Behind the Wheel with Phil Lebeau

Chrysler Dealers Finding it Pays to Have Good Customer Service

Sergio Marchionne
Getty Images

As Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne breathes life into the beaten down brand, he has said time and again that the customer has to have a reason to care about Chrysler.

It's the kind of statement new CEO's make all the time.

Some, like Ford CEO Alan Mulally mean it. Others, like the folks at Cerberus gave it lip service. Chrysler is backing up the talk with cash.

The company is using a third party firm to grade dealers on a number of criteria including the customer experience. The more standards a dealer meets, the more "bonus cash" the dealership is eligible to receive from Chrysler.

So what happened in the first quarter?

  • 74% of Chryslers 2,332 dealers are getting a payment from the corporate headquarters
  • The payments range between $1,500 and $200,000
  • The average payment is $12,500

So why should you care?

This is the kind of program that will make Chrysler dealers step up and improve their dealerships, improve customer service, and make people think about coming in the front door.

Sure, none of this will matter if Chrysler fails to improve the product being sold in the showroom.

In the meantime, this is one more sign that this company is focusing on the things that matter.


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