Understanding Customer Satisfaction 

Most dealerships are focused in on their customer satisfaction score. They look at the manufacturer index then rate their advisors and team members based on customers marking squares off the questions. Many dealerships even go so far as compensating employees for good scores and coaching them how to get good results from customers. No one would ever suggest that customer satisfaction scores are not important. My view is they are critical to achieve long term positive performance from the dealership operations. What we all need to understand is that customer satisfaction is really a culture. It’s a commitment from the entire team to care for the customer beyond all expectations. 
 
Arrival
 
From the moment the customer arrives at the dealership, they see and experience the culture of your dealership. If customer care isn’t a priority this can’t be hidden in any fashion. No amount of coaching is going to convince a customer that wasn’t treated well to mark your dealership completely satisfied on a survey. In fact the people who want to fill out the customer satisfaction survey the most, are the ones who’ve been abused or missed treated at the time of their visit. Dealerships need to stop looking at customer satisfaction scores on a piece of paper and begin developing the culture that is required to maximize customer care. This culture must be developed with every team member understanding they are empowered to truly care for a customer. Only then will satisfied customers desire to fill out their surveys illustrating the remarkable treatment at your dealership.
 
The Situation
 
The deck is truly stacked against you, because every customer that comes in has a problem with their car. Something is broken that requires an inconvenience in their life. Reach beyond the expectations of the customer and truly start listening to their needs. Have the appropriate staff that takes the time to understand every concern in great detail. Get involved with them at the car and  have them show you their issue. Only when the dealership desires to go beyond the normal experience will the customers find the excellence they deserve.

Sincerely,
Rob Gehring, President
Fixed Performance Inc.
rgehring@fixedperformance.com
Fixed Performance complete fixed operations coaching consulting