Customer Experience

5 Tips to Improve Customer Satisfaction in the Automotive Industry

Feb 24, 2023

17 mins read

Manisha Khandelwal

In today’s automotive market, customer satisfaction is crucial for businesses to succeed.

After all, the longer you keep your customers satisfied, the more likely they are to stay loyal to your brand and continue to invest in your products.

According to Accenture’s latest research, almost 4 out of 10 customers (39%) feel that their OEM is not ready to provide a relevant customer experience. Even more concerning is that 46% of customers are willing to switch to a different OEM if it offers a better customer experience. Additionally, 47% of customers consider changing their automotive brand after a company fails to deliver a relevant customer experience. 

These statistics highlight the crucial role that customer experience plays in customer retention and acquisition in the automotive industry. It is essential for automotive companies to prioritize the customer experience to stay competitive and retain loyal customers.

In this blog, we will explore various strategies that automotive businesses can use to improve customer satisfaction.

From providing exceptional customer service to offering personalized experiences, we will cover a range of tactics that can help businesses stand out in a crowded marketplace. 

Whether you’re a dealership, a car manufacturer, or a service center, the insights and tips shared in this blog can help you enhance your automotive customer experience and drive long-term success. So, let’s get started!

Top 5 Solutions on How to Improve Customer Satisfaction in the Automotive Industry

Here are the top 5 solutions that can help you improve customer satisfaction and deliver the best online experience in the automotive industry. 

Ready to take your customer satisfaction to the next level? – Dive in!

1. Focus on the Automotive Customer Journey by Digitizing

According to TNS Global’s study “The Shifting Automotive Shopping Landscape,” premium car owners encounter an average of 8.9 touchpoints during the purchase process, with 5.5 of those occurring online. While only 2% of car buyers currently purchase their cars online, a whopping 77% say they anticipate doing so in the future. 

This underscores the importance of keeping your online resources up-to-date. Before even setting foot in a showroom, customers spend an average of 7 months researching the type of car they want to buy. – Source

To capture these potential customers, your website should be easily visible to them during their online research.

By keeping your website updated, you can experience a range of benefits, such as increased sales, improved online reputation, and acquisition of new customers.

So, if you want to stay ahead of the competition and ensure your business’s long-term success, it’s crucial to prioritize your online presence.

So, the question arises – how do you create a strong online presence?

To begin with, your website should provide all the necessary information, such as easy booking for test drives, service appointments, showroom visits, virtual tours, customer assistance, mobile accessibility, and more

While the process of digitizing may seem daunting at first, it will prove to be an asset in the long run. By centralizing customer information and feedback, you can quickly and satisfactorily resolve any issues they may have.

According to a recent study conducted by Accenture, in the last 3 years, the customer demands of online, virtual, and immersive experiences for sales and after-sales from their OEMs and dealers has increased from 47% to 62%. The study surveyed 7,500 car owners and 203 dealers across six countries and interviewed over 20 experts, executives, and industry insiders.

Rise of customer demand in automotive industry

So, by providing excellent online experiences, you can stay ahead of the curve and continue to attract and retain customers in the automotive industry.

2. Be Critical with your CSAT Questionnaire Surveys & Share them at the Right Channel at the Right Time

Simply creating a CSAT survey is not enough to truly understand your customers’ feedback.

Being critical of automotive customer surveys involves crafting effective questions and sharing them through appropriate channels at the right time. Here’s how you can achieve this:

1. Crafting Effective CSAT Surveys:

  • Ask specific and relevant questions: Tailor your survey questions to gather actionable insights about customer satisfaction with specific aspects of the automotive experience, such as vehicle performance, dealership service, or purchase process.
  • Avoid leading questions: Ensure your questions are unbiased and do not influence respondents’ answers. For example, instead of asking “Did you enjoy your experience at our dealership?” which implies a positive response, ask “How would you rate your experience at our dealership?”
  • Include open-ended questions: Allow customers to provide qualitative feedback in their own words, which can reveal valuable insights and suggestions for improvement.

