6 Customer Service Blunders That Tank Your Dealership CSI

A great customer experience is everything.

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No dealership is immune to customer service mistakes. Your service lane may have underestimated repair times, your sales team may have made promises they could not keep, and your staff may struggle to remedy customer concerns.

In order for your dealership to correct these shortcomings and adjust your customer service strategies, you must first recognize and understand the most common customer service mistakes. By overcoming these customer care issues, your store will be able to offer your sales and service visitors the best customer service to boost CSI, build stronger relationships, and increase your bottom line.

How to Offer the Best Customer Service at Your Store

What CSI Is and Why It Matters

In the automotive industry, CSI stands for Customer Satisfaction Index. It’s a key metric that measures how happy customers are with their overall dealership experience. This can include everything from the sales process to the service department.

While high CSI scores are linked to increased sales and customer loyalty, CSI doesn’t only have an impact on your profitability. Automakers often use CSI scores to determine dealership allocations and even bonuses. A low CSI can hurt your dealership’s bottom line while a high one can give you a competitive edge.

This key metric can help your store identify areas for improvement in your customer service skills, helping create customer service strategies that make the entire car buying or service experience smoother and more positive.

6 Common Dealership Customer Service Mistakes

1. Undocumented or Improperly Used Data

The data you collect from your customers doesn’t only mean more contacts for marketing communications or sales leads—this data is a necessary part of your customer service strategy. If your staff are not documenting customer data carefully and thoroughly, you’ll be unable to study that data for later opportunities.

Both your sales and service teams need to use customer data appropriately, so your store can maximize your services and drive more revenue via data analysis.

2. Unfulfilled Promises in Sales and Service

One of the biggest customer service mistakes is agreeing to a customer’s expectations but not following through. A dealership that can’t deliver creates frustrated customers who can quickly escalate the issue on social media platforms and in online reviews.

This includes your service department and repair timelines, as well. Nearly 70% of customers expect their repair estimates to be accurate. Giving your service advisors and technicians the tools and technology they need to make the most of your shop capacity and time management can go a long way to keeping customers happy.

3. Marketing Strategies That Miss the Target

Many of your online prospects are actively reading reviews before narrowing down their list of potential dealerships, so your marketing methods must be customer-centric.

Marketing automation can help take your reach further, but your customer service conversations will be more effective with personalization. You can help attract more customers by utilizing multiple communication channels such as video calls and online chat in addition to phone calls, texts, and emails.

4. Clogged Communication Pipelines

Whether it’s between your sales and service departments or between your staff and your customers, there are plenty of chances for errors to occur, as well as several possibilities for improved customer service skills.

Between departments, your dealership teams need integrated systems that help keep everyone on the same page, whether a customer requires sales follow-up or a parts arrival notification. This not only helps streamline processes and improve the workflow for your staff but also gives your customers a more efficient experience with your store.

5. Poorly Trained Team Members

To provide your customers with the best customer service, you need highly trained sales and service personnel that have the industry knowledge and people skills required to wow your customers.

Look for top qualities in potential hires that will strengthen your team, such as adaptability, flexibility, positivity, and resilience. As you train and lead your teams, use leadership skills to help unify your staff and show your passion for the vehicles you sell or service as well as the customers you serve.

6. Ignored or Disregarded Customer Feedback

Customers expect that when they contact your dealership, your team will genuinely acknowledge their concerns and supply thoughtful solutions. If you don’t offer this level of attention, the answers they receive will probably fall short, potentially driving them to your competitor.

Whether it’s an online review about services received or an email about an in-stock vehicle, treat each interaction as important, helping every customer feel heard and valued. Your customers are your biggest promotors (and potential detractors), so it’s crucial to prioritize their comments and concerns.

Ready to Build Winning Customer Service Strategies?

Your dealership customer service can make or break your overall success—it impacts your ability to build relationships, increase customer satisfaction and retention, and stand out among your competition. By identifying any potential issues in your customer service processes and adjusting your strategies, you can prevent losing customers and help establish your dealership reputation as a positive one.

For assistance with additional best practices to improve your customer care, or if you’re in need of fully integrated tools to improve your data management, marketing, follow-up methods, or other processes to deliver exceptional customer service, Affinitiv is here to help. Contact us today to find out more.

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