Fixed Ops Magazine - 2020 Vol17 03 - 31

ranks far below other transactional benchmarks, and
they have a strong  belief -  an acceptance that something is true - that their mostly male front line already
does a great job communicating equally with both men
and women. They are sorely mistaken, and that belief
will cost them ROs, and just as importantly, repeat business in the future. They might also believe that women
want to have the same customer experience as men,
as part of the one-size-fits-all belief. Women are equal,
but in general, they have a different set of wants, needs,
and desires when it comes to maintaining their vehicles.

THE 20 PERCENT GLASS CEILING
For decades, there has been a common percentage cap
of roughly 20 percent for women working in retail automotive service, and it has not improved recently. It
is not unacceptable because of fairness or doing the
right thing. Instead, it is unacceptable because it is not
a smart, effective, or productive way to do business.
Endless research has revealed that having women in
decision-making roles improves the bottom line for
many other industries.
The question is, how will service leaders choose to re-

What is the number-one reason female customers con-

invent it? Will they use the same old formula based on

tinue to feel uncomfortable when they enter the ser-

the tendency to recruit mostly experienced male advi-

vice center of a dealership? I say it is the fact that far

sors, many of whom have developed bad habits? Or, will

too many service lanes still take on the appearance of

they opt for a new look, with a more diversified group

a man cave. As you will read later in my interview with

of advisors that matches the reality of today's customer

a prominent Fixed Ops Manager, the all-male percep-

base? This is not to say that all-male service advisor

tion tends to defuse trust, and trust is the gateway to

teams are incapable of delivering
a memorable experience to female
customers. Yet, it is my opinion that a
well-balanced, more gender-diverse
front line, composed primarily of service advisors, is apt to be more appealing to all your service customers.

THE STATE OF DEALER
SERVICE CENTERS
It is also my opinion that far too many
dealership leaders are in denial that
staff diversity is a critical strategy!
They honestly  believe  that diversity

MAY JUNE 2020 || FIXED OPS MAGAZINE

"For decades, there

more sales and repeat business. In
fact, most women in dealerships are

has been a common

unseen or unheard. They are either

percentage cap of

tions which, in most cases, come with

roughly 20 percent

facilitate man-made processes that

for women working
in retail automotive
service, and it has not
improved recently."
-Roger Conant

in the back office or in support posilittle power to do anything other than
have existed for decades. It is simply
not smart business!
Too many dealership leaders are hesitant to commit to a proactive, formal strategy of hiring and retaining
female front-line personnel because
they are fearful of either alienating

31



Fixed Ops Magazine - 2020 Vol17 03

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fixed Ops Magazine - 2020 Vol17 03

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