Measuring Customer Satisfaction Among Preowned Vehicle Buyers

Category: Vehicle Dealer
Methods: Customer Satisfaction Tracking, Online Survey, Preowned Buyer Survey, Quantitative Mail Survey, Tracking Research

Customer Satisfaction


As a premium automobile retailer with multiple locations, our client has a very strong customer service culture; you might say that customer satisfaction excellence is built into this company’s DNA. For years the automobile retailer conducted their own in-house customer satisfaction study to carefully collect information from its preowned vehicle buyers.

However, due to expanding locations, the client decided to outsource the study. Decision Analyst was awarded the contract to update and automate the customer satisfaction program, providing real-time results in a dashboard format, accessible by password for key members of the client’s management team.

Strategic Issues

The ongoing research program serves as a monitoring tool for executives, as well as a compensation device that rewards on-the-job excellence. However, it is the red-flag system, ensuring very fast response to customer complaints, that sets it apart and makes it a truly impactful program for this client. It uses the system to quickly defuse and address customer complaints so that all its customers are ensured a pleasant experience. With every transaction, this client aims to create customers for life.

Research Objectives

The study has been designed to provide key performance measures on all of the clients stores in which preowned vehicles are sold. The measures include overall satisfaction, as well as satisfaction with the purchase and delivery experience. This data is used in evaluating and compensating the client’s managers and customer service personnel.

Research Design and Methods

The study was configured as a mail survey, maintaining the continuity of the original methodology. Customers are now also given the option of taking the survey online, if they prefer. Careful analysis showed that responses from among those taking the survey online did not differ in any meaningful way from those who took the survey by mail. Survey results are provided in near real time via an automated dashboard reporting system. Customer complaints are identified quickly through a red-flag system we developed so that follow-up may be made by dealership personnel in a timely manner.


The study has been very well received. The ability to access survey results in real time and provide vital information on disgruntled customers so that their issues may be addressed has been acknowledged by the automotive executives as being an essential tool in helping the company reach its goal of creating customers for life.

Automotive Marketing Research

If you would like more information on conducting Automotive Research, Bonnie Janzen, President (, or call 1-800-ANALYSIS (262-5974) or 1-817-640-6166.