Last December, J.D. Power's Sales Satisfaction Index Study ranked Chrysler's Jeep, Ram and Dodge brands at the bottom of the list. The Chrysler brand itself fared somewhat better with a ranking of nine out of 19 brands.
With those scores in mind, Chrysler execs deduced that their customer satisfaction incentive program for dealers just wasn't working. Under that program, the largest dealers could earn as much as $200,000 for meeting customer service, facilities and management goals. Per quarter. So the program is being scrapped in favor of a system more like that used by Toyota. Instead of rewards and penalties, Chrysler dealers will now be motivated by simple profits.
"If you perform at a higher level based on customer experience, your percentage of loyalty will grow, your percentage of service retention will grow," Mark Engelsdorfer, Chrysler's director of market representation tells Automotive News. "With that will come a pretty substantial growth in your operating profit."
Chrysler's new program was drawn up with help from its dealer network and seems to be more amenable to dealers than the previous system. The new initiative "is really emulating a partnership," Mike Maroone, COO of AutoNation Inc. said in the same article. "Their willingness to walk away from the carrot and stick is really the right way to go."