→ Read further to know what automotive customer satisfaction survey questions to ask!

2. Share Surveys at the Right Channel:

Send surveys on your customer’s preferred channels such as email or WhatsApp shortly after they have interacted with your dealership or service center. For example, after a vehicle purchase, service appointment, or test drive. Moreover, the survey channel also depends on where your customers are present. For instance,  

  • Website pop-ups: Use website pop-ups strategically to invite customers to take a brief survey after they have browsed your inventory or visited key pages on your website.
  • Social media polls: Engage your social media followers by posting polls or surveys related to their automotive preferences or experiences. This can also help generate organic feedback and insights.
  • In-person feedback forms: Provide physical feedback forms at your dealership or service center for customers to fill out after their visit. Offer incentives such as discounts or freebies to encourage participation.

Whether you choose to conduct surveys online, or offline, make sure it’s at the right time and at the right place for the customer. Utilizing an omnichannel customer feedback survey platform can help streamline this process for online surveys.

SurveySensum provides you with a CX consultation who will help you figure out the feedback collection process right from creating surveys and deploying them to analyzing the feedback for effective decision making.

Create engaging surveys and launch them at the right time to drive responses in large numbers with SurveySensum!


By now, you understand the importance of creating and sharing effective CSAT surveys in the automotive industry.

But how can you identify the crucial touchpoints in the customer journey and benefit from conducting continuous customer feedback? Let’s explore the answers to these questions.

3. Identify Key Touchpoints in The Buyer’s Journey

Certain key touchpoints must be considered to strategically target different stages of the automotive buyer journey. They offer insights into customer needs, preferences, purchase decisions, product experiences, and service satisfaction. Let’s take a detailed look at these touchpoints and which survey should you launch.

1. Pre-Sales Touchpoint – Intender Survey

This touchpoint targets potential customers who are considering buying a vehicle. It helps you understand their needs, preferences, and expectations regarding the vehicle they are interested in. These insights help in marketing strategies, product development, and tailored sales approaches.

2. Pre-Sales Touchpoint – Rejector Survey

This touchpoint focuses on individuals who initially showed interest but decided not to purchase a vehicle. It identifies reasons for rejection like pricing concerns or feature preferences, guiding improvements in marketing messaging, pricing strategies, and product offerings.

3. Product Quality Touchpoint (Inbound & Outbound)

This touchpoint gathers feedback from recent customers, focusing on initial impressions and satisfaction with the vehicle’s quality (Inbound). The Outbound part assesses long-term satisfaction and reliability. Insights from these touchpoints inform product development and customer service improvements.

4. QVOC Sales Touchpoint 

This touchpoint targets customers post-purchase, assessing satisfaction with the sales process, interactions with sales representatives, and transparency in pricing. Insights refine sales strategies and customer engagement during the sales journey.

5. QVOC Service Touchpoint (After Sales Satisfaction)

This touchpoint focuses on post-sales experiences, such as maintenance, repairs, and customer support. It gauges satisfaction with service quality, response times, and overall support, driving improvements in service delivery and retention strategies.

By strategically identifying and acting on these touchpoints throughout the automotive buyer journey, companies can gain valuable insights, enhance customer experiences, and optimize business processes to drive customer satisfaction and loyalty.

4. Close the Feedback Loop in Time with Effective CSAT Tool Features

Analyzing the gathered feedback is just the beginning.

You need to go further and take immediate action to address any concerns or issues raised by customers and inform them about the action taken. This engagement will not only increase customer loyalty but also help you acquire new customers while retaining existing ones.

The two features that can help you turn unhappy customers into happy ones are

  1. Closed-Loop Ticketing System for Dissatisfied Customers:

If you want to boost your customer satisfaction like Mercedes Benz, consider using SurveySensum. Their dedicated CX experts are at your service, handling everything from the initial setup to operational tasks and action-taking, ensuring a seamless process for your feedback journey.

