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Tuesday

Is The Toyota Customer Satisfaction Survey Fair?

How many of you have filled out the Toyota Survey?    Did you tell the truth?

We filled ours out last week and we LIED!  Why did we lie?   It is a long story so let me get started

When my Hubs buys a car, he does a lot of research, goes to many different dealers and tries out many different vehicles.    He wants to be sure he gets exactly what he wants.

Finally, he settled on a Toyota 4Runner
 
As our salesperson was explaining all about the car (which by the way they didn't seem to know that much about it)  they informed us of the Toyota Survey and they would appreciate it if we would give them an excellent on all the questions.    They said if we weren't going to give them an excellent on any of the questions to let them know and they would take care of the problem so we could give them an excellent.   That sounded very fair to us.  We all like to get our problems solved.
 
He/She also mentioned that if we didn't answer  "EXCELLENT"  on every question, they could be fired.
 
 
Next, we went to the financing department where the person screwed up royally (that is a whole other story).       When our sales person heard about this screw up He/She said "You can't write that one the survey because it will reflect on me"     
 
Next, the salesperson is demonstrating the workings of the audio system and the differnt workings in the car.    He/She was not very knowledgeable on the workings of this car.   I feel if you are asking for Excellent on a survey .. you better know the car you are trying to demonstrate.
 
While He/She was fumbling through Bluetooth etc.  He/She mentioned she doesn't want this to affect the Toyota Survey.    He/She layed the guilt trip on heavy

So we drive off in our new Toyota 4Runner.   We live like 90 miles from where we bought the car, so on the way home, my Hubs notices a vibration which is another story.

So about the Toyota Survey

This is page 2 of the survey


Should we tell the Truth and possibly get 2 people fired or rep remanded, or Lie and be able to sleep at night? 

We LIED???   It would be GREAT if we could tell the truth without being made feel we would be endangering their jobs.

How would we of really rated this Salesperson?
On a scale of 1 to 10   we would give them a 5 and that would be really stretching it.



52 comments:

  1. What a horrible position for you to be in! How do they hope to improve unless they get honest feedback though? That system is set up to screw somebody over no matter what.

    :(

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    Replies
    1. The feedback is not for the dealership, it's for the brand. It used to be that a dealer just had to do better than the zone but due to coaching surveys now to be anywhere near zone the dealers have to have almost ALL PERFECT surveys, if not they are penalized heavily, thus sales people get fired.

      It applies to EVERY AUTO BRAND. Gm, ford, Honda, Hyundai, Chrysler, Toyota, Audi, Lexus etc etc

      Delete
  2. Seems like a no-win situation for you!

    So sorry to hear this!

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  3. Things like this are rough. I'd honestly just answer the questions. It sounds like there's a lot more going on here than you can see. My guess - The manager there is stressing it hard because in the end the results of that survey reflect on HIM, not his employees. He has them all scared to death thinking it's their jobs on the line when it's really his. Just my 2 cents. ;) Do what you think is right.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous9:38:00 PM

      I have been with Toyota as a salesperson since 2009. We are scared of surveys because we are graded on a 90 day rolling average, not by each survey individually. If you are not at or above the district average then you lose your bonus for that month and every month after that until you get your survey back up. Even for the "perfect" salesperson it is a scary thought because there is always one person who decides that they never give anyone a 100% no matter what and just on that fact alone only gives a 9 out of 10 on each answer. That can lower the average depending on how many surveys the salesperson has received for the month and depending on how many cars he/she sells, it can take awhile to bring it back up. Every question on that survey, even if it is not related to the salesperson, falls onto the salesperson at the end. If you give the finance manager a 2 out of 10, that goes to the salesperson not finance. It is a scary thought. I had a manager anger my customer once, my customer gave them a 1 out of 10, put in the comments that I was the best salesperson they've ever had and I still lost my bonus because it all falls on the salesperson.

      Delete
  4. Liz,
    It was a tough one, but we really didn't want to get anyone fired or rep remanded. Although, this salesperson does need to learn more about the automobile they sell... also needs to learn about other things.

    Veronica,
    The sales person is a very nice person and I would hate to be the one to get them fired.

    Megan,
    Not sure what is all going on there. Makes me wonder if I want to go Toyota again.

