Short and Sweet: GM’s New Customer Survey Strategy

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Make no mistake about it, customer satisfaction surveys are extremely important to car dealerships. However, they can be long and take awhile to fill out. So to make things easier, General Motors is launching a customer-satisfaction survey that combines a short-form questionnaire with a space for shopper comments.

The survey takes less time to fill out than earlier surveys and allows dealership customers to volunteer details about the experience that standard questions might not give them, according to Dave Mingle, executive director of General Motors North America customer experience.

Sales and service customers of GM-brand stores started receiving the new surveys Jan. 12, he said.

The survey will give dealers fast feedback on their operations, Mingle said. The new form has about half the 20-plus questions of previous-generation surveys, which haven’t changed in years, Mingle said.

He said that during the rollout not all GM customers will get the new surveys. Some will get the old questionnaires, in part, so customer-satisfaction performance can be compared with the year earlier.

That’s necessary because dealers’ customer-satisfaction scores are one component of GM’s Standards for Excellence vehicle sales incentive program, Mingle said. That program pays quarterly bonuses ranging from around $10,000 for a small dealership to more than $150,000 for a big store. Mingle added that GM has not yet decided whether customer satisfaction will remain a component of the standards in 2016.

Mike Bowsher, a member of GM’s four-person Dealer Executive Board, believes the new form will lead to a better response rate and more effective feedback.

“Dealers for years have been saying the thing is too long and it’s a pain in the rear end for customers,” said Bowsher, president of Carl Black Automotive Group in Kennesaw, Ga.

For more on the Car Pro’s perspective when it comes to filling out your customer satisfaction survey, check out Buying A Car: Why Dealer Surveys Matter.

Photo Credit: GM

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