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How Dealerships Can Increase CSI Survey Completions

[fa icon="calendar"] August 21, 2019

4 minute read

csi survey completion jumps 141% thanks to automated text messaging

Low customer satisfaction index (CSI) can cost dealerships millions of dollars in lost opportunities. Think of CSI scores as another form of reviews - only these “reviews” make even more of an impact because J.D. Power reports on them.

The annual J.D. Power U.S. Customer Satisfaction Index Study analyzes how customers rate their satisfaction with repair and maintenance services at new-vehicle dealerships. Survey respondents - owners of one to five-year-old vehicles - are asked to rate recent dealership experiences with customer-pay and in-warranty work. 

Highly regarded in the auto industry, the report exerts a strong influence on manufacturers. They want reassurance that their dealerships are treating customers well because dealerships are essentially the manufacturer’s representatives. Low CSI scores can adversely affect a dealership’s sales, and in turn, can cost the manufacturer’s thousands of dollars. As a result, CSI scores strongly influence relationships between manufacturers and dealerships. They are also a deciding factor in the price manufacturers charge dealerships for new vehicles or new vehicle model availability. 

However, the study is not the only reason dealers should pay close attention to survey results and take them seriously. The results are extremely valuable for informing service leadership of which factors make the most significant impact on customer retention and vehicle service loyalty. 

What Are CSI Scores?

Customers receive a survey after getting their car serviced at a dealership that asks them to rate their experience based on several different areas. These areas typically include the following:

  • Service quality
  • Service facility
  • Service advisor
  • Service initiation
  • First service visit
  • Vehicle pick-up

You may have noticed that these areas cover the most important aspects of any customer visit to your service department. If even one causes dissatisfaction, it can seriously hurt your chances of retaining that customer. 

The benefit of getting completed surveys from customers is the opportunity it gives you to strengthen any weak areas and improve the process for future appointments. It not only helps your service department address dissatisfaction customers may feel, but it also provides essential feedback on how to make all of your customers happy. 

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Motivating Customers To Complete CSI Surveys

While CSI surveys are an effective resource for automotive dealerships, motivating customers to complete them can be challenging. People are busy and, more than ever these days, they resent interruptions. Making a phone call to request survey completion is not the wisest idea for this very reason. Email inboxes are overflowing and most snail mail goes straight into the trash. One of the very first questions on a CSI survey is “Did the dealership follow up with you?”. If the customer doesn’t listen to their voicemail, pick up the phone, read their mailed letter, or open the CSI email. They will answer “no” which will, in turn, damage your CSI score.

Fortunately, there is one method of communication with two very distinct benefits for survey requests: text messaging. First, customers prefer to communicate with dealers via text, as it is convenient for them and does not slow them down. Secondly, text messaging has an incredible 98% open rate - compared to a 20% open rate for email and a 9% open rate for phone. People do not ignore texts. 

The makers of TEXT2DRIVE™ took this fact into account when they designed the full-featured communications platform. The solution incorporates true automation - no uploading of spreadsheets or lists required - and among the features is automated CSI survey requests. The requests are deployed automatically via text message following each customer’s service appointment. From the outset, the wording of the requests makes it clear that you value the experience your customers have at your dealership. The very first question asks if anyone followed up with the customer post-visit. 

Dealerships that texted automated CSI survey requests through the TEXT2DRIVE software experienced an average increase of 141% in the number of surveys completed over the course of one year.

automated csi survey request template via text message

All of the automated text messages that are part of TEXT2DRIVE’s workflow, including the survey requests, are designed with pre-existing templates that can be personalized with the customer’s name and service advisor’s or service manager’s name. The templates save your staff time they would otherwise spend on composing the texts. 

Completed Surveys Help Boost CSI Scores

Automated CSI survey requests work. Sandberg Volvo Cars experienced a 35.2% increase in their CSI scores from January 2016 to January 2017 due to the survey requests. These results came about without additional time or energy invested on the part of their staff. In fact, using TEXT2DRIVE saved their service advisors 40 hours each month! 

Your service department can enjoy higher CSI scores and improved customer satisfaction in the future, as well. It starts with a live demo of TEXT2DRIVE. 

See CSI survey requests in action. Schedule your live demo today.

Topics: CSI scores, csi survey, customer satisfaction index survey, text message csi surveys, how to improve dealership csi, automation feature, general dealership

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