The Almighty CSI Score
The American Customer Satisfaction Index, or CSI, is an economic indicator that measures customer satisfaction in various business sectors. (Here, we’ll just be focusing on CSI scores as measured in car dealership experiences.) These scores are calculated by combining customer survey scores taken on different business attributes to create a single CSI indicating overall customer satisfaction.
For a simple example: your dealership might add the customer survey scores for responsiveness, sales process, and cleanliness, and divide that number by three to find your CSI.
As we know, having a great CSI score is crucial in the automotive industry for several reasons. Often, CSI scores are tied to money from the manufacturer, and/or being awarded high-demand inventory. In this day of tight inventory availability, that in and of itself can be a big difference maker. Additionally, we know the money in the Service drive can be the life blood of a dealership. A positive Sales experience sets up that revenue stream in Service and repeat sales. In other words, higher CSI scores can make you a more successful dealership. It’s a positive feedback loop!
Measuring Customer Loyalty & Engagement
For instance, Toyota has implemented Toyota Loyalty & Engagement programs (TLE) that categorizes customers according to their engagement level with your dealership and focuses on helping improve the customer experience. With a deep level of tracking past, present, and potential customer behaviors and patterns, their dealer personnel can focus on crafting the best customer experience possible for Sales, Service, and Parts.
Very helpful indeed!
You Can Boost Your Dealership’s CSI Scores
While there are several factors to an amazing customer experience, we believe that there are a few important core aspects:
- Unified voice
1. Engage Your Customers Online.
Your dealership’s website needs to offer digital engagement. This engagement should take many forms as not every shopper wants to engage in the same way.
Live messaging on your website is one of the easiest ways to offer personal, yet digital engagement. . Active and curious car shoppers can chat with highly-trained, live agents (ours are called CEEs, or Customer Engagement Experts; and for good reason!) to have their questions answered, their needs met, and kick off an excellent customer experience.
Allowing customers to connect with your dealership from the comfort of their homes or on the run keeps sales engagement high and reduces the number of dropped leads. Car shoppers are real people with busy lives, and researching a car is historically a pretty long and involved process. Live chat allows the shopper to ask the questions important to them and feel in control of the relationship from the start. A quality human interaction at the start builds trust and allows them to feel at ease moving forward with you. Anything you can do to make the research phase faster, easier, and/or less stressful will make your customers more likely to buy from you.
Digital engagement shouldn’t stop at the research stage. A recent Cox study shows that shoppers who complete at least half of the buying process online feel more satisfied about their purchase and have more trust in the deal they got. Dealers who offer an online retailing option need to make sure their customers can get seamless assistance during that process, too. This is a big one. Car buyers aren't familiar with the process and have questions on next steps, financing and specials. A well-trained, live team should be there to advocate for both the customer and your dealership during the daunting purchase journey.
2. Offer Online Service Scheduling.
3. Pay Attention to Your Reviews.
ActivEngage is Your CSI Score Boosting Secret Weapon
If your score is in the pits or just isn’t where you’d like it to be, looking for ways to improve it can seem daunting. ActivEngage provides the tools you need to improve customer satisfaction rates and offer the unified, seamless, and accessible solutions the modern customer needs. Such as: