Responding to dealers' complaints, some auto makers have improved their customer satisfaction surveys, according to National Automobile Dealers Assn. Chairman Charley Smith.
Declining to say which ones, Smith says “some manufacturers, working with their dealers, have responded by cutting the length of their surveys or by revising their protocols.”
Last year, his NADA predecessor, Alan Starling, complained the auto makers' customer satisfaction index (CSI) system was “broken and needed fixing.”
Points of contention included top-box scoring (deeming anything but top scores as unacceptable) and linking survey results to incentive and reward programs.
NADA complained many surveys were poorly worded, asked loaded questions and failed to take into account customers, unhappy with their vehicles, taking it out on dealers when filling out the surveys.
Says Smith: “Then and now, these deflect dealer attention away from where it should be — on making sure that our customers, whether they're buying from us or coming in for service, are truly satisfied with the process.”
Although encouraged by progress, “there is still more to be done,” says Smith.
NADA continues to discuss the issue with auto makers, but “some of them don't think there's anything wrong with their surveys,” Smith tells the Automotive Press Assn. in Detroit.