Improve Customer Satisfaction Ratings with Emotional Intelligence

Nov 29, 2016

Improve Customer Satisfaction Ratings with Emotional Intelligence

In an industry where reputation will often make or break your business, auto dealers must stand out from the crowd in order to succeed. As with any industry, how customers view your company often dictates how successful you'll be. Few things are as important to car dealerships as the Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI). What if something as simple as employees with high levels of emotional intelligence could increase your CSI rating? Fact: it can.

Auto manufacturers gauge how their dealers treat customers—from the speed of service to how the dealership responds to customers' needs. With dealer incentives that heavily rely on these CSI scores, dealerships strive for superior ratings. A large part of the customer experience at any dealership depends on how sales and service people treat customers. Did you know that the emotional intelligence level of employees directly correlates to CSI scores? Employees with high levels of emotional intelligence, including the competencies of intuition and empathy, provide higher levels of customer service.

Think about it—highly emotionally intelligent customer service employees have the ability to understand the thoughts and concerns of customers. They can easily build rapport with those individuals by showing an active interest in client needs, and they have the ability to anticipate, identify, and meet those needs.

Fortunately, emotional intelligence can be tested, both during the hiring process and for current dealership employees. Results from an emotional intelligence test that measures a person's biases and clarity in thinking, which result in decision-making and judgment, will provide dealers with objective data about key competencies related to an individual's ability to excel in sales and customer service.

Take one of our clients, for example. This luxury auto dealer was expanding and wanted to hire employees who had core competencies that aligned with its corporate values, especially exceptional customer service. ​It sought to create and maintain a reputation for creating client-friendly environments and that heavily relied on having customer service-oriented employees. The auto dealer implemented a pre-employment assessment, which evaluated and measured emotional intelligence competencies, into ​its interviewing and selection process. The first step was to assess the emotional intelligence competencies of current dealership employees who consistently showed excellent customer service. A direct correlation was found between excellent customer service and having a positive bias to empathy. After that, all of the hiring managers were trained on behavioral interviewing, with an emphasis on assessing for empathy. All future job candidates were then asked to complete the assessment during the interview process so they could be compared to the benchmark for excellence in customer service. This process was implemented for every position in the dealership—from the general manager to car washers. One year later, the dealership earned the "Award for Performance Excellence," which recognizes organizations that excel in performance excellence, quality, and customer satisfaction. ​The dealership's new CSI is among the top 10 percent of 226 brand dealers in the United States.

Could your dealership benefit from a higher CSI rating? It's simple—hire the right people who will help you deliver the best customer service so your business can stand out from the crowd.

ZERORISK helps organizations build great cultures by identifying, developing, and retaining top talent. The ZERORISK Hiring System blends a revolutionary behavioral science with state-of-the-art technology to reduce unwanted turnover and improve employee performance. For more information contact us at (800) 827-5991.

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