In the last month, I took both of my cars to the dealer for regular service. For my Mercedes, I waited in their lobby while the car was serviced. I was offered gourmet coffee and cookies and was able to use their free Wi-Fi. At the Ford dealer, the work was going to take longer, so I was offered a free loaner for the day. While waiting for the loaner I sat in their lobby. They offered free soda and cookies.
In both cases the cars were finished when promised and all repairs were completed with no issues. In my mind both service experiences were equal. It’s the post-service surveys that set the dealers apart.
A day after the service at Ford, I began to receive a daily e-mail asking me to complete their customer satisfaction survey. I put it off for a few days, knowing it would take a few of my precious minutes, but I finally got around to it. It was a typical survey, asking me about topics such as: the ease of making the appointment; the friendliness of the service adviser; the cleanliness of the facility; the quality of the service adviser’s communication skills; was the car ready when promised? In all, the survey took about seven minutes.
A day after I took the Ford survey, I received a call from the Mercedes dealer for their customer satisfaction survey. The woman on the phone asked just two questions: Was the work done to my satisfaction? Would I return for future service? My answer to both was yes. The survey took 15 seconds.
I was surprised at how brief the Mercedes survey was, but after thinking about it, I liked it. It was short and to-the-point. If I had had a problem, I would have let her know or I would have called the dealer earlier.
While I realize that Ford collected much more data and used well-established techniques, is the conclusion not the same from both surveys? One satisfied customer, who will return for service.
My experience with these surveys also raised these questions:
- Should Ford do a shorter survey, or does the amount of information it gleans from its survey justify the time and effort it asks of its customers to take it?
- Does Mercedes not ask as many questions because, as a luxury automaker, it is required to have higher service standards than other automakers?
- Did the Mercedes dealer really capture all of the data it needed?
What are your thoughts on the merits of the two-question satisfaction survey?