The image shows how the ticketing system works in SurveySensum to resolve customer issues.

Implementing a closed-loop ticketing system allows you to effectively manage and address customer complaints and issues. When a customer expresses dissatisfaction, the system creates a ticket and assigns it to the agent for resolution, and also escalates it if required. This ensures that no customer concern falls through the cracks and that each issue is handled promptly and effectively, leading to higher satisfaction levels.

2. Text Analytics to Identify Top Trends and Sentiments: 

This is a GIF representation of the feature Text Analysis offered by SurveySensum while creating a survey.

With text analytics, you can analyze thousands of customer feedback in just a few seconds. It helps you identify common themes, sentiment trends, and areas of improvement. By gaining insights from customer data, automotive businesses can make data-driven decisions to enhance products, services, and customer experiences, ultimately bridging the gap between customer expectations and customer experience.

Moreover, using live chat and WhatsApp as handy support can help you instantly resolve customer issues and build long-lasting relationships. 

Unlock the full potential of your automotive customer journey with SurveySensum! Track and understand every touchpoint to optimize the customer experience!


→ Know more about the features offered by some of the top automotive customer feedback tools!

5. Build Long-Lasting Relationships

Many OEMs make the mistake of ending their relationship with customers once the transaction is complete. However, this approach does not work in the automobile industry. To ensure customer satisfaction, it is essential to follow up with them. 

This is where after-sales services come into play. Even if you attract many customers to buy a car from you, they are unlikely to return if you do not follow up with them.

To build lasting relationships with your customers, it’s important to 

  • Actively LISTEN to customer expectations and experiences. Incorporate their feedback into future interactions and strive to deliver the best experience while fulfilling their needs. 
  • Utilize  CRM or an automotive customer feedback tool to manage and collate all feedback, analyze the data received, and deliver personalized experiences to customers to make them feel valued. 
  • When you follow up with customers, you make them feel special. Follow-ups can be done through phone, email, or text, where a simple “How’s our car doing?” can go a long way.
  • Asking for reviews is also an excellent opportunity for customers to share any problems they may have encountered with their purchase, allowing you to address them promptly.
  • Wish them on their special days such as birthdays or anniversaries. 

You are now equipped with 5 effective solutions to enhance customer satisfaction in the automotive industry. 

→ Staying abreast of the latest customer experience trends in the automotive industry is crucial for surpassing customer expectations. Explore here to ensure you’re up-to-date with the most recent developments.

Do you know SurveySensum helped Mercedes Benz achieve a 30% increase in customer satisfaction? Here’s how – 

How SurveySensum Helped Mercedes Benz to Create a Delighted Customer Experience?

Mercedes Benz used to use CATI surveys to collect customer feedback but faced a significant issue. They were unable to take immediate action on the received feedback as the reports were generated weeks after the surveys. This gap affected their ability to address customer concerns promptly, and they sought a solution.

They discovered SurveySensum, a B2B SaaS platform that focuses on actionable customer feedback.

SurveySensum enabled them to create dynamic CSI, SSI, and NPS surveys easily and share them through various channels.

With the platform, they received instant reports on a customizable survey dashboard, saving 70% on costs.

This allowed the Mercedes Benz team, along with 27 dealers in Indonesia, to receive immediate alerts, identify areas for improvement, and take prompt action on customer feedback.

As a result, their customer satisfaction score increased by 30%.

→ Read more about how to apply other customer satisfaction metrics like NPS in automotive!

If you want to boost your customer satisfaction in the automotive industry like Mercedes Benz, consider using SurveySensum. Their dedicated CX experts are at your service, handling everything from the initial setup to operational tasks and action-taking, ensuring a seamless process for your feedback journey.


Bonus Tip: Don’t Forget to Share your Automobile Customer Satisfaction Ratings

Before making a purchase, most of us tend to read reviews online, and our potential customers are no different, especially when it comes to buying a car. Therefore, it’s essential to ask your customers to leave online reviews.

However, merely getting reviews is not enough. It’s crucial to manage both positive and negative reviews carefully. But how can you do that?

