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April 3, 2019
Today on RBDR: Bob Lederer’s personal brush with a car dealer survey left him feeling very guilty about what happened to the service department executive who helped him and leaning towards not telling the full truth in future satisfaction surveys from that dealer…better stated as “bias.”
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3 thoughts on “A Dealer’s Satisfaction Survey Will Drive Future Bias / RBDR”
Jon Last, President, Sports and Leisure Research: “You stopped short of fully addressing the bigger elephant in the room. Yes..it’s a vivid portrait and important and frightening take on how these practices may effect respondent behavior. But it also suggests another discussion on the more foundational issue. This is a clear example of how paying lip service to the concept of customer satisfaction measurement fails miserably when it is deployed through flawed research design that cares more about speed to market, survey brevity and “Report Cards” while ignoring thoughtful research design due to organizational pre-occupation with automation at the expense of deeper insights.
As a profession, we need to continue to fight against these short cuts that create misinformation. From my firm’s perspective as a custom shop, we fight against this all too often. We actually recently lost a large highly customized guest satisfaction measurement program for a leisure/hospitality client, who was acquired by a large holding company that is entrenched in one of these cookie cutter satisfaction measurement platforms across their properties. Their “enterprise solution” checks a box, but will inevitably cost them a lot of really strong and nuanced insight into their customers in the process..as Hyundai did with you.
My frustration is driven by the new organization’s lack of interest in even exploring our more robust (and interestingly less expensive) solution. We’ve typically had great success in playing the high road (ie–looking forward and being consultative rather than over our shoulders at technology plays). I’m curious about how others who still care about good research solutions vs technology applications are fighting this.
Bill Friedrich: “We experience similar comments from our Toyota service dept folks… They tell us up front that Toyota really expects high ratings, even all 10’s from them… Maybe they learned that a while ago. Sorry to hear that Sherrie the service rep got dinged to no fault of her own. I agree the survey analysis should be able to discern the sentiment and target of the comments… maybe AI will improve that in the future.
Nicholas Tortorello: “I love your story as it is indicative of the poor research which often goes on in the auto industry. Every dealership wants you to give excellent ratings to sales personnel, service personnel and the dealership overall whether they deserve those scores or not. The reason is that sales and service personnel get bonuses and higher salaries based on those scores. Moreover, the dealership with some manufacturers receive more or less cars to sell based on the scores. So it is to there advantage to be sure you rate them excellent on every item. and many dealer personal will tell you that even before you leave the dealership or receive the satisfaction survey. Talk about a stacked deck, clearly no one wants to know the truth, they just want higher bonuses and more cars to sell.
Whoever, came up with this system should be shot.”