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  5. I would call the company and ask if that's true. it sounds odd, I mean unless it's consistent #2's you know? LOL
    If they would really fire someone if they weren't doing their job. and honestly if they aren't doing their job, then they need training, help, or to find another job.and they will get none of those if the problem is not brought to light.

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    Replies
    1. I once worked for a car dealership and i can tell you it's quite true. Takes more than one bad survey to get canned usually though. The surveys are rigged pretty bad, you either get all the points for a question or none of them. Scale of 1-5? 5 = 100% 1-4 = 0%, different questions have different weights so rating a 4 on 1 of them might drop the score of the whole survey to 65 or 70%.

      One customer who's had a good but not great experience could rate someone all 4's thinking they're being nice, but that will give that sales rep a 0, which can be almost impossible to recover from even with a bunch of good surveys.

      To combat coaching, which is what this sales rep did in the story on this page, most manufacturers will hit a dealership HARD is a customer hints during a survey they were coached to give a good score. The manufacturer I sold for would send out a nasty letter on the first offense, and a second offense would land severe sanctions on the dealership. If it gets too far out of hand, things can get very serious. Better to get a 0 than one of those, but the thing is, everyone coaches to some degree, and it's encouraged by management, just don't get caught.

      I could go on, but I think the general point is made.

      Delete
  6. Seems like a bad sign just that all their reps keep bringing up the survey...

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  7. You know my opinion on this! GEE WIZZZZZZ!!! People if you want to be evaluated, have an evaluation that we can fill out without too many issues.

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  8. Sounds strange to me. I would think a red flag would be raised if they always get excellent ratings. I do see why you would lie though. I would not want to get anyone fired either.

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  9. Anonymous1:52:00 PM

    First of all you went to the wrong Toyota dealership. Next time, Reno.... We know people there!
    Secondly, the survey should have never been brought up by the salesperson, except to ask that you complete it. If they want your answer to be "excellent" then they need to make sure your experience at their establishment is "excellent". It's ok if they don't know everything, they are human. It's not ok if they don't find out the correct info for you.
    Lastly, I seriously doubt that anyone would be fired or reprimanded over one bad survey. Afterall the public is very difficult to please. Obviously this particular salesperson has more issues than just your possibly mediocre survey to worry about. Maybe they have previously had many poor surveys, and in that case they are probably in the wrong line of work.
    Regardless the entire experience was INAPROPRIATE!!!!
    K--

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  10. That sounds like a terrible experience! I think whatever you choose will be the right thing for you. Regardless of the survey, you have the right to make sure everything is ok with your purchase. I hope you can get it all figured out. I have a Toyota myself (a prius), and I absolutely love it.
    lajohnson555 at yahoo dot com

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  11. This is not a good place to be...feeling that someone will lose their job over a survey. Makes me wonder about reading a survey report again...and believing it

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  12. I would not have lied, they will never improve without people being honest on surveys.

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  13. Oh, I have done the same thing.

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  14. surveys are the least reliable research from the get go ~ Good for you ~ follow your own decisions ~ Great post ~ (A Creative Harbor)

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  15. Reminds me of the teachers in our area. Some were caught cheating on the standardized testing because of so much pressure to improve scores or lose your job. What a sad situation that the employees are so pressured that they have to beg for a good evaluation!
    I don't blame you for what you did, but the manager is wrong for putting that kind of pressure on his employees and not making sure that they meet the criteria on the survey.

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  16. Haa...funny but true.

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  17. I recently bought my first new car, a Chevy, and they also stressed that they wanted to receive excellent scores because it reflected them. They said if we were not satisfied to let them know beforehand. However, they never said anything about them getting fired if they didn't receive excellent scores. I don't they they should have said that to you at all. I did give all excellent scores because I had a great experience. Everyone was super nice and the salesman really knew everything about my car.

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  18. When I am asked to do thise surveys and they are about a 5/10 I just ignore it and dont do it. if they are a 10 or a 1-3 I fill them out honestly. So u have to do what u dwell us right.
    It's hard to type on my phone so I will sign off...love ya girl. we need to talk soon!

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  19. Well, for sure--you and your husband are really nice people!! I probably would have done the same thing IF the salespeople had been trying to trying to be helpful. Really, I think this is a problem with the dealership itself. It leaves the customer giving false surveys just so someone won't lose their job. The dealership should change their policy--don't you think?? Anyway-thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving such kind remarks. We are on vacation this week and life has been a blur!!

