The Survey Says…
These days, any visit to a manufacturer-branded service department invariably leads to a customer survey. As you pick up your vehicle, all hands on the service deck make a cloying and pathetic plea for “excellent” ratings. From the service “host” to the cashier with the mysteriously low-cut and tight attire, they all “remind” you that “five is the highest score” on the walkout survey incorporated into the service receipt. Uh, sure. Thanks. Their lobbying is creepy, intrusive and inherently unethical, and it doesn’t end there…
Within hours, a letter from the dealership arrives with a heads-up: a manufacturer’s survey or (worse) phone call is headed your way. The dealer staff’s continued employment depends entirely on your providing “only the highest rating” ticks on every question. Further, if you feel unable to make these bubbly, effusively positive post-visit comments, you are despicably evil human filth– I mean, could you please give the service manager the basic courtesy of discussing your concerns with him prior to any negative assessments you might consider sharing with the brand’s customer relations monitors?
So am I to call my dealership and discuss how to get adhesive wheel weights to stick on uncleaned wheels? Or more fun yet, tender the suggestion that maybe their highly trained technicians just did the rotation, figured the tires looked good enough and skipped the whole balancing procedure? Or somehow blew the highly lasered and automated alignment process?
And I’ll still have to leave my vehicle– again– for a few hours. If I want to avoid death by People magazine, I’ll have to rent a car (the only loans my dealer makes involve interest payments and lots of ‘em). Moreover, I’ll face a repeat round of surveys, which could trigger another cycle of false feedback: “Was the service department friendly and courteous while correcting the mistake they shouldn’t have made the first time?”
Please. Car companies should not allow their dealerships’ personnel to brow-beat their customers with the potential consequences of an honest consumer report. The dealership should simply ask the owner if the dealer’s service was up to snuff and be done with it. If it turns out that they screwed up, the service department needs to suck it up and take the beating they deserve. Yes, they should be allowed the opportunity to fix their screw-ups. But using emotional blackmail to manipulate their esteemed customers into ziplipification– even if they attempt to “correct” problems later– enables substandard procedures to persist. It’s a win – lose situation.
Maybe we should have some responses ready for these situations. When the service department toady helpfully informs us that “five is the highest rating” we should ask,”Given that five is an odd number, what’s an average score?” When they tell us “If you can’t give us the highest possible ratings on every question, please contact our service department Manager immediately” we should counter “Wouldn’t that render the survey statistically insignificant, in that it would be an aberration of the sigma-six design coefficient theories outlined in Johansson’s seminal work “Survey and Assessment-Instrument Compilation for the Twenty-First Century Customer?”
Of course, there is no such book. But being able to cite it with authority will glaze every sub-erudite eye for miles. And when the ever-so-helpful service folk overdo the gluteal-kissing with cheerful placards and/or five cent mints, remember that they really do want you to be satisfied. So tell them you’d like to be allowed to complete all future surveys without hectoring, pleading, bargain basement bribery and cynical mind games. Or, more comprehensibly, “piss off.”
And when you take your car in for a warranty recall, simple service or minor repair, and they put your steering wheel back on off-center, or get oil all over your engine cover, or fail to get the door fascia on properly, or over-torque the lug nuts, tell the manager about it and get things put right ASAP. And then report the hassles on the ensuing surveys. At the same time, manufacturers must do whatever they can to put an end to this charade. They should mystery shop their dealers’ service departments or survey customers on pre-survey shenanigans. The truth hurts guys. Get used to it.
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- THX1136 Maybe Mark Worman/Graveyard Carz will see this, buy the thing and restore it to it's original condition.
- THX1136 Fain's comments are ridiculous to these ears. "Struggling to get by. . ." - really? The only reason any would be struggling is due to living beyond said individuals means (spending money like the gubment does). Both political entities 'visiting' the situation is one more reason for this baby to vote for neither.
- Sgeffe 400 horsepower? In a German 2-point-zero-tee?My God, that'll blow sky-high the day after the warranty expires!
- EBFlex Did he deboard the plane with the baby steps? Anyway I called it. Right yet again:Jeff-“”I doubt President Biden would join striking UAW workers. It’s one thing to give support to strikers and another to join strikers on the picket line.”Well he’s a complete and total moron. So it wouldn’t be surprising at all if he joined them on the picket line. If an idiot would do it, then it’s something Brandon would do..”
- Fred Trump's "concerted effort" will be to speak at a non-union plant. Don't forget he promised to keep Lordstown open.