New report indicates millennial women key to auto loan growth

A recent report from Edmunds documenting car shopping trends finds Millennial women are a prime customer base for car buying.

The reportMillennials Are Closing the Gender Gap in Car Shopping found that women are seeing larger growth in new vehicle registration than men.  The report found:

  • The volume of new vehicle registrations to women increased by 39% over the last 5 years compared to 19% for men.   
  • New vehicle registrations to Millennial women has increased 41% over the past 5 years while Millennial men have seen an increase of 30%.

You can download the full report here

What does this mean for credit unions?  Millennial women are going to be a key segment for increasing your auto loan business.  Is your customer experience designed to meet their needs?   

Here are some key questions your credit union needs to ask:

  • How is your auto loan process experience different/better than the auto dealer car loan process? (both online and in person)
  • What do Millennial women hate the most about the auto loan process?
  • What do Millennial women fear the most about the auto loan process?
  • If there is one thing they could change about the process, what is it?
  • If she is an existing member, how can credit unions build on that relationship in order to win her auto loan business?

Looking at your process through the lens of Millennial women can provide many “aha” moments.  For example, in my research on Millennial women and money, I did interviews with Millennial women car buyers.   One woman said she went with the auto dealer’s financing.  After further questioning, she said that the dealer had asked for less paperwork/documents than her own bank did.  The rates were similar, but she went with the dealer because she thought, “They had more confidence in me than my own bank did.”    She viewed the dealer’s need for fewer documents as a sign of confidence in her.   

The importance of the role of the sales person

Another question the Edmunds report asked was which traits were desired in a car sales person.  The top answers were:

  • Informed and knowledgeable
  • Warm and friendly
  • A true partner

While these traits were important for everyone, they were especially important for women.

There are some interesting correlations between what customers might also want from a car loan officer.

What specific micro-actions and touch points do you include in your auto loan process that allow your credit union employees to display these traits?  And that’s the key.  These need to be built into your process.  You can’t leave them to chance.  

For example, your member’s language will give you many clues as to how to be “warm and friendly.”  The Edmunds report found that many Millennials, especially Millennial women think of their car as a “member of their family.”  If you notice her using “member of the family” language, work that wording into your responses as well.         

If you want to grow your auto loan business, creating a better experience for Millennials and women can give you a competitive edge with a growing market.    

You can download the full report here

Holly Buchanan

Holly Buchanan

Holly Buchanan is the author of Selling Financial Services to Women – What Men Need to Know and Even Women Will Be Surprised to Learn. She is the co-author of The ... Web: Details