Survey Scores and Returns, I Promise
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2 Simple Tracks to Increase Your Survey Scores and Returns, I Promise

It’s not easy getting customers to return surveys these days. Usually, they consider it a waste of their time unless they are extremely impressed or extremely irritated by the service they received.


Sally Whitesell is president of sw Service Solutions, which offers in-store training nationwide and Fixed Ops University; engaging online training for managers and service advisors. Sally brings over 21 years of on-the-drive experience to her training, seminars and books, which include her highly sought after “What Drives Women?” program and her book, “Words That Sell Service.” And new for 2019: the ultimate sales tool: the sw Service Solutions Maximizing Menu.

It’s not easy getting customers to return surveys these days. Usually, they consider it a waste of their time unless they are extremely impressed or extremely irritated by the service they received. In an effort to increase the survey return rate, service advisors usually bring up their desire to have their customers completely satisfied at the checkout. Frankly, this is too little, too late. It comes across to the customer like a half-hearted effort to get a higher rating on the survey.

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Instead, how about we tell our clients from the beginning that our desire is to deliver excellent service?

I’ve found an easy way to incorporate this method into our “check-in” word tracks. Once your team begins to use this process, they will never return to their old habit of waiting until the checkout. If your advisors are willing to get out of their comfort zones, they can have a big impact on their surveys.

Track 1 — Check-in
In our training, we teach eight steps to a professional check-in. After step one: delivering a professional greeting and step two: listening to the main concern, we always, step three: give reassurance. This step is critical to gaining your guests’ trust so they’ll listen to your advisors when they make additional recommendations. It’s the perfect time to incorporate this CSI word track.


“Mr. /Ms. Customer, I appreciate all of the great information you have given me today. This is really going to help your factory-trained technician understand what you are experiencing so that he knows exactly where to start. Rest assured that we will only use factory-authorized equipment and parts to diagnose and repair your car. I promise to keep you updated and you can expect your first update between 10 and 11 this morning. Would you prefer a call, text or email?”

“Great! I want you know that my goal is to make sure that I am providing excellent service, and that you leave feeling completely satisfied with your service experience. Now can I ask you to make me a promise?”


“If for any reason, at any time today you are not feeling completely satisfied with the service you are receiving, will you please let me know immediately so that I have the opportunity to address your concerns?”

“Thank you! Now let’s complete your check-in with our complimentary walk-around. Please follow me.”

This simple word track accomplishes many things. First, the clients are made aware that the information they give to the advisor helps the technicians diagnose the vehicle. Second, your clients will feel reassured that the factory is standing behind your work by your use of highly trained technicians, factory parts and factory equipment. Third, the clients will know that your advisors are sincere about making sure they’re satisfied because the advisor has opened the door to critiques. This is a bold statement that will make your clients feel confident about leaving their car in your hands. Fourth, we have just reassured the client that they will be kept updated and informed with a promise to follow up and a time frame to expect contact. The word “promise” will help clients put their faith in you.


Track 2 — Checkout
After providing excellent service, now is the time for your advisor to cash in on his or her promises. This word track reiterates that your advisor’s goal was to provide excellent service from the beginning, instead of sounding like a plea for a high score at the last hour.

“Mr. /Ms. Customer, it has been a pleasure to help you with your vehicle. Earlier today you made me a promise, do you remember?”

“Yes, you promised that you would let me know if for any reason you were not completely satisfied with the service I provided. Since I haven’t heard from you, is it safe to assume you are completely satisfied?”


“Awesome! Well, you may receive a survey asking how you view your service experience. It would mean a lot to me personally if you could take a minute to fill it out. Can I count on you to do that for me?”

“Thank you! I look forward to helping you keep all of your cars maintained in the future and look forward to seeing you  __ months from now. Thank you again for giving me the opportunity to help you maintain your car.”

If a client has promised your advisor to communicate any dissatisfaction immediately, they will be highly unlikely to voice a complaint on a survey. If your advisor has kept their promise by delivering excellent service and asked the client to commit to filling out the survey, you have a much greater possibility of follow through. It really is that simple! I promise!


Click here to view more solutions from Sally Whitesell and sw Serivce Solutions.

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