The Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI score) was initially implemented across services and operations as a method of measuring to what extent businesses were meeting customer needs. A car dealership or other business would close a deal and then issue a survey of calculated questions to assess customer satisfaction with the sales process, including customer service, knowledgeability, and closure.
What began as an altruistic attempt to improve the sales process for customers by identifying shortcomings has sometimes become a key performance indicator (KPI) used to critique employees and motivate sales.
Dealerships can refocus on boosting CSI scores to not only increase sales, but to motivate best practices that drive a great customer experience.
Improving Your CSI Score: What Not to Do
Every individual who has purchased a vehicle in their life has most likely come across a sales representative who didn’t know where a specific vehicle was, stood still and didn’t discuss key vehicle features, or walked the customer to a vehicle only to find it blocked by other cars or with a dead battery. These are all tried and true ways to tank a CSI score.
However, the sales process doesn’t stop there. Customers who proceed to the contract signing stages can be aggravated by long signing processes which take hours, hidden fees or expenses, and non-transparent purchasing processes. The last impression a customer has of a dealership is the paperwork stage. Even if a sales representative provides a great experience, if the car owner spends two hours haggling down hidden fees, the CSI score they provide will inevitably be poor.
4 Ways to Boost Your CSI Score by Adding Value
1. Understand the Customer and Their Needs
Simply asking questions and learning about the customer can improve their experience.
Are they a parent? What do they do for fun? Do they have a teen driver who will be learning in the car? Asking these questions will help the sales representative understand what the customer isn’t aware they need in a vehicle.
If they are a parent, maybe a vehicle with a hands-free power liftgate can help when their hands are full. If they enjoy camping or drive-in movies, maybe they would prefer a hatchback with ample room in the back and seats that fold completely. The representative is not there to merely make a sale, they are there to help the customer find a car that suits their lifestyle better than any car they’ve test driven.
2. Take Them on a Tour
The best sales representative doesn’t just memorize the features of each vehicle on the lot, they know how to use them.
Does the vehicle in question have a hands-free power liftgate, adaptive cruise control, an Apple CarPlay console, or lane assist? If so, the representative needs to take them on a tour and guide them through how to use it.
Showing a first-time car owner how to connect to Bluetooth or navigate Apple CarPlay on their console is a simple way to personalize the purchasing journey.
3. Ease Off the Pressure
The last thing a customer wants is to feel rushed or pushed to make a decision. If an individual does not feel comfortable deciding in the moment and leaves, follow-up with a personal phone call or email.
When they eventually come back, they will be pleased that their decision was not rushed. While some representatives try to boost their scores by begging customers to provide a perfect score, this does not provide an accurate representation of the service provided and leaves the customer feeling pressured. Good service will drive good scores.
4. Leverage Connected Vehicle Technology
When vehicles sit in a lot for days or weeks, batteries die. To avoid walking a customer to a car only to find that they cannot drive it, dealerships can leverage connected vehicle technology.
Devices such as Elo GPS offer technology coupled with apps which allow sales representatives to assess gas, oil, and battery level of vehicles as well as where they are located in the lot to identify which vehicle is equipped for a test drive.
To learn more about Elo GPS’s connected vehicle technology, contact our team to schedule a demo.