CSI in the Automotive World

Ask the average buyer what CSI stands for, and they will probably say something in regards to the Crime Scene Investigations TV show. However, CSI has a different meaning in the automotive retail world. CSI means “Customer Satisfaction Index.” It’s something important to car manufacturers and you may not suspect that CSI is a large force driving the auto industry at the moment. You may not think it’s an important, but it really is.

How does it work?

Well, after you’ve purchased a car, whether a mass market or luxury brand, you should get a survey. The survey might come from the dealer where you bought the car or the manufacturer. The survey might be in the form of a phone call, an email or a letter. The sales staff at griffismotors.com told us that what you will be asked to do is to rate your buying experience, probably on a one-to-ten scale. Sometimes, you may be asked to answer some “yes or no” questions. The point of the survey is to find out how well customers are have been treated at a car dealer, as a customer’s experience is invaluable.

One thing you should be aware of about the CSI process is that vehicle makers are serious about hearing customers’ feedback. The way they see it, if the CSI scores are not good, the brand may lose customers because those customers can go someplace else. That’s not good, so manufacturers go to good lengths to ensure their CSI is high. The amount of money salespeople take home is usually tied to it, and a dealer might lose many thousands of dollars if their CSI drops below a certain level. We bet you weren’t aware of that, as the majority of customers are even unaware of CSI surveys. CSI surveys are filled out for your salesperson’s name. When a salesperson makes a sale, a survey is sent to their customer and the customer is asked to evaluate the salesperson’s performance. How they greeted them, how well he or she knows the vehicle, etc., etc. It may then go into other functional areas of the dealership, such as service and finance, and ask how they performed. People who analyze CSI results range from government agencies to consumers.

It is common for dealers and manufacturers to be concerned when they get poor surveys back. There are dealerships that tie CSI results to the money their salespeople end up taking home. So, when you receive your CSI survey, be accurate but be nice. And always attempt to give your sales person a chance to correct anything that you might have thought was less than pleasing, as they will be happy you did. Filling out the CSI survey will give you serious power!

A lot of car buyers have no clue how important their answers to the surveys are. As a result, many people fail to answer them or don’t take it seriously. The American Customer Satisfaction Index, based out of a company in Michigan, only gets about 80,000 opinions from Americans a year, and many more are needed to obtain an accurate picture of the American car buying experience.

Article Courtesy of: Griffis Motors

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