Originally Posted by Sinecure
Surveys are are flawed system that Infiniti uses as a hammer to beat salespeople and (to a lesser extent), dealerships. Every single question on there scores back to the salesperson. Dirty floors scored a 6? You just told your salesperson you hate them. Finance manager was pushy and unclear so you gave him a 5? You guessed it, the salesperson suffers too.
Infiniti uses the system to get us (salespeople) to get you trained/prepped so that when the JD Power survey comes, you think scoring less than 10 will hurt me (salesperson) and so you just go along and give tens.
For good salespeople (those that have good scores and sell a decent number of cars), survey scores decide whether we get certain bonus dollars. Those dollars can add up to 20% or more, of our overall compensation. One bad survey can kill it for an entire quarter. What's a "bad" survey? All 4's and 5's would certainly come close. Heck, all 9's and I'll be struggling to get my numbers back up for weeks. For reference, the acceptable score to maintain all bonuses is somewhere around an average of 9.8 out of 10 on every question from every survey. Sound absurd? Yes, it is.
What's genuinely absurd about the system is the title attributed to scores of 8, 9 or 10. They all sound excellent. But "truly exceptional" is the only acceptable one.
I have a tough time writing about this subject without sounding like a jaded, whiny little bitch. Well, I am jaded and whiny. I've had them threaten to pull my bonus because a client filled out a survey on her phone while connected to our wifi at work (yes, they track IP addresses). Their reasoning? I must have tried to influence her answers since she was in our store. WTF? She was in for service and I reminded her she had an outstanding survey.
This problem is not unique to Infiniti. I talk with friends next door at Lexus and it is the same. Service people too.
My latest beef? I was out for 2 1/2 months on medical leave. I need to have 6 completed surveys in the past 90 days in order to qualify for bonus money. Since I was out in October and November, I sold zero cars and had zero surveys. So no January bonus money for Sinecure - I didn't have the requisite number of people complete their surveys - I sold enough cars in January that I'd have qualified. Are we talking tons of money? Not on an individual basis. It is $50-75/car. But add that up over 75-150 new cars over the course of a year and its important. And remember, if one customer gives us a bad survey and it takes 90 days to recover, it is very disheartening. If you're the guy who gave us 6's and 7's on a survey, we will remember you. Think about it. I can have 75 perfect surveys throughout the year and 3-4 poorly-timed bad ones can completely eliminate thousands of dollars in bonus money.
Bottom line: they want us to coach you on how to respond. But they want to make sure you don't comment or realize that we coached you.
The saddest part is that salespeople don't learn from this to cherish the great clients that give us all 10's. We're taught to detest the ones who gave us bad scores. Even though you as the customer thought you were helping Infiniti out by letting them know you weren't 100% satisfied with the selection of vehicles your local dealer had (yes, that question scores back to your salesperson).
I find it hard not to be sarcastic and pissed off when I write about this subject.
Sinecure: Thank you for your open and honest opinion on the dealer survey. I'm here on the east coast and I have not received any survey yet (I purchased the car in mid-February).
Overall, I did not have the best dealer experience in the world and I think it would be unfair to rate the dealership with perfect scores. My reasonable expectation is that he staff members should be experts with the products that they are selling or servicing. For example, I was given false information about payment options (contrary to the sales manager, I can
make payments by credit card, albeit with a fee). Among other things, I was also given ambiguous information about oil changes and tire rotations. My salesperson tells me the first two oil changes are covered along with a tire rotation, but the sales manager insisted that no maintenance is covered. Luckily, I have it covered in a text message conversation, but I should not have to resort to such low-level tactics to prove that I am entitled to two free oil changes and a tire rotation. I was also told that they would leave in the auto stop start button for me, but I have not received it at all. It's a minor thing and I'm not going to cry over a $35 part, but when you're told one thing and they're reluctant to please a customer that just purchased a vehicle, that doesn't equate to "truly exceptional" in my opinion. My car was also delivered with a few cosmetic issues (e.g., surface scratches). Again, truly exceptional? I don't think so.
Any time I am confronted with ambiguity or dishonesty, it makes me want to avoid doing business at all costs. The service department is an altogether different beast. I don't like to play the discrimination card, but I was truly embarrassed after my encounter with the service manager. As soon as I rolled into the garage, she didn't introduce herself and very aggressively assumed I was some kind of dolt that doesn't understand how my car works. I requested a service for several well-documented concerns and requests that I had. It is clear that there is room for improvement with with the dealership's process. Again, truly exceptional? Nope. Far from it.
This has turned out as more of a rant, but I really want to express my feedback to Infiniti without causing financial harm to the staff at the dealership. I believe I received excellent value with my purchasing decision, but the process to get me there needs significant improvement. And the service department? No way am I returning there. The service manager was absolutely disrespectful. When other customers are addressed with a mister or misses, and I'm acknowledged with a "c'mon, your car is ready," that is nowhere near truly exceptional.
(End of rant!)