
“By becoming WomenCertified, companies have learned how to do business more effectively and profitably,” he said. “We have come to realize the opportunities dealerships are missing when it comes to sales and service and how it’s affecting their customer retention and bottom line. WomenCertified fills the void.”
Until this OEM adoption, Dobson and WomenCertified trainer Sherry English had been primarily working with individual stores and dealer groups in Canada.
To date, Roy Foss and Foss Leasing, CarNation and Assured Automotive, just to name a few, have all become WomenCertified.
Sherry English said the program is so popular because it works. The automotive experience tends to be about speed, she told Canadian AutoWorld. We teach them to slow it down.
“It is about how fast they can service the car or how quickly they can find the right vehicle for you. Women value relationships. Dealerships have to include their female customers in events, demonstrate you care and remember little things like the anniversary of when they bought the car.”
For more information on the WomenCertified program, call Sharlene Dobson at 1-888-561-7477 or check out the website at www.womencertified.ca