[Posted September 10th, 2014 by Keith Shetterly]
When shopping for a vehicle, the experience goes beyond finding and buying the car itself. How the sales associate treats you throughout the process can make a huge difference. That’s why salespeople often ask—or even beg—customers to give them high marks in the customer satisfaction survey, which is also known as the Customer Survey Index (ASI). Automotive CSI is a very important performance indicator in the industry. In a competitive marketplace where dealerships compete for customers, the satisfaction of customers is a key element of business success and growth. Indeed, incomes, jobs, even entire establishments, depend on the automotive CSI.
Identify and Work on Problem Areas
While the automotive CSI can identify the areas in which the dealership excels, it can also identify the areas in which it struggles and can do better. For instance, a dealership may need to do better with responding quickly to inquiries or make sure vehicles of interest are in stock. There’s always something to improve on, and dealerships can use the CSI to identify and work on what it needs to do better, while maintaining the good performance in other areas. By doing so, the business can better ensure the retention of its clientele.
Identify What Customers Aren’t Saying
Sometimes, customers will not offer feedback or constructive criticism when they are in the dealership. So, when said customers never return, there’s virtually no way of knowing why. However, sales managers can use the automotive CSI to figure out what customers are not saying about their service. Reasons for customers walking out can be due to not being attended to, not getting sufficient service, or problems with pricing. Once these omissions are identified, dealerships can then address and solve issues.
No automotive market is the same. What does well in one place might not do as well in another. So, dealerships use CSI scores and feedback to customize their services accordingly. For instance, the majority of service appointments at Dealership A comes from people who want to do an oil change, so Dealership A would concentrate on crafting discounts or specials to hold on to that client base—complete with the accompanying advertising. When dealerships recognize the type of services their clients like or prefer, and tailor them accordingly, they can increase their sales.
The Beauty of Anonymity
Most people prefer to give feedback without revealing basic vital information, such as name, phone number and addresses. Automotive CSI is no different. The survey gives customers the benefit of anonymity, while asking them detailed questions. Such a format is more likely to facilitate more honest information and meaningful feedback.
Although popular with dealerships, automotive CSI is also used by auto manufacturers. With the feedback provided in dealership surveys, car makers from Ford, Toyota, CM, Honda, and Hyundai to BMW, Lexus, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz are motivated to produce the very best vehicles they can. Plus, these automakers reward the dealerships who have the best feedback and numbers because the scores and numbers makes a huge difference in the health of their respective enterprises.