Post new car sales survey, starting to grate.

tangey

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I bought my GLC at the start of November.

I'm getting fed up with being reminded how important the post sales survey is.

My salesman has mentioned it twice. The head office for the dealer phoned me and told me about it. I've had TWO letters from head office, just full of the usual platitudes ("hope you are really pleased with your new...."), but the point of both was clearly to again remind me that if I can't tick"would definitely recommend" to the appropriate question, to contact them so they can resolve the reason.

So it gets to the stage that I've come to conclude that the great follow up I've had from the salesman, and him taking some of my initial concerns seriously, and "keeping in touch" type emails (I just got a merry christmas email from the salesman) isn't because they have a genuine inherent desire to, you know, do their job right, but it's simple about that one damn tick box, and once they think it's been ticked, it'll all change. Funny enough, I actually completed the survey about 10 days ago (but got a letter from the dealer yesterday about it again !).

So, is that tick box THAT important ? One gets the feeling the dealers entire new sales operation hinges on it, isn't putting all the emphasis on the survey, and not, you know, in actually giving great service, doing things ass about face ?
 
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It's how they measure quality of the service, I expect that someone's bonus is dependent on it.
 

gIzzE

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So, is that tick box THAT important ?
It is to him, it is how he gets paid.

If he doesn't get the result then that car is not classed as part of his target and he will miss any commission on it, and he could miss his quarterly target too.

I know from a mate at Audi, people just often 'don't get round to it' but it can cost him big time.
He is very good, he does loads for his customers and they all really like him, he genuinely does what the best thing for the customer is, often he will talk them out of a used sale when ho knows buying new is cheaper for them, even if that one last used sale is all he needs to hit target.
Yet many still just don't bother fill out the questionnaire.

At Audi if you don't sell at least one from Gap, paint protection or finance the car you sell doesn't count towards your sales targets.
If you don't get the questionnaire back that car doesn't count towards your sales targets.
If you have say 15 new and 20 used to sell in a quarter and you sell 14 new and 100 used you don't hit your target and don't get your bonus.

The difference can be a few grand a month, or mean you come out with half your expected wage, and it can be lost purely because someone doesn't answer a questionnaire.
 
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Deleted96908

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My cousin and her husband are both secret shoppers working within the auto industry.

They 'buy' cars for a living using funds provided by the manufacturers. Their sole aim is to measure the new car buying experience from first contact to after sales satisfaction. And from what they tell me, the experience varies widely depending on brand and dealer. They wear concealed evidence cameras because dealers often deny what was reported back to the manufacturers. These surveys count towards dealer bonuses and can impact the level of discount the dealer receives.

My cousin tells me that the female buying experience is much worse than that measured by her husband during his surveys. Often she's asked if her husband has approved of the purchase and when she tells the salesperson (male and female!) it's her decision, the salesperson often follows up with a "would your husband like to drive the car first...?". This counts negatively towards the final assessment with some manufacturers, whereas others don't even record it on the assessment form.

From their experience, these surveys are more likely to be carried out by premium European brands, and or, on the more expensive models in the range.
 

Rory

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... but the point of both was clearly to again remind me that if I can't tick"would definitely recommend" to the appropriate question, to contact them so they can resolve the reason.
I wouldn't mind, but I've called dealers, both sales and service, and said "I can't tick absolutely satisified" or whatever, due to some issue and I've never yet had a positive response.

However it's supposed to be absolutely vital to the salesman, and indeed everybody up the chain, that you tick the totally positive answers unless there's a specific reason not to.

There's a thread either here or the other forum from someone who had an OK/average buying experience so he marked the whole survey as OK/average. Next thing he gets a call from the Dealer Principal saying it was the worst survey they'd ever had and why shouldn't he fire the salesman?!


On my daughter's SEAT, we got surveyed by the dealer, the dealer group, SEAT UK and then a few weeks later one turned up from SEAT Spain. I got no feeback from any of them. The only one I've ever had follow-up on was Honda - the dealer messed up delivery and clearly got their backside kicked. Got the first service free (unasked for, they just offered it).
 

Rory

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And from what they tell me, the experience varies widely depending on brand and dealer.
Is it consistent across brands and dealerships though? It's surely mainly down to the individual salesperson unless some brands / dealerships have massive culture problems.


Car salesmen say they can spot secret shoppers a mile off - I guess they would say that but one my daughters did a Saturday job in WH Smiths and she reckoned even in that environment secret shoppers were obvious. She said it leads to stupid situations like the assistant asking if you want a stamp with your greeting card, then when you say "yes" they say they haven't got any!
 

Rory

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Making them even more stupid for saying the things they do on camera.
I'm a salesman in another industry (although I have a more fancy job title) and they generally make me cringe - although, to be fair, the guy we just bought a VW Tiguan off was good. But all the heavy duty work was done through Car-Wow - bearing that in mind, it's perhaps even more remarkable that he was good. Or I didn't get quite as good a deal as I thought. :)

I imagine car salespeople haven't long left in this world - we'll soon be dealing on terminals with virtual salespeople so they'll be 100% consistent.
 
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I'm a salesman in another industry (although I have a more fancy job title) and they generally make me cringe - although, to be fair, the guy we just bought a VW Tiguan off was good. But all the heavy duty work was done through Car-Wow - bearing that in mind, it's perhaps even more remarkable that he was good. Or I didn't get quite as good a deal as I thought. :)

I imagine car salespeople haven't long left in this world - we'll soon be dealing on terminals with virtual salespeople so they'll be 100% consistent.
Buyers are now being stalked with social sentiment tracking software which trawls the web looking for positive and negative mentions about products and services on FB, Twitter, forums etc. If a person is being nasty about a brand the company running the search will reach out and try and quell the issue. Nothing clever about that I guess until you realise that existing and potential customers are incentivised to make themselves known to a dealer or manufacturer online and their sentiment is then tracked across the web (given many users of social networks will also list their other network usernames). Mention you are unhappy on FB with a dealer and you might just get a call. Likewise mentioning intent to buy.

