J.D. Power survey takers will get chance to post online dealership reviews

Photo credit: BLOOMBERG

J.D. Power and Associates has agreed to work with DealerRater to help automakers and dealers collect dealership reviews from consumers, under a deal announced Wednesday.

J.D. Power will ask some recipients of its proprietary customer satisfaction and other surveys if they also wish to write a review of the dealership where they did business, said Jonathan Miller, chief technology officer for J.D. Power.

The review would go to DealerRater, a dealership review site, and be posted publicly on the site. Then it will be shared with automakers and dealers as part of the information about the consumer experience culled from the larger J.D. Power survey, Miller said.

The agreement could eventually give automakers, dealers and the public immediate feedback from the thousands of consumers responding to questionnaires that feed Power’s Customer Service Index and Sales Satisfaction Index surveys. Typically, those studies are published annually and are based on questionnaires mailed months before the results are released.

The program initially would be limited to the proprietary studies that J.D. Power contracts to perform for individual automakers. Those surveys of auto buyers, which are used for diagnostic purposes to improve customer satisfaction, can contain up to 200 questions.

So far, no automaker has signed up to include the DealerRater survey as part of the larger proprietary survey. Consumers also would be asked to rate their respective dealership experiences.

Later, J.D. Power could open the program to consumers responding to its syndicated Customer Service Index and Sales Satisfaction Index surveys, said Mike Battaglia, J.D. Power’s senior director of automotive retail.

The comments give dealers immediate information about how they are doing with their customers, said Jamie Oldershaw, DealerRater’s senior vice president of operations and planning.

The other advantage is that consumers are influenced by dealership reviews and star ratings when they look for a store, Oldershaw said.

DealerRater has about 1.4 million reviews on its site. About 5,000 dealers pay DealerRater to help them collect reviews and thousands more have been reviewed by consumers on the DealerRater site.

You can reach David Barkholz at dbarkholz@crain.com -- Follow David on Twitter: @barkholzatan

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