Yippie, We Got a Problem!

Maritz Research learned something intriguing during a survey of dealership customers: problems, not perfection, can lead to greater dealership loyalty if the problems are handled deftly and solved swiftly. Consequently, Maritz developed Customer Connect, a program that alerts dealers of dissatisfied sales or service customers within 24 hours, and allows a fast resolution. Maritz says more than one-third

Maritz Research learned something intriguing during a survey of dealership customers: problems, not perfection, can lead to greater dealership loyalty — if the problems are handled deftly and solved swiftly.

Consequently, Maritz developed Customer Connect, a program that alerts dealers of dissatisfied sales or service customers within 24 hours, and allows a fast resolution.

Maritz says more than one-third of customers complain, ironically offering dealers opportunities to heighten customer loyalty. That's because Maritz says dealership loyalty rates were higher for customers who complained and received good resolution (60%) compared with those with no complaints (39% percent).

“Our research indicates that customers who feel their complaints are satisfactorily resolved are significantly more likely to be loyal to the brand in addition to the dealer,” says David Ensing, Maritz' research and development director.

With Customer Connect, Maritz pulls sales and service records each night from client dealers' management systems, then calls and e-mail customers. Two questions are asked: “Were you completely satisfied?” and “Would you recommend the dealership?”

If a customer answers no to either, Maritz seeks an explanation, transcribes it and e-mails it to the dealer that night so he or she can potentially respond to the matter by the next day.

Dealers can view transcripts on a web site and access voice recordings.

Maritz charges $35 a month and $1.70 per completed phone contact. The service is like NADA-24 that debuted this year. Maritz says its is cheaper.

TAGS: Dealers Retail
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