Okay, retailers, you’ve started doing a pretty good job recognizing the importance of marketing to women. But let me give you a little tip-don’t waste a woman’s time. Women give more consideration to context and have a greater sensitivity to their surroundings than men. When a woman walks into a car dealership, a doctor’s office or a bank, she immediately starts receiving and assessing signals that will factor into her overall impression of the product and company. What a golden moment to send her a message! Instead, many companies let her stand-or sit-waiting.
Waiting Time Can Kill Your Brand
Studies show that waiting time is overwhelmingly the single most important factor affecting a shopper’s opinion of store service. It’s likely that it affects women even more than men, because multi-taskers (most likely women) feel they’re being kept from moving ahead on several additional projects. To “uni-taskers,” (usually men) waiting, though frustrating, is still on task and still oriented toward the sole goal they are pursuing.
A few principles of retail design, office décor and even common courtesy can go a long way toward overcoming her sensation of wasting time-and your mistake of wasting opportunity:
1. Reduce waiting time for routine tasks by providing alternatives. An example would be check-in at a business hotel, where there are always long lines around 3PM when rooms become available. Instead of having customers wait in line to obtain a key from a desk clerk, why not set up kiosks in the lobby? Guests could insert a credit card and receive an e-key plus directions to the room.
2. Make waiting time more productive. Some places, like Jiffy Lube, and doctors’ offices, have waiting time built-in. In that case, help her make good use of it. Recognizing that 65% of auto repair/maintenance visits are handled by women, Jiffy Lube offers free Wi-Fi and HD TV in many locations.
3. Offer some modest amenities and courtesies. Jiffy Lube, as part of its very savvy program to capture the women’s market, redesigned its waiting rooms to make them more appealing to women with new furniture and color schemes, free bottled water and Starbucks coffee, and women’s interest magazines.
As you see, it doesn’t cost a lot to make waiting time more amenable for women-just pay attention to how women prefer to spend their time.