What Car Dealerships Can Learn from Hotels About Client Trust

Dave Bentson Expert Insight

In a recent article, Arne Sorenson, President and CEO of Marriott International, discussed the move to online customer reviews by hotels and how it has changed the hospitality industry. While many hotel companies, including Marriott, were hesitant to open up reviews to customers (“‘What if there’s a negative review?!?’”), they have seen positive growth because of them.

Because they embraced the change in consumer behavior and had confidence in their product, Marriott reaped the benefits of allowing others to rate their services.

“Customers were considering online reviews whether we liked it or not, so we jumped in,” said Sorenson.

Do Dealerships Trust Their Customers and Products?

Huge similarities exist between the hospitality and automotive industries. Both hotels and dealerships depend heavily on consumer reviews for future business.

In fact, much of the money new car dealerships count on from manufacturers is tied directly to CSI ratings – Customer Satisfaction Index. This is why when you purchase a car from a franchised dealership today, you will often receive two different surveys.

The results of the first survey is used by the dealership to determine if they will send you the second. If you rated negatively, you probably won’t see a second survey. Only the second survey is sent to the manufacturer, ensuring that dealerships maximize their positive reviews and keep their bad ones from the folks in corporate.

“We have learned to trust our customer and our product,” said Sorenson. “When we do, we have nothing to hide.”

Shouldn’t the automotive industry feel the same way?

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