CSI Scoring F&I Questions?
You may have noticed that your new manufacturer Customer Satisfaction questionnaires have added some new
questions recently. Many auto makers have added, or are about to add, specific CSI questions regarding the F&I
department and the F&I process. They are measuring the customers impression of the F&I experience and focusing on
this area like a laser beam. Why?
A good case has been made that the F&I department has a massive impact of the customers attitude of the sales
experience and the credibility of the dealership, as a whole. The F&I experience, good or bad, is what customers tend to
remember most after they leave the dealership and is critical to creating good customer attitudes and retention.
You need to know that there are those in the industry who are suggesting the elimination of the F&I department as a way
to solve this problem. (We have been studying this idea and will share some detailed information in our next issue.)
The first thing we need to identify are the causes of most customer F&I complaints. They are:
1. Pressure. Customers do not like to feel pressured into buying products. The problem is that people are so sales
resistant, today, that any kind of sales pitch is interpreted as pressure. They do not want to be sold. Yet, F&I managers
are under tremendous pressure to sell products and the customers feel this tension.
2. Time. Once the customer has made the deal, they want to complete the paperwork and leave. They hate the long
waits and unnecessary processing and product presentation times.
3. Honesty. They are preprogrammed to believe that automobile dealers are dishonest and any hint of dishonesty or
incomplete disclosure justifies that belief.
Now, it’s all well and good to say that we need to address all of these concerns, but the reality is that good CSI scores
don’t mean a thing if we aren’t making any money. We are under pressure to produce results. We can do the paperwork
quickly. We can also do a full disclosure. We can even eliminate any pressure. But all of this does no good if we don’t sell
There are some other interesting questions added to these new surveys.
Example: (from an actual survey)
3. Were you presented an extended service contract?
4. Did you feel pressured to purchase an extended service contract?
A “no” to question 3 counts against your score.
A “yes” on question 4 counts against your score.
So, you have to be sure that the customer remembers having been offered a service contract, but, they also have to feel
as though they were not pressured into buying one for you to get both positive responses.
You have to be sure that every customer:
-Remembers that the products were presented.
-Did not feel pressured.
-Has a speedy delivery
-Felt you were honest
And by the way, you need to produce income and penetrations. Sound impossible? Well it’s not, but, you need specific
methods and techniques to accomplish all of these things.
Those of you who use our Package Option™ know that it helps accomplish these goals, but, there is more you can do to
improve and increase both CSI and income.
In future articles, we will discuss specific techniques used by top performers to increase sales and maintain top customer
George Angus is with Team One Research and Training, a research and training company that specializes in scientific,
research based program development and training programs for the automobile industry. George has trained thousands
of F&I professionals and develops programs and techniques with the top performing F&I departments in the country.
Team One can be reached at 1-800-928-1923 or on the web at www.teamonegroup.com
George Angus has had over 100 articles published in news and trade publications. This
article is a recent example of George's reporting of information derived from researching,
training, and working with the leading F&I managers in the US and Canada.