Detroit Press: Hyundai to publicly display customers’ dealership reviews

November 13, 2013

This article was originally posted at:  authored by Karl Henkle

Hyundai Motor America says it plans to publicly display customer ratings and reviews – whether good, bad or ugly – for all dealerships through online review site SureCritic in an effort to improve customer satisfaction.

About half of Hyundai’s 820 U.S. dealers use the service, which the American arm of the South Korean automaker views as a challenger to J.D. Power & Associates’ annual customer service index. The site allows for near-instant customer-dealership dialogue.

“Car owners tell us they have survey fatigue,” said John Krafcik, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America, in a statement on Wednesday. “Their input is incredibly valuable, but from their standpoint it’s been a one-direction, closed communication channel, with little opportunity for feedback.

“This Web-based approach allows our owners to openly share their experiences, positive or negative, and give Hyundai dealers the opportunity to demonstrate their dedication to delighting their customers.”

Hyundai’s U.S. sales are up 2 percent this year through October to 601,773 as the automaker and its parent company, Hyundai Motor Co., dampen production growth to focus more on quality. In lieu of more sal! es, Krafcik has said he is aiming to make Hyundai the “most-loved car company,” using customer satisfaction as the barometer for the automaker’s success.

The SureCritic rating and review system works like this: Customers who visit a Hyundai dealership, say, for a small repair, can log onto Hyundai’s SureCritic page and give their visit a satisfaction rating between one and five stars, post a review and recommend the dealer through social network platforms.

To ensure the rating or review is from an actual customer, SureCritic verifies customer information against dealership repair order records.

All verified reviews – even the negative ones – are posted online, and Hyundai and its dealers can then respond publicly in a matter of minutes – much shorter than response times associated with many national customer satisfaction surveys.

For instance, Hyundai of Bedford, Ohio, is the lowest-rated Hyundai dealer based on SureCritic reviews. ! Seven customers have rated the dealership 3.3 out of five star! s; the t hree lowest ratings and their corresponding remarks, which complained about service in the service department, were answered by dealership staff within three days.

Hyundai, in the 2013 J.D. Power & Associates’ Customer Service Index, rated about average among auto brands in the U.S., earning three out of five stars for overall customer satisfaction, the same rating as the Ford, Chrysler, Honda and Toyota brands.

Hyundai says dealers will soon begin linking to Hyundai’s SureCritic page through dealership websites.