Automotive Sales Training

The Dreaded CSI Survey — Getting to Excellent

By November 3, 2010 December 27th, 2016 5 Comments

Every manufacturer has one; some are even calling their clients directly. We (The dealer and the salesperson) will receive bonuses based in them. What is it? “The Survey”.

Manufacturers know that client retention is the key to their survival.  We all use them. Don’t we ask for testimonials at the end of each class (Don’t we? ) Not only do we get a hand on the pulse of our market, but it validates what we do.

So how DO we ask for a good survey?  NEVER BRIBE! It cheapens the results for all of us, and it makes our clients wonder why that would even be necessary. It cheapens us and will get you fired.

Here is what I say at the “end” (delivery)

Ms/Mr client, has everything gone to your satisfaction?  Great. I need a small favor. You will be getting a survey in the mail from the manufacturer (phone call, where applicable). It is MY report card and not the car’s. (Remember, if the air conditioner breaks one day after delivery, the client will blame us, and we didn’t build the car!) I will see it. (There is no anonymity here). I need all perfect scores (smiley faces, 100%’s etc.) Pleeeeease! (People think that if they fill out the survey perfectly, it “looks” phoney. Nonsense, it looks great!) I get a bonus based on your happiness.

If for some reason in your heart of hearts, you feel that you cannot give me a perfect score, please do me the favor and call me, or my manager to see if perhaps there is something we can do to make sure you are 100% delighted.

Make sure to remind them a week after delivery. (Surveys normally are mailed out 3-5 days after delivery).

So why is this so important?  Really, do we have to say, “Why”?

This is what I do. What do you do?  In the comment section below let us know your word track, we call all learn from each other and maybe together we can increase what people think about this business.

Will the real professionals please stand up!

Bob Gaber

Almost 30 years in the "Car Biz" and having done just about everything in a dealership, specializing in BDC and Sales, I truly believe that this business is a blessing for those who have the committment. Be Committed!


  • aaron kominsky says:

    I love the article my feelings are this the only way you ever get any customer to give you a great csi report is to first treat them like your mom and dad or grandparents, secondly create a world class shopping experience and lastly follow up on this customer forever introduce them to the service director, service advisors, and parts dept too You have to be like the Ritz Carlton hotel good ole Southern Hospitality to win them over

    • Robert Gaber says:

      Amen, Aaron. I wonder how many “salespeople” know how much a client is worth to a dealer/salesperson in the course of the client’s buying lifetime.

  • Great article! I couldn’t agree more. Treat people right and then ask for the good in return.

  • Jessica says:

    You know Bob, I actually blogged about this very subject today on my blog. This post has really given me some food for thought and I think you have made lots of very important points. In fact, I wish I’d read it earlier, before I posted my own post. – cars2scrap.

  • Bob Gaber says:

    Jessica, Thank you for the kind words. I am just one voice and the more words put out on any subject, the more people will think. The expression is when the srudent is ready, the teacher will be there. Keep up the great work!