More than half of Hyundai's 823 U.S. dealerships have enrolled and Ratzlaff expects most of the rest to sign up by midsummer.
John Little, service director at Hyundai of New Port Richey in Florida, said the program helps the store gather valuable consumer reviews.
Consumers increasingly rely on online customer reviews to choose where they'll shop, and the SureCritic program keeps fresh opinions coming, Little said.
The store signed up for the program in July when Hyundai offered it nationally after a spring pilot at 15 stores around the country.
Customer reviews and reputation management are major concerns of automakers and their dealers. General Motors, for instance, launched a program in the past year that requires its 4,300 dealerships to choose an approved vendor to solicit and monitor reviews or risk a portion of their incentive money.
A Volkswagen study found that customers are 32 percent more likely to visit one of its dealership Web sites if that store has a Google review rating of four stars or more (of possible five) than a dealership with fewer than three stars.
Today, about one in four Hyundai service customers who is e-mailed a survey fills it out, Ratzlaff said. The survey asks customer opinions about such factors as the quality and promptness of the service, he said.
The SureCritic survey simply asks customers to rate their service on a scale of one to five stars, indicate whether they would come back and comment on their experience. Those comments yield useful insights, Ratzlaff said.
If a survey comes back with three stars or fewer, SureCritic gives the dealer up to two weeks to resolve any problems with the customer before posting the original review along with any changes that the customer wants to make, he said.
Little at Hyundai of New Port Richey said that time to resolve problems is invaluable. For a store that handles 5,300 repair orders a month, there are going to be glitches or miscommunications, he said. The store sells about 500 to 600 new vehicles per month.
For instance, one customer criticized the dealership in the SureCritic survey after traveling 30 miles to the store for recall work only to learn that the promised part was not in stock. Little said he resolved the problem with an apology and a $10 gift card to a local grocery store that the customer said would suffice.
In the two weeks it takes to get back a traditional survey, that customer could be beyond placating and lost to a rival, Little said.
Ratzlaff said Hyundai is so pleased with the online feedback that he plans to give it top billing on an e-mail that solicits feedback from service customers.
Now, the e-mail puts the link to the customer service survey on top and the link to the SureCritic survey on the bottom. He plans to reverse that, but he declined to say when.