Every auto dealership wants the highest CSI score possible. CSI scores, for example, drive bonuses and vehicle choice – a dealership with great CSI scores is more likely to get fast-selling inventory, and that leads to higher sales. The purpose behind CSI is to build customer loyalty. Dealerships want to sell more vehicles, and those with repair and service centers want to maximize after-market business by keeping their customers coming back. CSI matters!
Manufacturers launch customer satisfaction campaigns for their franchisees, some franchisees introduce their own programs, as do non-franchise dealerships. Great CSI results deliver bonuses of different sorts for successful sales people.
Incentives work, but they are only part of the motivating process. Really successful CSI programs dig below the CSI surface to reinforce the CSI process. Long-term success boils down to three words – Strategy – Campaign – Reward. Let’s discuss each in turn.
The Strategy Behind Perfect CSI Scores
All performance results are based on the right strategy, and that strategy has to be at the core of everything showroom, support and shop staff do.
Continuous high performance boils down to a person’s Knowledge, Skill and Attitude. Individuals and teams have to know, understand, and agree with everything that comes under the term perfect performance.
If they don’t really know, they won’t really succeed.
The old problem of “How many times do I have to tell you?” is caused by individuals either not really knowing what is expected of them, not understanding why it’s expected or not agreeing with doing what’s expected.
So Step 1 of the Strategy is to get ‘KNOW’ right.
Then they have to perform – that takes skill. Skills are about practice. Great skills are based on practice plus improvement (practice does not make perfect – practice makes permanent! Only practice plus improvement leads to perfection.)
Step 2 of the Strategy is keep improving SKILLS.
People who just keep ‘trying harder’ but who don’t get a lot better, lose the desire to succeed – so the their attitude changes from “I want to be great” to “I need to ‘fix’ the result, because all that matters is my bonus.” Or their attitude changes from “I want to be great” to “I just need to be better than the other guy” If the other guy is ‘good enough’ then just better than ‘good enough’ is ‘success.’
Unfortunately this attitude does not win gold medals, and it does not deliver long-term perfect CSI scores. The right attitude reinforced by the right skills, underpinned by true knowledge is what delivers long-term success.
Step 3 of the Strategy is focus on ATTITUDE by using Steps 1 and 2.
That brings us to Campaigns.
The Underlying Campaign
This campaign is called Training – train for knowledge and building skills in order to maintain the right attitude. Many auto dealerships ‘do training.’ They do in-house training, and they send staff to specialist training centers. Some even hire in specialist trainers to make sure they ‘get it right.’
Unfortunately there is a disconnect in people’s minds between the 3-Step Strategy and the knowledge they are being taught, and the skills they are practicing. Training must clearly deliver on the philosophy behind the Strategy, and the Strategy must underlie the Training Campaign.
Dealership management can greatly improve training results by introducing simple incentives for people who show they know, who prove they understand and who demonstrate that they can perform.
If you really want to improve your dealership’s CSI scores, introduce a sequence of simple bonuses to incentivize further improvement. You can, actually, give the team certificates when they reach a certain level of knowledge, skill and attitude. You can present individuals with a Cup of Awesome or other gifts that they can display. The display will reinforce their training. It is a constant reminder to them and others about what they achieved to advance through the sequence, and to incentivize them to want to get the next award, or gift, in the sequence.
Which brings us to:-
The Real Campaign
The real campaign is designed to ensure the knowledge and skills are used perfectly in every customer encounter. Too often, after a customer buys a vehicle, the sales person asks for a perfect survey score. Customers either expect this final conversation – because that’s what dealership people do – or it comes as a surprise. In both cases, most customers do not understand how important a perfect survey result is.
You can overcome this in a very simple way. Send your customer an appreciation gift, and include a survey reminder card like the one we have below. It is a perfect opportunity to introduce the idea, the importance to the sales person and the dealership of a perfect CSI score.
Making survey reminders part of the sales experience will maximize score results because the customer actually understands the idea behind perfect performance, and they also experience it.
Dealerships management can introduce another simple rewards program for staff who help customers understand CSI, and who achieve perfect CSI scores. Simple and frequent rewards are great motivators – they are not just incentives. The quarterly bonus then becomes the icing on the cake, not just a singular event.
You can also reward the customer. If the customer has experienced great service with you, was delighted by a customer appreciation gift, and is rewarded for making referrals, then they are more likely to sing your praises to all of their friends!
Rewards work best when they are part of a Strategy. We want to help you create the strategy – through wonderful rewards – so you always achieve perfect CSI scores, and so you keep selling more vehicles. We would love to discuss the details with you, so please click here to contact us. We will answer your questions, explore your situation and your goals, and discuss the options we can provide.LEARN ABOUT OUR CUSTOMER APPRECIATION PROGRAMS FOR AUTO DEALERS