Decision Makers: Women Have Changed. Have You?


Women have changed in many ways, but they’ve also stayed the same in important areas. Understanding both will help you design your company to market and offer services to women as effectively as possible. If you take the time and energy to meet with your team and follow the steps listed below, I’m confident you’ll see an increase in both retention and referrals from your female customers.

What has changed?

The number of women in the workforce has rapidly increased over the past five decades, from 30 percent to roughly 50 percent today. Since many of your female customers are also working women, time management and stresses are more pronounced. Many women are playing multiple roles as they tend to children, care for their homes and bring in paychecks. Consequently, women feel very busy and have enough business savvy to know when they’re being slighted, talked down to or deceived. Women’s experiences in the workforce have exposed them to how companies operate from the inside and how managers sometimes make bad decisions.

Another relevant trend is the increase in single women between the ages of 25 and 55—about 60 percent over the past 30 years. These women are either divorced or have never been married, so they aren’t consulting with men about their purchases.

What has stayed the same?

1. Women tend to have large networks of friends and communicate more often with them.
2. Women tend to be more in tune with the emotions of others.
3. Women tend to be more aware of aesthetics.
4. Women tend to enjoy the shopping experience and prefer to include a social aspect.

What does this mean for your business?

Women who are married are busier than ever because they’re working and acting as both the main shoppers and caregivers for their families. You might think saving time is their biggest concern, but it usually isn’t. These women are savvy about business but not knowledgeable about your company’s services, so they want you to be patient and answer all their questions as if they’re the sole decision makers. Remember, they enjoy shopping, so your staff should be aware that the process of interaction and enjoyment of “back and forth” are very important. Quick, fact-based answers aren’t usually the best interactions. Women are likely to ask more questions than men, so expect to answer each in a kind, respectful manner.

Both single and married women are tuned in to your staff’s emotions more than you might think, so the way they’re treated will give them a sense of how your company respects them. Your staff members’ personal stories and experiences will also be very important.

Aesthetics are important to women, so your staff’s appearance will mean more to them than to men. The same is true for your facility and/or vehicles. The smells, colors and appearances of your company will impact your female customers (positively or negatively) much more than your male customers. In fact, these aesthetic impressions impact a woman’s opinion of your team’s actual competence. Acknowledge this with your staff and make sure they leave good aesthetic impressions. A smelly waiting room with nail holes and bad posters kills a business for most women.

Women think about money differently than men, focusing less on the dollar value and more on what it’s going to cost in emotional and intellectual closure. Many times, women will want all the repairs done and all the replacement items installed—it makes them feel safer knowing the loose ends are tied up. If you present this as an option when describing the price and scope of the job, you’ll often have a grateful audience.

Dos & Don’ts for Your Company:


1. Ask women more questions about how they want your company’s service delivered. They have a lot of responsibilities, so your interest will be appreciated and shows that you “get it.”
2. Make the shopping experience enjoyable!
3. Be patient. Women want to make good decisions that are based on both quantifiable and relationship factors.
4. Write thank-you notes.
5. Conduct a “smell and sight audit” of your staff, facility and vehicles. Take notice of décor, ambiance, cleanliness and grooming.
6. Make sure your staff members smile and are always polite. It really does matter!
7. If a female customer returns for more work, send the same technician to her home. If she had a good experience with a particular technician, she’ll feel safer and more comfortable with that person.
8. Ask for feedback on your service and what your company can do to improve.
9. Make sure your staff knows the history of the company, not just what they’re selling.
10. Make sure staff members clearly identify their roles in the company.


1. Make a female customer feel like she’s asking too many questions or doesn’t know what she’s talking about.
2. Treat women as second-class citizens. When faced with several customers, make sure you wait on and answer questions from women with equal attention. Women often rightly complain that they’re ignored when they approach a counter with a man.
3. Say, “Let me talk to your husband.”
4. Play loud music or smoke cigarettes.
5. Cut women off or force them into a man’s way of explaining things. What women are saying is relevant, but it sometimes starts elsewhere and comes back to the center of the problem. Don’t rush them toward a conclusion.
6. Use scare tactics. It makes women feel like prey.

How to increase your trust factor

1. Earn Diamond Certified and use the signage, brochures and brand in all your communications with women. This will increase women’s trust factor based on true customer satisfaction that’s supported by a money-back performance guarantee.
2. Talk to women about any problems that are going on with their jobs. Make sure they aren’t left in the dark.
3. Personal endorsements made by staff members whom women like are weighted very favorably. Even if a staff member hasn’t used your service, he should be able to explain why he’s convinced it’s the best.

How to help women nurture their powerful relationships

Women are naturally keener on analyzing relationships. Your company’s relationships with its women customers are nurtured over time, which means the longer and better the relationships, the more women feel it’s risky to buy from your competitors. Because of the investments in relationships and knowledge you have of your customers’ preferences, you’ve built up high switching costs and created greater customer retention.

One woman shopper says it best: “If I knew a company was consistently respectful, I would refer them to a lot of my friends. It’s like match making—I’m protective of my friends and have to be sure.”

Hand out your Diamond Certified brochures. Tell women you’re building your business through personal referrals and looking for women customers who need x, y and z.