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Dealers with higher satisfaction scores have faster stock turn, finds JudgeService

Neil Addley, managing director at JudgeService

Dealers with a higher proportion of ‘satisfied’ customers are selling cars more quickly.

JudgeService has identified a correlation between customer satisfaction and dealer stock turn, despite the shortage of new and used cars and the impact of the pandemic.

Its latest research shows how dealers with JudgeService Promoter Scores of 90% averaged a stock turn of 27 days in 2021, while those with a score of 50% averaged 34 days to sell a car.

Neil Addley (pictured), managing director of JudgeService, said: “Retailers with processes and training in place to consistently deliver high levels of customer satisfaction are continuing to achieve the fastest stock turns and reaping the bottom-line benefits.

“Back in 2018, pre-Covid, we identified a correlation between customer satisfaction and speed of stock turn, our latest research shows how this clear link continues in a market facing the ongoing challenges of the pandemic and stock shortages caused by the disruption of new car supply.”

The research, from JudgeService’s forthcoming 2022 Industry Report, also identifies how first and last impressions are key drivers of Promoter Scores.

For customers surveyed who had yet to buy a car, satisfaction was based largely on their first contact with the dealer.

Those visiting showrooms and waiting for longer than five minutes to see a team member were 32% more likely to be a detractor than a promoter. While of those making online or phone enquiries only 58% were completely satisfied with response rates.

Final touches for customers taking delivery of a car also proved a major contributor to their overall satisfaction. At handover, customers appreciated being helped to download the dealer’s app, resulting in a 91% Promoter Score, while the dealer getting in touch after delivery also had a positive impact, resulting in a Promoter Score of 85%.

“Contacting a customer after they’ve bought a car, to check everything’s okay, is something every dealer can and should do. Likewise, if dealers have an app then spending a few minutes with a customer to help them download it pays dividends. “Doing both can help improve Promoter Scores by up to 81%. These are easy wins for forward thinking dealers to take advantage of,” said Addley.

Last year, the company highlighted how dealers risk losing out on referrals from new customers who have discovered them online.

It found that customers most likely to become promoters were those who had previously enjoyed a good experience at the dealership they bought from, followed by those recommended by family and friends as well as customers who had their last car serviced by the dealer.

The JudgeService Industry Report: The Power of Customer Satisfaction 2022 is based on research conducted between January 2016 and December 2021 with 594,939 car buyers. It will be published in February.

Online reviews were the subject of a recent AM ‘General Managers Guide to…’ webinar. Among the key takeaways was the assertion that both good and bad customer reviews should be encouraged in greater volumes to give the opportunity to deliver good customer outcomes more visibly.

The latest AM industry special issue

The presence of a powerful and active regulator in the marketplace, the Financial Conduct Authority, means there has never been the attention given to the critical driver of new and used car markets, point of sale finance and insurance. 

Plus, with the Consumer Duty soon to be introduced, no automotive manager can afford to relax - or not read our new special report.

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