— When you receive positive reviews:

Capitalize on them to enhance your business’s reputation.

You can conduct interviews with customers who gave positive feedback, create and utilize their testimonials on social media to showcase your company’s strengths, and share the positive feedback with your team to boost morale.

By leveraging positive reviews, you can turn customers into loyal patrons, boost sales, increase brand awareness, acquire new customers, and much more.

— When you receive negative reviews:

They can be detrimental to your business’s reputation if not addressed correctly.

Therefore, it’s crucial to reach out to the customer who left negative feedback, understand the issue they faced, and assure them that you will work to resolve it.

Closing the feedback loop in this manner demonstrates that you take customer feedback seriously and are committed to improving their experience.

With proper handling, negative feedback can even become an opportunity to convert an unhappy customer into a loyal one.

Transform Your Automotive Business by Gathering Customer Reviews with SurveysSensum- Explore Now


Key Takeaway

According to a report by V12, over half of the customers (54%) would choose a dealership that offers their preferred service, even if it isn’t the lowest-priced option. As an OEN, you surely want to be part of that 54%.

To achieve this, you should focus on delivering the best customer experience possible. Here are some tips:

  • Pay attention to all touchpoints throughout the customer journey.
  • Provide personalized customer service that meets their needs.
  • Use short and simple questionnaires when conducting customer satisfaction surveys.
  • Send surveys at the right time and through the right channels.
  • Regularly collect and analyze customer feedback to identify key touchpoints.
  • Utilize CRM or CSAT tools such as SurveySensum to track customer feedback.
  • Close the feedback loop by taking action on feedback and following up with customers.
  • Encourage happy customers to leave online reviews on platforms such as Google, G2, and Capterra to increase positive word of mouth.
  • Build honest and long-lasting relationships with your customers.

In conclusion, providing excellent customer service and building strong relationships with customers are crucial for success in the automotive industry. 

By listening to customer feedback, following up with them, and taking action to address their concerns, dealerships can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty and ultimately drive sales and revenue. 

In the automotive industry, achieving effective customer feedback management can be streamlined with a robust tool like SurveySensum. This platform offers comprehensive CX services coupled with AI-enabled features, enabling businesses to gain deeper insights into customer preferences, needs, and satisfaction levels. By leveraging SurveySensum, automotive companies can not only understand their customers better but also optimize their business strategies to enhance performance and drive growth.

By implementing these best practices and continually striving to improve the customer experience, dealerships can position themselves for long-term success in the competitive automotive market.

Create and Deploy Automotive Surveys efficiently in under 5 minutes with SurveySensum!



1. Why is customer satisfaction important in the automotive industry?

Customer satisfaction is crucial in the automotive industry because it influences brand loyalty, repeat purchases, and referrals. Satisfied customers are more likely to return for future purchases and recommend the brand to others, contributing to long-term business success.

2. What is the customer experience in the automotive industry?

The customer experience in the automotive industry encompasses all interactions customers have with a brand, from researching and purchasing a vehicle to post-purchase service and support. It includes factors such as vehicle quality, dealership experience, ease of maintenance, and overall satisfaction with the ownership experience.

3. How to deal with customers in the automobile industry?

This also answers the question of how to improve customer service in the automotive industry. Dealing with customers in the automobile industry involves providing excellent customer service, addressing their needs and concerns promptly, being transparent about pricing and product information, and ensuring a positive purchasing and ownership experience. Building trust and rapport with customers is key to fostering long-term relationships.

4. What do consumers want in the automotive industry?

Consumers in the automotive industry typically want reliable vehicles with advanced technology, good fuel efficiency, safety features, and competitive pricing. They also value excellent customer service, transparent communication, convenient financing options, and a seamless buying process. Meeting these expectations can lead to higher customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Create and Deploy Automotive Surveys efficiently in under 5 minutes with SurveySensum!

Manisha Khandelwal

Senior Content Marketer at SurveySensum

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