ORLANDO, Fla. - Mike Dale, president of Jaguar Cars North America, says he learned four crucial lessons while getting Jaguar from near the bottom to the top in customer satisfaction. Dale, 64, who will retire in spring after more than 30 years at Jaguar's U.S. subsidiary, spoke at the J.D. Power and Associates International Automotive Roundtable held Jan. 21 in conjunction with the National Automobile Dealers Association convention.
1. 'The customer comes third.' Make no mistake, customer satisfaction is the top priority. But to get there, the manufacturer first has to make sure its own people are on board; then its dealers; then and only then can it do anything about satisfaction among the customers.
2. 'The speed of the leader is always the speed of the pack.' If the leader of the organization does not believe in customer satisfaction, no one else will.
3. 'Dealer profitability is the starting point.' Dealer profitability by itself does not produce customer satisfaction, but it is very, very hard without it, because dealers have to be willing and able to invest in the franchise.
4. 'Metrics: science, not art.' What gets measured gets done.
5. 'It's all in the execution.' Dale joked: 'I thought four things wasn't much to show after 40 years, so I thought I would add No. 5.'