How car dealerships can damage CX in the pursuit of feedback.

Measuring Customer Feedback 

Many dealerships are aligned with the notion that customer feedback is an essential way of measuring success, but it isn’t always a true reflection of the customer experience (CX).  

Customer feedback can be obtained by telemarketers – usually, an outsourced personal calling on behalf of the dealership, face-to-face surveys, or via online review tools such as instant insight. In each scenario, the customer is asked a series of set questions about a recent experience with the company. 

Generally, dealerships will want to determine what their Net Promotor Score (NPS) is based on rolling customer feedback. This score is then often used to demonstrate how well they are performing to those higher up the chain of command – and is often linked to bonus schemes.   

There is nothing wrong with taking this approach, and it can be a valuable tool to motivate staff and improve CX. However, we are seeing instances where the pursuit of a positive NPS is having a detrimental effect on their customer’s experience – and the business has no idea that it is happening.  

Victoria from Surrey said: 

“Every time I take my car into the local dealership I go through the same feedback process – the service representative informs me that I will receive a feedback call and asks me to rate them a 9 or 10, unless I have been unhappy with the service. 

“The next day when I receive the call, I am again asked to rate the service I have received – scoring the dealership a 9 or 10 if I was happy and only and 8 or below if I was dissatisfied.  

“The way in which these requests and questions are posed to me feels very pushy. I’m never unhappy with the service but I wouldn’t say I am blown away by a distinctly higher level of service than you would expect at any other dealership. However, I feel pushed into giving them a 9 or 10 when I feel they only really deserved a 7 or 8 and always come away irritated and annoyed by the whole process. If I had a choice of dealerships locally, I would certainly switch.”  

This example shows how the customer had a perfectly OK experience in the dealership, but the overall experience ended negatively because of a pushy feedback process that is designed to chase a score and not seek ways to provide an even greater service.  

What’s more worrying is that the dealership is probably unaware of the negative impact their feedback process is having on the overall customer experience, and at some point, their score-chasing strategy may backfire.  

By really understanding your customer's journey and managing their experience, you can achieve a high NPS organically, without the pushy tactics that then leave your customers with a sour taste.  

 

What is NPS? 

NPSis one of the most tried and tested methods of measuring a customer’s experience. Through NPS you can understand the likelihood that a customer will recommend your product and service to someone in their community.  

The question usually states, ‘on a scale of one to ten, how likely are you to recommend the business to a friend?’ 

NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of customers who scored a 6 or lower (known as detractors) from the percentage of customers who scored a 9 or 10 (known as promoters).  

So you can see why it is in the dealership's interest to receive as many 9’s and 10’s as possible – 7’s and 8’s don’t influence their score.  

 

Great CX drives a higher NPS 

To be consistently achieving nine and ten’s on NPS trackers, dealerships need to take a step back and look at what small extra details or changes would make their customers think ‘wow’.  

Autotrader’s Car Buyer of the Future Study found that if the buying process was improved, 72% of consumers stated they would visit dealerships more often. 66% said that they would be much more likely to buy from a dealership that offers their preferred experience, and 53% stated they would buy a vehicle more often. 

We work with a number of dealerships and online retailers in a variety of ways to achieve ‘front end’ insight, before working with teams to implement strategic plans which deliver what the customer is asking for and ultimately those essential NPS figures.  

 

How can customer journey mapping improve CX? 

By mapping the customer journey from the very start of the process, a phone enquiry, or web browsing, to the very last point, picking up a new car or serviced vehicle – you get crucial insight and understand how your customer thinks and feels at every step.  

Our process helps you to identify any kinks in the process, potential frustrations, things that really add value, or major pitfalls in service or consistency. Once you have a true understanding of what you are working with, it becomes a much easier process to streamline the process, iron out any issues and look for opportunities to add an even better experience.  

Research by Economist Intelligence Unitrevealed that the top five areas consumers identified as leading to a positive experience included: 

  1. 47% – Fast response to inquiries or complaints 
  2. 46% – Simple purchasing process 
  3. 34% – Ability to track orders in real time 
  4. 25% – Clarity and simplicity of product information across channels 
  5. 22% – Ability to interact with the company over multiple channels 

But to really offer the best CX you must go beyond ‘functional’ and look to evoke an emotional connection.  

