QA & RSS for Auto Dealers!? YES!

CtsHeidi Miller had a great post that discussed how RSS could benefit different businesses. It got me thinking, what if a car dealership used RSS feeds to keep owners up-to-date with the status of their service, repair, or new car delivery? Customers would be fed regular updates which would save both time and money answering status calls – and could improve customer satisfaction because customers aren’t sitting out there – like I was last week – wondering what in the world is happening with my car?

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Recently, I’ve been making the case that QA or Quality Assessment (e.g. "Your call may be me monitored for quality assurance and training purposes…") isn’t just for call centers. Almost any business can benefit from a well designed QA process.

Case in point:

Our company has leased cars from the same dealer for several years. The dealership represents several luxury brands and is clearly positioned in the high-dollar, quality service end of the market. There seems to be a plethora of after sales/service surveys from this dealership. Most of them are brief and very general, driven and paid for by the manufacturer to get an overall sense of customer satisfaction. Knowing a thing or two about research, we’ve noted that there is very little actionable information the dealer is going to get out of the survey questions.

A well designed Quality Assessment process could give the dealer very specific feedback regarding the quality of service they are delivering at key touch-points in the sales and service process.

For example:

  • When I call to schedule an appointment, the people on the phone are decent, but the experience does not match the brand names of this dealership nor does it represent the quality of service you’re going to pay for when they hand you the bill. A QA process could quickly identify specific behaviors that would raise the level of service to match the high-dollar brands they are serving and ensure they are being consistently delivered. It would provide actionable data that could be used to coach their scheduling staff and hold them accountable for consistent world-class service delivery. The same could be done for their sales staff.
  • When I call to schedule an appointment there is never a loaner car available, according to the CSR. I’m always forced to make arrangements for a ride or schedule the appointment when I can wait. The thing is, when I arrive at the dealership for my appointment, 90 percent of the time they offer me a loaner car and have 5 or 6 loaners waiting outside the service department. It frustrates me as a customer and I’m left feeling like I’m playing along with their "We don’t have one available – Oh, wait a minute! We do now!" game. There’s a service and communication disconnect there that customers, like me, notice and a good QA process would catch.
  • I recently took my car in at 9:30 a.m. for a scheduled 10 a.m. routine oil change (and whattaya know, they had a loaner available for me!) I was told that my car also needed transmission fluid/filter change and tires rotated. Long story short, when I drove back to the dealership at 4:00 in the afternoon they still weren’t done with my car. There were several basic customer service mistakes they made that day: not informing me up front that the additional services might delay the process, not calling me when they realized that they were going to be delayed starting work on my car, not calling as promised when I was told that they would get back to me within an hour, and then making excuses rather than owning up to the mistakes when I inquired about them. A well designed, integrated QA program could identify these opportunities for improvement and provide the dealership with the necessary data to coach and train their staff.

Quality Assessment (QA) isn’t just for large call centers anymore. It’s time for businesses of all shapes and sizes to understand how they can use current technology and proven QA principles to measure and improve service delivery.

Related Posts:
Understanding Feeds/RSS Might Change Your Life & Business
Your Calls Can Be Monitored to Ensure Quality Service
E-Mails, Brand, and Customer Service
The Reward of Listening

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  4 comments for “QA & RSS for Auto Dealers!? YES!

  1. June 20, 2006 at 12:55 am

    I agree with you, Tom! It’ll make a whole lot of difference if companies have a good QA system in place. I can very well relate to the stories you mentioned here. Isn’t it about time that customers do something about crappy service?

  2. June 20, 2006 at 6:51 am

    Yes! If we don’t speak up – if we don’t speak out – if we don’t make conscious choices of who we’ll reward with our business – then we deserve what we get.
    Thanks for stopping by Meikah!

  3. June 30, 2006 at 4:52 pm

    Thanks for taking the RSS idea even further!

  4. June 30, 2006 at 5:12 pm

    You’re welcome, Heidi! Thanks for the prompt!

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