    Talk with ya soon.

    xoxo Faye

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  20. Yikes! I would have done the same thing you did (I like sleeping at night)
    Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

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  21. Call me a big meanie, but I would have filled it out honestly. I am not responsible for getting anyone fired - if they are not prepared to learn about their products AND fix up mistakes, then that is not my fault. Sounds like the person doesn't have to change anything for the better - all they have to do is make you feel guilty for their poor service.

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  22. Sherrie C.3:29:00 AM

    Maybe I'm mean also but this salesperson should not have put your or your husband in that position. Whether they like it or not, as Toyota employees and representatives, it's their job to know about and to be able to demonstrate the products they sell. What he/she did was wrong. They had no right to put your or your husband on a guilt trip or ask you to fudge a survey for their sake.

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  23. Wow, I think the salesperson put you in a very bad position. At the same time, how could Toyota get any accurate feedback if everyone is encouraged to lie in the survey. I really don't know what would've done if I was put in that position.

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  24. Anonymous5:08:00 PM

    It's quite possible that their job was not on the line, but their bonuses were. My husband works for a dealership and they are not allowed to ask for good survey answers, but if their surveys are not outstanding or excellent, they may not qualify for bonuses for that month, which seriously affects their income.

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  25. Anonymous,
    You might be right... but after we gave her a good rating, she didn't do a couple of the things she promised she would. We have since traded that car in on a new truck.

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  26. Anonymous9:48:00 AM

    In reality, the dealer gets money and perks from Toyota for having excellent surveys. Some dealerships "threaten" their sales people to get an excellent survey.....this is done by REMOVING money from their commision. No matter where in the dealership, the survey does not get and "excellent response", the salesman is ultimately going to take the gaff, for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Anonymous,
      I kind of thought that.... but, this person sucked at their job.... really sucked.

      Delete
  27. They told me the same thing where I bought my Prius (Power Toyota Tempe).

    Smelled awful but I ended up just not filling out the survey because I didn't want to lie and also didn't want to feel responsible for someone losing their job. If I went back and redid it, I'd either answer honestly (because I'm not responsible for how they performed - /they are/) or (better) I'd just not buy the car from them (which is really what I should have done in the first place but they were definitely effective salesmen).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Next time I will answer truthfully. I just hated being put in that position.

      Delete
  28. Anonymous12:28:00 PM

    They DON'T GET FIRED!
    They dealerships get HUUUUGE Bonuses at the end of the year if they get ZERO discrepancies on survey sheets-they guilt YOU into thinking an employee will get fired. The reality is MANY automakers give the dealerships bonuses of up to 100 THOUSAND dollars.
    Do the research and you will find this to be true!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe you Anonymous.... We will probably never buy a Toyota again... But I guess I should never say never.

      We did buy a Chevy truck and the man that sold it to us NEVER mentioned the survey and they also have a survey that we filled out.

      Delete
  29. Anonymous8:18:00 PM

    I do not know how old this blog post is, I happened upon it because of searching for a solution to the very same situation. I have yet to see an individual fired over a survey result! I answered the survey questions honestly only to discover on my next visit that it had already been reviewed by personnel at the dealership. Needless to say, their disappointment in my replies was readily expressed. I was told that Toyota rates dealerships by the results of these surveys and if they don't get at least 9.5 or 10 during a year, they can lose their dealership franchise. I honestly believe the purpose of these surveys is for incentive awards from the manufacturer rather than rating employees or dealerships. I'm glad I was honest with my answers even though I rated them at probably 8.5 to 9.

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    Replies
    1. I think they should stop with their surveys,.... most times they aren't getting the truth. I know we didn't say what we really wanted to say.

      Delete
  30. Why not work it? I knew about this ahead of time.... the dealership still has to do 2 things on my current deal before i consider the deal done first they have to pay off my trade in and 2nd they must install my remote start because it was late while. As long they deliver on everything they promise both in writing and handshake, they will get all excellants. Dealers screw people all the time, i told them i refuse to fill out survey until the deal is DONE. How about instead of changing the system why not TELL EVERYONE about how important these surveys are? I am letting that customer survey stay in my email inbox until our DEAL is really complete( see above). The survey seems to give the consumer alot of power. An INFORMED consumer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Max,
      That is a great idea. We ended up hating the car we got and traded it in on another one. We are now again in the market for a new car and this time things will be different. Thanks Max!!

