It’s Anything But
A nod of thanks to reader Sharon M in Northern California for suggesting this topic
If you have ever taken your new car to the dealer for service, chances are the service manager told you to watch for a “satisfaction survey” in your mail, adding, “If you can’t give us the highest possible rating, tell me right now so I can make it right.”
I dunno about you, but it creeps me out. If I have a complaint but do not raise it, I have my reasons. Maybe I’m in a hurry. Maybe my dissatisfaction falls under “Intangible, hard to explain.” (Like, “You just creeped me out.”) Maybe I’m not in the mood to be confrontational today. Maybe I would give the dealer an 8 or 9 from a possible 10, that is, not stellar but good enough and not worth discussing.
Creep-out aside, asking for a high rating invalidates the survey. If the research firm’s goal is to gather honest feedback — admittedly begging the question — the service manager’s plea usurps it. The goal becomes not to improve, but to create the appearance of no improvement needed. There are various behind-the-scenes reasons dealers might do this. Be assured that one of them is not to impress customers, nor to improve service.