Chrysler Ends Dealership Customer Service Program
Apparently for years now Chrysler has been offering a dealer incentive program to boost customer service and showroom appearance. Now after coming in dead last in J.D. Power surveys, they have decided to nix the program. Seems like a no-brainer.
Chrysler had been offering up to $800,000 per year in the hopes that it would push dealers to offer great customer service and keep a super-clean showroom. According to a story in Autonews, that plan was nixed on January 1, 2012 and will be replaced with “enhanced training and research.” The thought is that dealers will now be tasked with succeeding on their own merits.
The new plan titled “Customer Service Initiative” is currently being piloted at 11 dealerships in Phoenix, Arizona. The long-term plan is that the imitative will spread across that region then around the country. This plan focuses on spending resources on an improved mystery shopper program with more qualitative data.
Plus, Chrysler is “overhauling its staff at nine regional business centers, so that they act more like consultants for dealers and less like ruthless enforcement agents,” according to TheCarConnection.com. Ruthless enforcement agents? No wonder J.D. Power scores were bad.
Sounds good right? Except for the part that dealers have been out $800,000 since the beginning of the year. Dealers aren’t exactly flush with cash in an economy that is still slow albeit coming around very quickly.
While the initiative could easily have the same mixed results as the other program, the hope is that dealers will do a better job paying attention to their customers.
What do you think? Do mystery shoppers work or should dealers simply be dinged when customers complain about poor customer service to headquarters?
Filed Under: Auto News