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CSI, the hit CBS TV show is not what you are going to find with this blog post. However, it must be a great series considering there is a CSI for almost every major city. We are still waiting on CSI Dallas or CSI Ft. Worth but we won't be holding our breathe.

The CSI that I am referring to in this article is "Customer Satisfaction Index" which is an indicator of how satisfied customers are with their vehicle purchases through a dealership.

Every dealer cares about how their customers are rating them on their CSI surveys and every dealer wants to improve their ratings. Why do automotive dealers care so much about CSI?
The simple answer is that the manufacturers use these "grades" to allocate new models and make operating decisions.

Yes, having a good average CSI is important to the dealers. However, this isn't the only customer satisfaction measure that needs to be assessed. I will contend that the CSI is not the most important measure of customer satisfaction either.

Going Beyond CSI
In reality customers don't really care about the dealers CSI ratings. It's not something that they can tell their friends about or share their "real" feelings with their neighbors. The CSI is focused more on the information that the manufacturer wants to get so they can rate the dealers and not something useful for future customers.

So going beyond the CSI is becoming important for dealers to do. How does one go beyond the CSI? A dealer can go beyond the CSI by asking it's customers to share their reviews of the buying (or service) experience in the manner that they are most comfortable.

Over 400 million people are now on Facebook but that's not necessarily a "review" site. However, a post on Facebook or Twitter (again, not a review site) that says you had a great experience or a bad experience can have a great impact on the dealers reputation because of the reach that these social media sites have.

Review specific sites such as Yelp and auto specific sites like are sites that focus 100% on customers posting their experiences with specific companies. These review sites have now entered the social media realm with the functionality of being able to "tweet", "email", or post your reviews to Linkedin, Facebook or other social media sites. So now the review that your customer has of your business is no longer confined to word of mouth. Now reviews are archived for life (well, as long as the Internet is around) and can be forwarded and searched for all to see.

So when you look at a choice between having a good CSI number or having positive reviews on the social sites both are important but for different reasons. Think of your customer satisfaction as a portfolio of reviews and that you want to pay attention to both of them.

At Grubbs Infiniti we are trying to make sure that we are listening to what our customers have to say about the service we are providing. Job satisfaction is enhanced when you are praised and hear that you are doing a good job and that's what we strive for at Grubbs Infiniti. We want our customers to rave about the service and buying experience at Grubbs Infiniti. We know that in the long term if we take care of our customers we will be financially rewarded. That's just good business.

Here are a few of the sites we recommend to our customers to post their reviews.

Rating & Review Listings

Additional Resources

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Tags: CBS, CSI, Customer, Edmunds, FourSquare, Grubbs, Index, Infiniti, Satisfaction, Yelp


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