[Posted October 2nd by Keith Shetterly]
The best auto dealerships are learning how to use automotive CSI feedback to their advantage. Using a pro-active approach, these innovative dealers are recognizing that the customer satisfaction index can improve sales by ensuring that their needs are being addressed effectively and correctly. These dealerships know that effective sales people produce happier buyers, hence better CSI results.
How Does Automotive CSI Work?
Once the initial purchase is made, many dealerships find it challenging to maintain a relationship with the purchaser. This can often lead to missed future sales or services that are able to be provided. In addition, once a sale is made, it can be tempting for salespeople to move onto the next customer quickly in order to secure another sale as efficiently as possible. This can also result in the loss of future sales and services. These issues can be resolved with the use of automotive CSI which is used to record the entire customer experience in order to tailor and improve services rendered.
After purchasing a vehicle the buyer receives an automotive CSI survey from the manufacturer, and/or the parent company of a dealership network. The customer will be asked to grade the performance of the dealership, the salesperson, and the purchasing experience overall. The survey may also ask about the dealer’s property, the efficiency of the billing department, the efficiency of the service and parts departments, or the cleanliness of the restrooms. Opinions about the manufacturer, the brand name, and experiences with the vehicle are then solicited. This will then be communicated to the dealership in order for them to alter their sales strategies according to customer feedback.
Surveys Offer a Greater Return on Investment
Dealer organizations that embrace customer satisfaction surveys, not as an indictment of the sales people, but as a way to get ahead of the competition will typically receive better results. These surveys should not be viewed as a negative source of feedback, but as a way to receive constructive criticism that will increase sales and improve customer satisfaction. It is also useful as means to monitor that the correct departments are operating as a team in order to satisfy customers and secure sales.
The key to better survey results is better relationships with customers after the sale. Innovative incentive programs for salespeople – bonuses and recognition for those people who produce improved customer satisfaction index scores – typically work well also. When salespeople are incentivized to produce greater customer service satisfaction rather than higher sales, it will increase the chance that customers will return to the dealership. This information will be reflected in CSI surveys.
If sales people are encouraged to follow up with their customers, they are likely to ease the anxiety of buyers, and form lasting relationships that will lead to future sales. The customers will acknowledge that there is genuine concern about how they are treated by the auto dealer and the staff. When they complete the CSI survey, they are more apt to give positive and constructive feedback so that the dealership can better cater to their needs and secure loyal customers.