Think about the last time you purchased a car from
somewhere other than your dealership. What was that experience like?
Were you able to easily navigate the dealership’s website
and request a test drive? Did the sales team go above and beyond to ensure your
needs were met? Was the sales process seamless and simple? Did the dealership
have amenities that aided your overall experience? Was the sales team there for
you long after you made a purchase?
All of these factors — and more — play into a customer’s
satisfaction with your dealership. And, unless you can read minds, it is
difficult to know what a customer truly thinks about your business.
Fortunately, we live in an age where technology is readily accessible and provides long-term benefits to customers and dealerships alike.
Measure how satisfied customers are with your dealership by leveraging these six types of technology, many of which you’re likely already using.
Every business has a love/hate relationship with review
sites like Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc. Yet, these sites are one of the most
accessible ways to determine how happy customers are with your dealership.
Take time to analyze each customer review in depth. Ask
- What is the customer pleased or frustrated with?
- Did this situation need to happen, or was human
error or oversight involved?
- What can you do to remedy or improve the
- How can you replicate the positive experience
for future customers?
Of course, you may encounter a few bad reviews while
scrolling through Google or Facebook. Keep in mind that it’s impossible to
please everyone! Use undesirable reviews as an opportunity to identify issues
that may prevent customers from being satisfied with your dealership.
If possible, respond to each review — both good and bad —
to show the user you care about and listen to their feedback. Use these templates as
a foundation for your response. Who knows? You might have the chance to rectify
a dissatisfied customer’s experience!
Customer surveys are a common and effective way to
measure customer satisfaction. Your surveys can be as simple or as detailed as
you desire, as long as they are delivered in the right context.
There are several survey methods available to car
When customers are using your website or app to
schedule a service appointment, browse through your current inventory, or learn
more about your dealership, offer them the opportunity to rate their
The beauty of this technology is the ability to cater the
survey to your goals.
For instance, if you want to learn more about a customer’s
encounter with your online service scheduling system, include a quick survey at
the end of the scheduling process asking, “On a scale of 0-10, how would you
rate your experience with our booking process?”
Or, if you want to see how your sales team interacts with
customers, include a link to a survey in each of their email signatures. When
your sales professionals email prospective buyers or loyal customers, customers
will have the chance to share their experiences with your team.
These surveys can also be displayed on your customer-facing POS system at the end of service-centers or parts transactions for further customer insight.
The trick to obtaining more responses is to make the
surveys as straightforward as possible. Unless there is an incentive involved,
customers will rarely be willing to sit down and answer a 20+ question survey.
To make your surveys effective for employees and customers
alike, use popular survey tools such as:
Another survey tactic used by car dealerships is known as the Net Promoter Score (NPS). This survey measures how willing a customer is to recommend your dealership’s products and services to others. The score ranges from -100 to 100.
Customers are simply asked, “On a scale of 0-10, how
likely are you to recommend our dealership’s products and services to family
and friends.” Based on their answers, customers fall into one of three
Answered 9 or 10
Answered 7 or 8
Answered 6 or below
Your dealership’s NPS is then calculated using the
NPS = % of
Promoters – % of Detractors
Let’s imagine you had 10 survey participants and received
3 detractors, 3 passives, and 4 promoters. Using the equation, you would
receive a Net Promoter Score of 10 (40% - 30%).
Naturally, you should strive to continuously improve your
dealership’s Net Promoter Score and, in turn, the customer’s experience at your
Wondering what customers think about your dealership
and their car buying experience? Ask them!
Set up in-store kiosks for customers to submit anonymous
feedback or take a quick interactive survey about their experience.
Place these kiosks in high-traffic areas of your lobby or
service center to entice customers to participate. Of course, you can always
add an incentive such as a gift card or a chance to win a prize for
In addition to being a phenomenal customer service
tool, chatbots can help you measure how pleased your customers are.
After the end of a customer conversation, program the
chatbot to ask the user about their experience. This could be in the form of a
quick survey or an open-ended question — your choice!
Or, if rather than preprogrammed responses, an individual
on your team controls your chatbot, encourage them to engage the customer in an
informal survey after each conversation.
When working with programmed chatbots, ensure that the
conversation surrounding customer satisfaction flows naturally with the
conversation. Abruptly asking a customer to fill out a survey or select a
response will only result in dissatisfaction or a lack of replies.
An indirect way to understand how customers feel about
your business is to audit your Google Analytics reports.
While Google Analytics can’t provide qualitative data such
as insight about a particular customer’s interaction with your dealership, it
can give you a glimpse into the overall satisfaction of your online audience
through metrics such as:
Rate: Are customers landing on your website and leaving before
visiting another page or filling out a form?
Flow: What pages are customers looking at, and in which order?
Spent on Site: How long are customers spending on your website?
- Goals: Set
specific action goals, such as form submissions, to track customer satisfaction
- New vs.
Returning Customers: Are your current customers returning for more
information or booking service appointments?
Use Google Analytics data as supplemental customer
satisfaction insight. It cannot tell you exactly how a consumer feels or
thinks, but it can shed light on their online behaviors.
When a customer has a bad experience, where’s the first
place they turn to? Social media!
Twitter, in particular, is filled with users tagging
companies to obtain remedies to their bad experiences. The best brands utilize
a social media monitoring and listening strategy and immediately act on these
Of course, you’ll enjoy your fair share of positive social media interactions, too! From customers posting about their brand-new car purchases to leaving glowing recommendations about your service team, consumers will share their overwhelmingly positive business interactions with others online.
You can also use specific tools to alert you every time
your brand is mentioned — whether they tagged your account or not. Plus, many
of these tools scour the Internet looking for mentions of your dealership in
blogs, article comments, and more. It’s not limited to social media!
Some of the best social media monitoring tools include:
To get the most out of these tools, assign a specific
person from your customer service and/or marketing teams to utilize the
platforms and respond to complaints, concerns, and positive interactions in a
If you use these tools and technology only to discover that your customers are far from satisfied, use these quick steps to implement at your dealership:
After combing through customer reviews, survey
responses, and emails, do you notice a pattern? Are there any problems that
consistently appear in customer responses? If so, identify these problems
It’s not enough to acknowledge the problems. Document them
and distribute the list to your team. Fixing these issues will require buy-in
and support from every member of your team.
Sometimes the problem isn’t caused by an individual on
your team. Often, it’s the result of poor internal systems, technology, or
mismanaged processes. Work together with your respective teams and brainstorm
for potential solutions to your customer problems.
Possible solutions can include adopting new technology,
revising company processes, restructuring teams, and more.
After formulating a concrete plan with your employees, put it to work. Don’t delay. Do it now!
Use the technology mentioned previously to continue
monitoring your customers’ satisfaction. Did the new changes affect their
experience with your dealership? Did things improve, or is there more work to
Customer satisfaction is a constantly evolving concern for
all business owners, so keep at it!
From your service events to your online ads, all customer touchpoints factor into their overall experience with your business. Let the team at J&L Marketing help you with your marketing, events, and advertising so you can focus on providing customers the best service possible.