[Posted 3 July 2013 by DealFinder]
Sometimes selling cars can feel a little combative. Shoppers are coached by friends and family to be as aggressive as possible in order to get the best deal they can, and told just as often that car salesmen are trying to pull one over on them. With customers automatically on the defensive, it can be tough for the dealership to get a real idea of what the clientele want or need from them. Enter Automotive CSI, an excellent tool for those shopping for a vehicle and for those selling them alike.
What Is Automotive CSI?
In this case, CSI stands for Customer Service Index (despite its associations with gritty crime solving dramas). Automotive CSI is a measure of how satisfied customers are with their experience after buying a car or servicing their vehicle through a dealership, usually calculated based on a survey that the customer fills out after his or her visit. This is a powerful tool for customer and dealership alike: the customer has a chance to speak his or her mind without the pressure he or she might have felt before a sale was made, and the dealership has the opportunity to tailor their services to their customers’ needs based on actual feedback.
This survey is essentially a way for dealerships (or the companies that own them) to see how well customers are being treated while on the premises. Questions might ask about how friendly the salespeople were, how timely the services provided were, or even how clean the building was. This information is very significant to anyone who runs a dealership; naturally they want their customers to receive the best service possible, and would be angry to learn otherwise. An angry customer could leave a scathing review, which would drive down the dealership’s CSI score.
What Does a Good CSI Score Mean for Your Dealership?
Having high automotive CSI scores can lead to many benefits for dealerships who consistently earn them. Automakers have been known to reward dealerships who pull in the highest scores from customers with money, and lots of it. At the same time, the automakers frequently snub dealerships with low CSI scores, presumably in an attempt to motivate the dealerships to work on their customer service.
A good score will mean, first and foremost, happier customers. Since customer satisfaction is what the score measures in the first place, this reward speaks for itself. Happy customers want to keep shopping with dealerships they trust and which make them feel important and well-served. Earning loyal customers’ trust is a reward in itself, but there are further gains to be made. Should you manage to earn excellent scores, an automaker might just reward you with enough money to spruce up the dealership or run a promotional sale without losing money, which can only bring in more happy customers.
Automotive CSI is important to automakers and dealers alike. That’s why some companies are holding huge workshops to teach their underperforming dealerships how to boost their scores and please their customers. Since higher automotive CSI scores can lead to such dramatic benefits, and can allow you to know so accurately what your clientele really thinks and wants, there’s no reason not to pursue ever higher scores.