These sentiment tracking systems are incredibly cheap to rent online. Less than £100 a month buys you into a real time tracking system which can email you summaries of global sentiment on an hourly basis or contact you immediately in the case of sentiment that triggers an alert.

So yes. We are going to and to some extent are already being sold to by robots.
 

Stratman

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A few years ago the number plates were stolen off my son's car. He reported it to the police, mainly to cover himself should they be used for nefarious purposes, who were less than interested. He got a crime number and that's all.

About a month later he received a multipage questionnaire, more than he ever got about the crime itself, asking how wonderfully his complaint was handled. It went in the bin.
 

MaidenheadMerc

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Buyers are now being stalked with social sentiment tracking software which trawls the web looking for positive and negative mentions about products and services on FB, Twitter, forums etc. If a person is being nasty about a brand the company running the search will reach out and try and quell the issue. Nothing clever about that I guess until you realise that existing and potential customers are incentivised to make themselves known to a dealer or manufacturer online and their sentiment is then tracked across the web (given many users of social networks will also list their other network usernames). Mention you are unhappy on FB with a dealer and you might just get a call. Likewise mentioning intent to buy.
I work in another industry but we use this sort of tech a lot and have a huge customer team to help pick up issues before people moan too much.

That's why I complained on Twitter a lot when my C350e was delayed at the last minute and the dealer didn't seem in any rush to resolve things. Had calls from higher up within a few hours...I don't even know how they had my number so they definitely linked some info up somewhere!
 

Rory

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That's why I complained on Twitter a lot when my C350e was delayed at the last minute and the dealer didn't seem in any rush to resolve things. Had calls from higher up within a few hours...I don't even know how they had my number so they definitely linked some info up somewhere!
That's not covert tracking though - that's you complaining and them doing something about it. OK, they had to find you, and I've certainly had calls where I've thought Hmmm...I wonder how they got my number? One thing I've noted with MB is I can email them from my personal email address and they'll respond to my work one.

I've never followed MB on social media but if any company was going to head off negative comments it would be VW - they'd have to employ an army of people to deal with complaints. People post on their Facebook page and they respond, but just fob people off. They even have a specific Twitter account for complaints.
 
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I imagine car salespeople haven't long left in this world - we'll soon be dealing on terminals with virtual salespeople so they'll be 100% consistent.
This is very likely.

I opened a new office 2 years ago and kitted out a room with video conference equipment and a comfortable sofa just so that customers could speak to a salesperson from a central point. All meetings were recorded for audio and video and the service was very much a process, including scripts for consistency.
 

Tiim533

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I was told about this survey as well when I bought my new Merc back in August. But the dealer messed me about so often I was never surprised that I never received the survey to complete. My guess is the Sales Manager either completed it himself or threw it in the bin.

I was tempted to write to the MD of the Dealership (they have a few MB dealerships in the East of England) but as I had no intention of getting another car from this dealer I didn't bother!
 

renault12ts

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This is very likely.

I opened a new office 2 years ago and kitted out a room with video conference equipment and a comfortable sofa just so that customers could speak to a salesperson from a central point. All meetings were recorded for audio and video and the service was very much a process, including scripts for consistency.
What market are you in?
 
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tangey

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I was told about this survey as well when I bought my new Merc back in August. But the dealer messed me about so often I was never surprised that I never received the survey to complete. My guess is the Sales Manager either completed it himself or threw it in the bin.

I was tempted to write to the MD of the Dealership (they have a few MB dealerships in the East of England) but as I had no intention of getting another car from this dealer I didn't bother!
Mines came from MB directly, not the dealer, and it was an online form. One of the questions was something along the lines of did I have an issue I had to contact the dealer about. I'd put a "yes" in there (I'd complained about the ILS deactivating twice in 1 night), and MB (not the dealer) phoned to see if this was still an issue, or if it had been followed-up on.
 

Happytalk73

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The constant need for reassurance that everyone's doing a great job drives me totally mad. Obviously the bigger the company the bigger the need.

I called the AA out a few years ago for a flat battery. The guy came. Started my van. And away he went. All very good. Over the following few days I was bombarded with texts, phone calls and even an email to ask, "How did we do?"

The ONLY part of the service that I wasn't happy with was the customer satisfaction requests.

This is just one example. It happens in vertually every field of life nowadays. Everyone wants a pat on the back and adoration.

Why not go back to old fashioned ways. If I have a problem with the service, I'll tell you. Simple as that. I refuse to pepper them with compliments answering 20 questions scoring 1-10

I could go on forever on this subject (and if you're still reading this then we'll done!). It'd defo go in my room 101. If I ever got on that programme Room 101 Would need a hefty extension)

Rant over. I thank you. :D

Just one more thing. I do feel sorry for the salesmen that do loose out for people like me. It's not their fault. It's the company they work for.
 
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Mercedes do seem to take this process to extremes.
In most businesses these quality measures feed into a scorecard which previously might have been only sales related, service and after-service could have been rotten and/or non-compliant with either company policy or regulator demands.
Done well they improve the customer experience.
 

Little Lofty

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What gets me is all these big companies must spend small fortunes on customer service advisers, surveys, questionnaires etc, and on the whole customer service is worse than ever. The Mercedes dealer didn't even ring me back after I test drove a GLC, I did get a call from some nice lady a few weeks later asking if I was still interested. I told her I'd been forgotten about and had ordered a Porsche, she apologised and said her goodbyes.
 

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