Eventually you will have to shift gears from one area of the dealership to another. When you do, start that second line of questioning with another broad question. For instance, “What was your overall impression of our service department?” Then, “Was the service manager friendly and eager to assist you?” “How would you rate the appearance of our service department?” “How would you rate the appearance of our technicians?”
Aside from making it easier on the customer, the real benefit of asking groups of logically flowing questions like this is that you can pinpoint where you need to improve. For example, a customer’s overall impression of your showroom’s appearance might be a 3 out of 5. But as you review the responses to the subsequent questions, you note that everything scored at least 4 except for restroom cleanliness, which only scored 1. Now you know what to fix in order to create an even better customer experience.
Test Your Questions
It’s a good idea to send the survey out to just a few customers initially (maybe 10 or 15). Then look at their responses and see what you’re getting. There may be a question that isn’t being answered consistently. Maybe you need to rewrite the question so it makes more sense to the customer. Make any necessary changes now before you send the questionnaire out to your broader list of customers.
How to Act On the Responses You Get
Prepare yourself now—some of the responses could be less than favorable. Embrace it, because now you know what you have to improve in order to become a more competitive dealer who’s capable of earning customers for life.
Pull your key managers and staff together to go over the data. If you’re a 2 out of 5 on overall dealership appearance, what are you doing to do about it? How can you improve?
If you learned that you’re a 5 out of 5 on parts department friendliness, you have to give your parts staff credit; rewarding good behavior encourages additional good behavior.
Customer surveys aren’t just about hearing bad news and figuring out what you need to get better at. Customer surveys are about finding out what customers think of your dealership, both good and bad, and how you can continue to deliver a favorable customer experience, something that’s growing more important year after year.
Bob Clements is the president of Bob Clements International, a consulting firm that specializes in the development of high-performance dealerships. His organization works hands on with dealerships throughout North America, helping them attain the personal freedom and financial wealth all entrepreneurs strive to achieve. For more information, contact Bob Clements at (800) 480-0737 or email@example.com.