There’s a saying when it comes to CSI scores: if it’s not a 10, it’s a 0. They are that important. The Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) is one of the major forces driving (pun intended) the auto industry. Are dealership CSI scores the secret to selling cars? Let’s take a closer look at how CSI scores can affect how your dealership gets everything from inventory to new car leads.
Investigating CSI: The Secret to Selling Cars?
CSI seeks to provide some solid figures in terms of your dealership’s ability to connect with the customer. After an individual purchases a vehicle, they receive a survey from the dealership itself or from the manufacturer. It asks them to rate their experience, typically using a scale of 1 to 10 and may include several “yes” or “no” questions as well.
CSI scores are tied to:
- Bonuses. Dealerships and manufacturers use these metrics as a way to distribute incentives.
- Inventory. Manufacturers reward dealerships with high CSI scores with hot models that will sell fast.
- New car leads. Your reputation for great service will precede you; buyers want to work with dealerships that will treat them right.
- Profits. If you combine motivated sales staff with new leads and sought-after inventory, you see greater profitability. Oftentimes, compensation is connected to CSI scores, so your dealership stands to lose significant sums if your numbers dip.
It’s high-stakes. How can you increase your CSI scores – and accomplish other business-building goals?
- Train, Train Train. Ensure that everyone working within your dealership understands the importance of stellar customer service. This needs to be explicit; they need the skills and tools to deliver a high level of service.
- Don’t put it all on the salesperson. While CSI surveys focus on the salesperson, they really encompass the entire experience. How clean was the showroom? Is it well-lit and inviting? Was inventory well-presented? Was staff welcoming? Do your part to boost scores.
- Streamline the buying process. The fewer steps, the better – particularly for today’s buyers. Automate what you can (e.g., quotes, scheduling test drives, live chats, loan calculators, etc.) and make the in-person components count more.
- Make great deals. Customers want a deal, that’s no secret. Work with them to give them the car they want at the price they need. This will increase CSI scores, which drive profits.
- Consider product specialists. According to JD Power’s 2016 US Sales Satisfaction Index Study, when salespeople work in tandem with product specialists, customers report higher levels of satisfaction.