Chrysler creates formal appeals process for dealerships seeking higher scores

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 12, 2010

Under its Dealer Standards program, Chrysler Group has developed a formal appeals process for dealers who seek higher scores and more bonus cash.

The catch is: If the company agrees to review evidence, Chrysler has the right to reopen the dealership’s entire audit, not only specific items in dispute. The stakes are high and dealers who do well in the audits can earn a lot of money.

For abiding by the standards for customer service, executive management, and facilities, Chrysler pays its largest dealerships quarterly cash awards of a maximum of $200,000. Chrysler admits that it trails behind competitors in customer satisfaction surveys.

Thus, it is pushing its dealers to raise their performance as the Company announces a new wave of vehicles. Chrysler spokesman Ralph Kisiel said, “We're going to continue to ratchet up the program. Our ultimate goal is to be best in class in customer care among the major volume manufacturers.”

During previous quarters, dealers who were convinced the Company’s third-party auditors had made mistakes could consult with their regional representatives. But according to the Company’s guidelines, no appeals are allowed as the assessments are final.

When it was introduced late in 2009, a lot of dealers lauded the Dealer Standards program’s cash payout as a powerful incentive to boost performance.

But others are upset that Chrysler’s auditors got stricter in the third quarter, further increasing (as in the second quarter) the point thresholds that dealers must attain to earn cash. [via autonews - sub. required]

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