Dealerships have started to work on this with the addition of new car owner ‘reveals’ and gifts but there are many much simpler and free ways to connect with your customers. Reserving parking spaces with names for when your customer is booked in for a service, or training the reception team to note the reg of vehicles coming in so that they can have names to hand – these small but very personal touches can turn an OK seven or eight into a nine or ten on the NPS scale.  

 

Test your customer experience with CX Reviews 

CX reviews – also known as mystery shops – are another way of testing your customer journey in real time and analysing how your business, and team perform against your ‘ideal’ on a given day. Many dealerships use mystery shops as a vehicle to test their FCA compliance, however our team of over 1,000 highly trained researchers can delve into many different scenarios which can provide detailed feedback for every point of your customer journey.  

 

Training & development for your team is key to great CX 

Following our in-depth CX review process and customer journey mapping, its crucial to not let plans go to waste. It’s the team on the frontline that must deliver the experience you have designed and tested, day-in, day-out. You must make sure that you take your team on the journey with you and that they are bought into the customer experience strategy. We can help train staff so that certain elements come more easily to them through the use of role play and workshops, but what is also really helpful is to get feedback from your staff in the same way you request it from your customers.  

A team that has free flowing communication and an outlet to feedback is a more engaged team which in turn leads to better CX. 

 

To find out more about how we work with dealerships or the wider auto-motive industry, please get in touch with your local CX Director. All of our CX Directors are based locally, out in the field, so that they can be on the ground to best benefit the clients in their area – find your local contact here 

6 things every Law firm can implement to improve their CX and increase their bottom line…

Customer experience (CX) is the new business battleground for the Legal sector, yet our recent research study, The Professional Services Customer Journey Report, showed that many legal firms are failing to get the basics consistently right – and this could be affecting their bottom line. 

In fact, out of all the professions analysed, the legal sector was found to be performing worst when comparing NPS (Net Promotor Score), with a sobering -54, a sharp decline from its score of -15 in 2019. 

By surveying over 250 professional services firms in the UK, our research analysed the full customer journey when making a new enquiry. The findings, although harrowing, now provide a benchmark for improving CX and offer an immediate checklist for every Law firm.

  1. Offer a human touch. Make sure that all employees offer their names to callers when they answer the phone. It sounds so basic, but our research revealed that 22% of reception staff did not answer initial calls with their name, and when put through to a law expert, an astonishing 60% of these people did not offer their name. 
  2. Regularly test your messaging services to ensure they are working correctly. Technology is great, until it fails! Our research found that 43% of messages left (including personal voicemails) did not get a response. 
  3. Develop your team’s emotional intelligence. When clients or potential clients are facing stressful situations, it is critical to establish a positive connection with understanding and compassion for their situation. 
  4. Check website contact forms and web-chat services work correctly and that they are treated in the same way as phone or email enquiries. Implementing new technology is a great way to improve CX – but only if it is done with care and consideration. Our research found that over a third of web enquiries were left completely unanswered. 
  5. Follow up! We were astounded to find that only 8% of companies bothered to follow up a potential new client lead, and where more information had been requested, 38% of the time it never arrived. 
  6. Make it personal! People want a personal service more than ever, but our researchers found that only 53% of email exchanges were personalised and more worryingly, 57% were poorly written with grammatical errors. 

Research by the London School of Economics shows that for every 7% increase in a brand’s NPS, their revenue will grow by 1% as a direct result – that’s a whole lot of untapped revenue to gain from some basic day-to-day improvements. 

“It is clear that legal firms, along with the whole professional services industry, have a huge opportunity to improve CX, deliver a superior experience to both new and existing clients, and reap significant business benefits in doing so,”says Jonathan Winchester, insight6 CEO.

Behind poor CX you can find underlying problems in a firm’s culture

Overall, insight6 researchers were underwhelmed by how the firms handled their enquiries. Just 23% felt the team member attempted to add value or go further to help them, and only 43% said that they would recommend the business to others. 

What we do know to be true, is that underlying problems within a firm’s culture can often be found behind poor CX. Issues such as short-term targets, disengaged teams or siloed working - effective CX is often about empowering staff and providing them with the skills, tools, and authority they need.  

One organisation that absolutely have got it right and understand the benefits of delivering great customer experience is LawNet. In next month’s blog you can read more about how LawNet has partnered with insight6 to help its members put CX at the heart of their businesses.