Since 2009, the gap between list price and transaction price has steadily declined. To overcome profit margin compression, you must reduce overhead, free up dealership resources to focus on profit centers, and sell more cars at a faster rate. Here’s how to do it.
One of the most effective ways to gain perspective into your customers' satisfaction level is through customer surveys. Often, customers want to provide feedback yet are unsure how they should go about it. A timely survey is an easy way for the customer to express their opinion, and for you to gain valuable insight.
Offering customer satisfaction surveys shows your customers that you care about their continued happiness, and we all know that great customer service increases dealership loyalty. What is the most effective way to conduct surveys? What types of questions should you ask? And isn't creating and sending surveys time-consuming? Let's explore these issues further.
Automation technology is a real asset to help you survey your customers. With only a one-time manual process required (to create the survey and decide when you want it to be sent), you can have a survey automatically sent around to each customer after they have a service appointment or after they purchase a vehicle. This saves your staff hours spent contacting customers to follow up.
The survey is completely customizable. You can have the survey sent out after every appointment, or only after routine maintenance appointments. It may be sent an hour, a day or a week (or any other interval) after the customer has been in. It can also be sent to all customers who come in for service or to make a purchase, or only certain customers. It is completely up to you when and how you survey your customers. The automation software simply carries out the task to your exact specifications.
What to Include
What type of feedback should you be seeking? Anything that will help you to improve the overall automotive customer experience. Did the salesperson greet you when you entered? Did the salesperson review the details of the vehicle with you? Would you recommend the dealership to others?
When crafting a survey that will yield useful, relevant results, format the questions in a way that makes them easy to answer. Be straightforward and not vague. “Yes or no” and “rating” questions are simple and effective. Also, be sure to ask “Are there any improvements we can make to serve you better?” and include a text box so the customer can add in any comments or concerns they might have that were not addressed in the survey.
Before the survey begins, as a courtesy, include a message letting the customer know approximately how long the survey will take them to complete.
What Happens Next
Once a customer has completed the survey, the automation software will email you the results, so you get nearly instant feedback. Then you just need to review those answers to learn more about what your customers want.
If customers have only good things to say, great! And if there are any areas on which you can improve, you hold the answers in your hand. Surveys allow customers to communicate easily and directly, so you have an accurate measurement of their satisfaction level.
Back to Automated Surveys
Automation software is now available that can survey your customers based on their individual needs and preferences, their unique vehicle purchase dates and appointment dates, or any other criteria you can think of. This software integrates with your dealer management system, so you do not need to add any additional customer information.
Surveys are just one aspect of ongoing automotive marketing and customer communication. Automation software for the automotive industry also saves you time when doing email marketing, SMS marketing and even automotive social media marketing. Connecting with your customers in multiple ways shows that you have a strong presence and an engaged, thriving dealership.
Automation, when used appropriately, is an incredibly effective tool. Rather than replacing the salesperson's knowledge and hard work, automation is intended to assist the salesperson and allow them to focus on interacting with customers. Once you set up the initial survey, it will automatically reach out to customers in the way you have specified. It allows your customers to share their input, without increasing your workload.