DETROIT-- In the past year, automakers have worked with their dealers to improve the way they measure customer satisfaction. But more work remains to be done, said Charley Smith, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association.
Smith, who spoke to the Automotive Press Association on Tuesday, would not discuss specific companies. But he said overall improvements have resulted in shorter surveys and revised scoring protocols.
In all industries, youve got people who are being oversurveyed, Smith said. Youve got a certain segment of people who are only going to fill out the survey because they have a particular ax to grind.
Dealers cant devise a standard survey to measure customer satisfaction with sales and service, he said. But they can point out problems with existing systems, he added.
NADA Vice Chairman Jack Kain, a Ford dealer in Kentucky, said he agrees that the customer satisfaction index system is broken. But he claims that Ford Motor Co. has made positive changes to its Blue Oval dealer certification program. Kain becomes NADA chairman next year.
The most important measurement of consumer satisfaction, Kain and Smith said, is the question: How willing is the customer to recommend your dealership to someone else?