Many dealers have complained about the difficulty in recruiting and retaining talent.
Some lay blame on a pervasive stereotype of a shady car salesman in a plaid suit conniving customers out of money.
Heck, I recently blogged about a friend who opted for dog dooty over selling cars because of the negative stigma she attached to selling cars.
But a new survey offers hope that the industry image is on an upswing.
Automotive News posed a query on DealerRater that ran from Oct. 26 to Nov. 3. The question asked consumers: How likely would you be to recommend to a friend or relative that they consider working at a car dealership?
Surprisingly, a whopping 75 percent of respondents said they were likely or extremely likely to do so.
Of the 16,425 total respondents, 10,702 said they would be “extremely likely” to make the recommendation. Another 1,643 said they would be “likely.” On the opposite end, 2,733 respondents said they would be “unlikely” or “extremely unlikely.” In the middle, 1,347 stayed “neutral.”
Luxury brands got the most “extremely likely” responses. Some of the brands that ranked highest in customers recommending friends get jobs there included Land Rover, Infiniti, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus. Inversely, some of the brands that received the response of “extremely unlikely” were Fiat, Jaguar, Acura and Chrysler.
The respondents were people who had recently visited a dealership either for service or sales.
It makes sense that the luxury brands would fare well. After all, many luxury-brand dealers are known for providing top-notch customer service such as free loaner cars, fancy cafes in the customer lounge area and modern facilities.
So what’s the lesson?
Stellar customer service and other perks might do more than just boost a dealership’s customer satisfaction score with an automaker.
It might also be the secret sauce to recruiting and retaining top talent.