GM: Dealers Rig Customer Satisfaction Surveys
General Motors says it is tossing the results of some recent customer
satisfaction surveys because dealers tampered with the responses. That
decision could cost offending dealerships big factory bonuses. GM
surveys customers who buy new vehicles or submit factory warranty claims
about their satisfaction with the dealership's performance. Dealerships
that get high scores on those surveys and meet sales targets are
eligible for quarterly cash incentives that can reach six figures. The
satisfaction surveys are sent to customers' homes to discourage dealer
influence. Customers respond by mail or online. But an unsigned bulletin
that GM sent dealers Aug. 14 says "certain online responses are being
received from some dealerships." GM says it is making "appropriate
adjustments" to third-quarter survey scores "to reflect interference."
GM spokeswoman Susan Garontakos told Automotive News the interference
"was not widespread." Some GM dealers say survey tampering occurs
because of the high stakes. Under GM's Standards for Excellence program,
they note, a dealership can lose its entire quarterly bonus if it falls
a fraction of a percentage point below its prescribed score. National
Automobile Dealers Association Chairman Dale Willey says he agrees that
"it's best to let customers respond on their own" to satisfaction surveys.
Please tell us! Every survey for every car I ever owned, foreign or
domestic, was mailed to my home and returned by me, to the company doing the
survey. How do you think the manufacture or their dealer could have
adversely influenced" my opinion of my car to "Rig" the survey?
How about I offer you a free oil change if you bring in the blank survey and
leave it with me? There are other more sophisticted methods, but I can't go
further here. The pressure put on dealers to match their required
percentrages can drive the service dept nuts, to the point that you spend
more time concentrating on that then fixing cars, which should be the
obvious number one focus of the repair shop!
But this goes on with ALL dealers, not only GM. As long as there are awards
there will be people finding ways to influence them. The dealer I bought my
Honda from put more pressure on influencing the survey than selling me the
Nor have I, Ed. We just bought a new car earlier this year. The staff did
us we would be getting a survey to rate the service and that they hoped they
had done a good job and that we would be satisfied.
We were. These people were professionals, service and customer oriented.
We were treated like royalty.
They worked, however, for Toyota.
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