What is CSI?

It’s not “Crime Scene Investigations” — although that what the majority of people associate the letters CSI with; ask the average buyer what CSI stands for, and they will probably say something about the TV program. CSI has a different meaning in the automotive retailing world. CSI means “Customer Satisfaction Index.” It’s something that’s important to car manufacturers and you may not suspect that CSI is one of the larger forces driving the auto industry right now. You may not think it’s an important, but it really is. As Stan Lee said “With great power, comes great responsibility” and doing the CSI survey will give you the power.

But how does CSI Work? Well, thompsonchryslerjeep.net says that you purchase a car, whether a luxury or mass market brand, you should receive a survey. The survey might come from the dealership or the manufacturer. The survey might be in the form of a letter, a phone call or an email.  What you will be asked to do is to rate your buying experience, probably from 1 to 10. Sometimes, you may be asked to answer some “yes or no” questions as well. The purpose of the survey is to find out how well customers are being treated at a car dealer.

The thing you should know about the CSI process is that vehicle manufacturers take it seriously. The way they see it, if the CSI scores aren’t good, the brand can lose customers because those customers might go elsewhere. That’s not good, so manufacturers go to serious lengths to ensure their CSI remains high. The amount of money salespeople take home is often tied to it, and a dealership might lose many thousands of dollars if their CSI ends up below a certain level. It is serious business.


But the majority of customers are unaware of CSI surveys. And a lot of people have no idea how important their answers to these surveys are. As a result, many people don’t answer them or answer it semi-seriously. The American Customer Satisfaction Index only gets about 80,000 opinions from Americans each year, and much more are needed to get an accurate picture of the American car buying experience.

CSI surveys are done for one individual’s name: that of your salesperson. When a salesperson sells a vehicle, a survey is sent to their customer and the customer is asked to grade the salesperson’s performance. How they greeted him or her, how well he or she knows their product, etc., etc. It may then go into other functional areas in the dealership, like service and finance, and ask how they performed too. It is not unusual for dealers and manufacturers to be concerned when they receive poor surveys. Some dealerships tie CSI results to the money their salespeople make. So, when you receive your CSI survey, be nice and be accurate. And always try and give your sales person a chance to correct anything that you might have found less than pleasing. We promise you, they will really appreciate it. People who look at CSI results range from industry trade assWociations to government agencies to consumers.

Thanks to: Thompson Chrysler

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