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Guest book can boost CSI numbers

November 24, 2010

Twenty Group staff at the National Automobile Dealers Association compiled the submissions of participating 20 Group dealers into a book that can improve management techniques and overall department operations, and increase profitability. One suggestion: use a guest book for CSI improvement. "Out CSI numbers from our sales department were good, but we found that there was an area that needed improvement.

After reviewing returned customer satisfaction surveys, we found that our salespeople were not always introducing the customers to the service department. "We asked our employees for ideas on how we might better ensure that our new customers were introduced to the service department every time. They cam up with a three-stage plan that was implemented and seems to have made a great improvement in our scores.

1. "We put a guest book in our service department. Every salesperson is required to take the new customer to the service writers' area, to introduce them to the service personnel and have them sign the guest book. This helps the salespeople remember the need for the introduction, and the customers just love the idea.

2. "The F&I department also prints a follow-up form that is given to the salespeople with every transaction. The salesperson writes on this sheet any information that the service manager should know about the customer or transaction, and puts the the shet in the service manager's in-box. "If the delivery is after-hours or on a weekend, the salesperson writes 'after hours' on the sheet. The afterhours notation tells the service manager that the customer has not been introduced to any service personnel.

3. "The service manager has the responsibility of checking to see that there is a signature in the guest book for each follow-up sheet, and informing the sales manager when a customer has not signed the guest book or been introduced to the service department.

The service manager then calls each customer to introduce himself. "These checks and balances and the use of the guest book have allowed this dealership to see dramatic changes in the survey responses. Before instituting these procedures, they scored an 88 for the question 'Introduced to the service department,' against a national average of 91. The first month after they put these procedures in place, their score skyrocketed to 96, an eight-point gain and five points above the national average." For information on NADA 20 Groups and to join a group, call 800-252-6232 ext. 3.