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."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      lasertekk
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think this translates to 'keep the customer happy, and they will come back'
        rlog100
        • 2 Years Ago
        @lasertekk
        Dealers don't ascribe to that. How many times does an average customer repeat to a given dealership? People move or change their incomes and they're off to a completely different dealer. So you can rip someone off once and save a pile of money that outstrips their repeat business. And the dealers know the public blames the car maker for the dealer's treatment. Even though the dealer had the state franchaise laws re-written retroactively to favor the dealer. Chrysler probably abandoned this because the benefit they were seeing wasn't worth the fight they had on their hands trying to enforce it.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Green Machine
        • 2 Years Ago
        That story seems to be missing a few details, but I never understood why people put a deposit on a car. As if the car they want it so rare and unobtainable that if they don't put money down, they will never have another chance at getting a mass produced production car ever again.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Green Machine
          [blocked]
          Green Machine
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Green Machine
          He should have taken his contract and contacted a lawyer, not the police. If he handed over a check without a contract, then he deserved to loose the money.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Green Machine
          [blocked]
          Stew
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Green Machine
          @Green Machine: try buying a car with a manual transmission. I had to put a deposit for my car. The dealer didn't have one and they couldn't find one near by. Try getting a C-Class with a manual transmission in particular color/option that you want. You will find it in auto at many places. Many dealers don't stock that many cars in manual, since they don't sell that many.
      Klinkster
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good luck to Chrysler teaching it's dealers how to sell like Toyota. After years of carrot & stick mentality, it's going to be hard for dealers to wean themselves off the "juice" long enough to realize that customer retention is a slow 4-6 year process. Long term thinking...not short-term crack.
      brucec039
      • 2 Years Ago
      Recently tried to buy a Ram. What a bunch of goofballs they were. Totally incompetent. The prices were great with incentives, but the dealer was a real issue. I went with a nice F150 instead and love it.
        Abarthlyness
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brucec039
        CoolstoryBro...
          avconsumer2
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Abarthlyness
          Actually it was a pretty cool story... BRO... as opposed to your completely unoriginal troll.
        ndcart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brucec039
        So you bought a F150 simply because one dealer sucked? Plenty of bad dealers for every brand.
          NastyKnate
          • 2 Years Ago
          @ndcart
          not really. maybe nation wide. but most have one, maybe two, dealers they can use in their city. its pretty common for someone to have a bad time at one dealer and settle on another brand because of it.
      Ryan Pitts
      • 2 Years Ago
      Heres my thoughts on most dealerships -- approach every shopper as a "human being", institute a trust based selling approach and below a well rounded team. No gimmicks, transparent sales process and knowledge of the market (what other dealerships have in stock, what a competitive price would be, advantages/disadvantages of the product) I recently went to buy a new 2012 honda civic si and they threw every dealership sales tactic at me -- called in the manager, asked me what I wanted to pay per month, packaged in all the warranties/gimicks even though that wasn't a concern for me,etc.. Users are most likely going to a chrysler lot since they are very interested in one of their models. Once they enter the lot dont sabotage the sale by being overly pushy or focused only on your commission needs. I think the customer satisfaction is in direct correlation to the sales persons focus on their commission checks. Abridged version : Stop focusing on your commission check, focus on the customers needs/situation and I guarantee you will increase your customer satisfaction and sales.
        Ken
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ryan Pitts
        Actually knowing something about the cars they're selling would help too. It's not strictly a Chrysler issue, but so many salesmen just spout out complete BS when they're trying to get you to buy their car. If a salesman can't take the time to learn about the vehicle and be able to show a customer the features of the car and how they work then he/she shouldn't be selling cars.
          NastyKnate
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ken
          this. when i bought my jeep used it was from a chrysler dealer. saleswoman was basically only able to say "paint looks nice and it has good tires on it". Galt Chrysler in Cambridge, Ontario is the perfect example of a horrible customer service experience.
        MAX
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ryan Pitts
        Dealers do all this high pressure stuff because it works. Just like in politics, if you take the high road, you lose.
        Doug Utz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ryan Pitts
        I've been in the business for over 13 years now and you wrapped up in your last paragraph what so many dealers simply still do not "get", and they have no one to blame but themselves. I am very grateful I don't work for a store that operates in the old school way and I'm very proud of our long term and loyal customer base we've built up in the 53 years we've been in business.
      v8eater
      • 2 Years Ago
      Automakers copy Toyota's manufacturing processes now their dealer customer satisfaction process, too funny lol.
      kingrat001
      • 2 Years Ago
      Worst experience I ever had was at Las Vegas Dodge back in 1977-78. Lying, playing games, etc. Best experiences? Charlie's Dodge in Maumee, Ohio. I have bought 4 vehicles from them, and they have all been great, and the only thing I can think to complain about is the price they want for 6 quarts of synthetic oil.
      Alexis Laris
      • 2 Years Ago
      My Chrysler 300M has been at my local dealership for repairs for over 2 wks now. Call into the Chrysler Case management group doesn't seem to have helped. The part identified as the culprit has come in from Detroit been installed and then identified as defective twice now. I know I am just a woman and it's not a new car but it will be the last Chrysler I ever buy, regardless of the incentive program devised. A. Laris
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