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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Marc Bellacosa

Marc Bellacosa Senior Advisor

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CSI... Can't Stand It!

Is this how you feel when you see the three letters CSI? If you answered yes, you are not alone. After twenty years of dealing with CSI, there has always been one common denominator, “fix it right the first time.” We are all aware of the hoops we jump through, changing the way we would normally conduct business, including crazy ideas we think customers will love. We wash their cars, stay open late, create new positions, all in the name of customer service. Does anyone out there have a “Customer Service Specialist” or a “Concierge Service Greeter” or should we just call it a CSG, or some other crazy acronym?

Not to say how many times we have had to adjust to the factory changing the way they score us! One week it is the infamous do or die, all or nothing question, the next week they are grading us on a “weighted score” Who makes this stuff up, and what person decides which question is heavily weighted versus the next? My guess is it is the guy who put the cabin air filter behind the dash, only accessed by the thinnest armed contortionist tech in the shop! Oh yeah, and it pays a whopping one tenth!

Either way we look at it, it is still the main focus of every manufacture out there, and we need to accept it. Being Service Directors, we have all learned how to adjust to every situation, we are trained professionals, right? I know my success in maintaining CSI has always been just taking care of the customer’s real request, fix their car and it will fix them. We need to make sure that from the time they walk in the door, the # 1 focus is to get the job done right, the first time. The car will be washed, the candy is on the dash, and the survey has been explained, repeatedly!

All these things mentioned above are great ideas and processes, but if the problem they had when they came in still exists, guess what, you will get a bad CSI score! What processes do you have in place to tie your technicians and shop foreman’s into the importance of the survey? Is it part of their pay plan, or do you just hope they understand? I know if we have an Advisor not following up or doing a good job, we handle it immediately, but what do we do about the bad repair? Do we penalize the tech, or just have them try again and not charge us? I personally involve CSI into all pay plans, I would love to hear what works for you, because no matter how we feel about the dreaded “Survey” it is not going away anytime soon.

Lacy Arnold
@Marc this is a great article! Thanks for sharing it. CSI is an important piece of the process that can't be ignored and you're right, it isn't going away. How exactly do you "involve CSI into all your staff's pay plans"?
Denim Simkins
Marc an area where I see most dealers fall short on CSI is holding the techs accountable for FIRTFT. Everyone else has CSI in their comp plan but the techs outside of a conversation are not directly affected. I agree... focus on the single most important item and the other things will fall into place.. nice post.
Jim Jackson
Marc - I would be interested in how you have been able to tie CSI to technicians pay? They seem to always have a "reason/excuse" as to why it was not their fault
Marc Bellacosa
Lacy and Jim, Thanks for the comments. Right now I am able to track their individual CSI, not sure what you can do with your surveys. They lose $1.00 per flat rate hour if their score is under the region on the "Fixed Correctly" question. If they are 110% or above of the question, I give them $1.00 extra. My shop foreman gets a $500.00 bonus if the overall score is above at the end of the month.
Tony Wood
Hello Marc, great article! Our CSI scores are the lowest this month that I've ever seen them since I've started for the auto group. We have phenomenal comments, but the scores are atrocious and Toyota is very much a pass/fail setup, there's no inbetween. We've talked to the Sales Professionals about coaching their customers and a couple of them do okay with that. However, I have seen numerous occasions where my BDC rep will call the customer, coach them through it and we hear statements such as "Happy as a clam" and "I'll make sure you guys glow!" and then the scores come in and it's a 75% give or take 10%. We're using every technique and backstop we can, but none of it seems to be making a difference. Same thing on the service side. It's crazy. Any tips?

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