Editor's note: An earlier version of this story should have said that Hyundai Motor America pays dealer incentives for service and sales satisfaction performance, but not its voluntary SureCritic consumer-rating program.
General Motors plans to shorten its customer satisfaction survey and ask shoppers to give dealers online-ready ratings and reviews, said two sources familiar with the program.
It's a significant departure from the current long survey, which GM and others have used for decades. The short survey is designed to gather faster, more effective feedback.
As early as this month, most of GM's 4,200 dealerships will begin sending to sales and service customers the shorter surveys -- fewer than 10 questions -- that for the first time will prompt respondents to rate their dealership experience one to five stars and write a review for online posting. Currently, GM sends out customer satisfaction surveys separate from the reputation-management vendors that dealers use to solicit online reviews.
If the pilot is successful, the shorter forms could eventually supplant the longer 22-question customer satisfaction surveys that GM now uses, the sources say. The long forms are often criticized for taking a long time to fill out and being out-of-tune with the Internet's ability to swiftly post customer feedback.
And the program recognizes that consumer reviews on sites such as Google and social media play an increasing role in where customers shop.
Customer satisfaction scores from the long forms are a major part of GM's dealer-excellence incentive program that pays quarterly bonuses for meeting various performance targets.
GM is among a handful of automakers, including Hyundai Motor America, rethinking how they gather and process customer feedback. Customer satisfaction surveys have been a mainstay of the industry for decades.
The new survey is an attempt to get information to dealers quicker than the 30 to 60 days it now typically takes to get customer-satisfaction feedback, the sources said.
When asked about the new program, GM spokeswoman Susan Waun wrote in an e-mail, "Together with our dealer partners, we are always looking at better ways to garner rich, timely customer feedback to provide the best overall customer experience in the industry. We have nothing new to announce at this time."