      Delete
  31. Anonymous12:21:00 PM

    Hey guys! I work for a Toyota dealer and I can explain this. At my dealership we have to maintain a 96% to get our bonus check. Its a stupid standard that basically means we have to get all 10's. A survey below 96% can keep us from getting out unit bonus (based on volume, not profit) which is usually about a third of our pay. Salespeople make about $100 on a new car, so it isn't worth selling it if you're going to lose your bonus. A way around this is to mark 10's on the survey and write in you comments. I hate getting bad surveys because someone in finance screwed up, costs me 1/3 of my months income.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Anonymous.... but this person had no idea how the car even worked... didn't deserve the credit we gave them.

      Delete
  32. Anonymous7:21:00 PM

    I've recently purchase a Camry.... My experience wasn't pleasant. We went through the salesman, a second person and the finance office, the second employee seem annoyed that we asked questions and always answered with a kind of sarcastic tone. I gave them a 6 out of 10..and commented about my experience. Next day they call me to tell me what i said on the review did put them in trouble. I though this surveys were confidential.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think our survey went to Toyota or maybe the Owner of the Dealership. Not sure exactly where they go.

      Delete
    2. The dealership will get the name of the person answering the survey on their report as well as some other pertinent information. Even if they didn't give your name, they have the name of the sales person, the F&I guy, and the vehicle that was sold, and it wouldn't be rocket science to figure it out. Sales people also have direct access to their surveys, not just managers.

      Delete
  33. Anonymous5:17:00 PM

    I will NEVER answer another survey in my lifetime. What a farce. They won't accept the truth.

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    Replies
    1. We just bought a new GM and they didn't send us a survey. Not yet anyway.

      Delete
  34. No, it is the system. There is 1-3 questions out of 10 that need to be perfect and if they are not...you could lose your job and pay. Keep in mind we sell between 10-35 cars each. Plus they may have had a fairly new associate and that's probably why he fumbled. I am in the car business and we all ask for our customers to give us excellent marks if we deserve it, and if not, please share your thoughts with us so we know how we can fix it so that we can make all EXCELLENT!!! Truth is if we do our job properly, and we listen to the customer while at the same time providing the best service, you should have an EXCELLENT experience. The business has changed these days and it truly is more customer service driven than anything else. As a matter of fact I have several customer's on my facebook. Unfortunately the product is changing so fast that we are learning as we go. And your day goes so fast it seems, that we have no time to study while we're prospecting, test driving and doing our follow up. It's amazing when I started in 2006, your phone's blue tooth and the nav were new to the line up. And then they threw apps in to the mix and not all phones work with them all. No there are SO many things to share, and if we listen to our customer, we will know what features and benefits to explain to them. Which is why I say he may be new.

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  35. Just an FYI also. EVERY employee sees the surveys so if you trash someone on the survey and expect smiles and giggles next time you come in. Ha good luck. People really lose their jobs over these things and not the management. Be kind people Imagine your job relied on not EVER screwing up. Everyone's panties are always in such a bunch. Guess what hey it took two hours to get your paperwork done, at least you have the ability to buy one. Half the salespeople can't even afford to buy the cars they're selling and then som pompous know it all tanks them on the survey and it's off to the unemployment line. Take it easy folks get a grip and enjoy life. Stop bringing people down.

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  36. Had the same experience. I bought a new Tacoma and the salesman filled out the survey as he verbally asked me the questions. He told me the expectation was a 10 on everything and if I gave them a lower score we would have to stop until the problem was resolved and I gave them a 10. I just wanted to go home. Don't know why they do this as they must realize that there is absolutely zero validity to a survey administered this way. Thanks for the site

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    Replies
    1. Hi Blair,
      I wonder if Toyota knows what goes on... or the Dealership owners. I know they shouldn't be telling us to make sure we give a 10. Just isn't right if you ask me.

      Delete
  37. Dealership will take anywhere from $250.00 to $1000.00 from a sales person's commission for poor surveys. When a sales person's minimum commission can range from $65.00 to $150.00 per car. That can be a lot of money when the average salesperson sells about 10 to 15 cars a month.

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  38. Anonymous11:40:00 AM

    I had a problem with my dealer, and told them if they could make things right I would not fill out the survey. They assured me they would, but ultimately they did not. Fast forward 6 weeks, and now the survey is no where to be found in my emails. It's as if it never existed.

    ReplyDelete

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