The Customer Satisfaction Index, or CSI, is a valuable tool that store owners can use to hear directly from customers, analyze feedback, and promote their store’s top-notch work. However, a recent Ratchet + Wrench survey revealed that many stores still don’t follow CSI.
Tracking CSI not only helps stores understand customer satisfaction levels, but it provides insight into your store, and maintaining a high CSI score is necessary to achieve AAA approval. Additionally, stores can use positive reviews as a promotional tool.
Gregg Rainville, Revenue Manager at Mechanic Advisor, regularly works with stores and helps them track CSI and achieve AAA approval. Rainville recently spoke with Ratchet + Wrench about the importance of tracking CSIs and how a store can get started.
why it matters
It all starts with the name. The first and most obvious reason to follow CSI is to understand where your store stands in terms of providing a full-service customer service experience.
All store owners hope to provide a top-notch experience for their customers from the moment they walk through the door until they pull their car out of the lot. But if you don’t ask about their experience, you’ll never get the full picture of how good your store is at providing that full-service experience.
Reviews, comments, and CSI scores are great tools that provide key information about your store.
“You can really look at a business and know the quality of the business…by looking at CSI scores and customer reviews and things like that,” Rainville says.
Achieving AAA approval is another big reason why many stores will follow CSI. To become a AAA store, you must have 95% satisfaction or better, which means 95% of your feedback must be satisfied or better.
An often overlooked part of CSI is reviews, which are essential for driving business to your store. Rainville says that as the world becomes increasingly digital, it’s increasingly important to have accessible reviews of your business online.
“If you don’t have customer reviews or feedback, you’re likely going to lose that new potential customer that walks through your door,” Rainville says.
Rainville explains that not only are reviews a good tool for driving business to your store, but they also allow the customer to express themselves through an open-ended question, which can be a better way to get feedback. honest.
And a platform like Google, for example, can allow the store owner to respond to those reviews, which are both personal and show future customers how that store is treating current customers.
While some stores track CSI internally, the majority track it through a third party, which can be an easier transition, and it ensures consistency in questions asked of customers.
At Mechanic Advisor, Rainville says they have a process where they collect emails and phone numbers from customers when their tickets are closed, which allows them to track their in-store experiences.
For AAA stores, Mechanic Advisor sends out CSI surveys that customers complete, which enter into a report sent back to AAA.
Depending on each shop’s wishes, Mechanic Advisor will request feedback for CSI between two and five days after a customer’s visit.
And there are many companies similar to Mechanic Advisor that will provide services for stores to track CSI.
Kathleen Jarosik, owner of Xpertech Auto Repair in Englewood, Florida, is a NAPA AutoCare Gold Center, and NAPA provides CSI surveys, which go into the Xpertech Auto Repair CSI score.
On a small scale, starting to track CSI can be as simple as using a customer relationship management (CRM) provider such as Yelp, Google, or Facebook and asking for reviews to start evaluating your customer experiences from the.
Again, it all starts with the name. The key metric in tracking customer satisfaction is nothing but satisfaction.
CSI surveys generally range from “completely satisfied” to “completely dissatisfied”. For example, if a customer is asked what he thought of the repairs carried out on his vehicle, he can answer: completely satisfied, satisfied, neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, dissatisfied or completely dissatisfied.
“Anyone who doesn’t pay attention to this metric probably should,” says Jarosik. “It’s like not watching how much money you make.”
The goal for stores, of course, is to be as close to “totally satisfied” as possible, which is becoming increasingly important for stores looking to gain and maintain AAA approval, where it is required to have 95% satisfaction or better to obtain this approval. and remain a AAA boutique.
Nor does Rainville understand the importance of criticism. Again, the goal, of course, is to have mostly positive reviews, whether on a scale of one to five or one to 10. But it’s also essential that the reviews appear genuine.
“I always like to tell my stores, you know, you don’t want a 5.0,” Rainville says. “No store can be 100% perfect. If you are, there should be red flags.
The flip side
So that’s the positive side of CSI, but what if you choose not to follow it?
Well, for starters, you lose key information about your business; how can you track flaws in your business model without tracking CSI?
Tracking CSI can also be a quality control tool. If you have a bad front desk clerk, you won’t know unless you have a place to ask customers. Without following CSI in some way, you lose that customer input, that quality control tool, and that extra insight into your business.
Without following CSI, you can say goodbye to AAA approval as it requires a satisfaction metric of 95% or higher.
Finally, you lose potential customers that you couldn’t find or who were scared off by the lack of information from other customers online.
“If you don’t have that positive feedback, like it won’t help your business,” Rainville says. “Many of our shops also display their reviews or post their best reviews on their website or Facebook page. It just helps to improve customer confidence, and even your own existing base. »
The results speak
Xpertech Auto Repair recently won the AAA Gold Top Shop 2022 award for North America in the small shop category and the National AAA Best in Auto Repair Silver 1-5 bay award.
That’s largely because Jarosik isn’t one to shy away from his CSI comments. Recent accolades haven’t stopped Jarosik from trying to improve his business.
A while back, Jarosik had a customer review complaining about a long wait time to get their car in. The customer said Xpertech Auto Repair is not expected to take on new customers as their booming business has weeks of shop bookings.
This told Jarosik that his store has become one that is “too busy.” She compared it to the restaurant you love but never want to go to because you know you’re waiting an hour for a table.
So, for the past two years, Jarosik has been working on getting permits to add two more bays at Xpertech Auto Repair, all based on his client’s insight.
“If you don’t ask the questions, you don’t know where your problems are,” she says.