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Hyundai Dares Its Customers - Tell Us We're Bad

At first blush it appears to be a gutsy move. Hyundai has invited consumers to rate its dealerships good and bad for all the world to see on a third-party website. It appears to be a bold move until one finds out Hyundai's customers largely like the brand.


First the backstory – on Nov. 13 Hyundai announces it will publicly feature owner-generated ratings and reviews of their dealership service experience through SureCritic. The ratings and reviews are published on a public third-party SureCritic review site that is unique to each dealership.

John Krafcik, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America, said, “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.”

In my opinion that's a pretty cool thing. Krafcik has long been known for responding to consumers on his Twitter feed @johnkrafcik. This is just another example of how responsive Hyundai can be to its customers (at least in the last couple years).

But in typical Hyundai fashion, and I mean this as a compliment, it heralded the new partnership already knowing its customers really, really liked them, to paraphrase Sally Fields. Much like Hyundai offers a 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty because it knows its vehicles don't really break down, it can now challenge the world to tell its dealers bad things because, by and large, the dealers are already getting high marks.

According to a news release from Hyundai, "Hyundai’s dedication to enhancing the customer buying experience resulted in the industry’s largest rank improvement in the recently announced J.D. Power 2013 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study. Hyundai finished as the fifth best mass-market brand, moving up six spots since the 2012 study. Hyundai’s score improved 27 points to 677 in the 1,000 point scale, the second biggest point move among the 19 non-premium brands."

For those keeping track at home, the study is a comprehensive analysis of the new-vehicle purchase experience and measures customer satisfaction with the selling dealer (satisfaction among buyers). The study also measures satisfaction with brands and dealerships that were shopped but ultimately rejected in favor of the selling brand and dealership (satisfaction among rejecters) and was fielded between July and September 2013.

Sure, you can still have a bad experience at the dealership when it comes to service, but Hyundai customers aren't really hitting the dealership all that often. And, when they do, all of the costs are largely covered for the first 10 years or 100,000 miles. What is there to be upset about?

You'll know other companies are doing well when they start signing up with SureCritic.


John Goreham    November 14, 2013 - 6:46PM

I like the idea - BUT... I do get frustrated with review sites sometimes because people seem a little polarized. It is either LOVE or HATE! Dealerships are places people bring broken cars and then are told bad news. Wonder how the ratings will pan out. I will say this, it is obvious to me a lot of people have no clue how vast the difference is between say, a Hyundai dealership and a Lexus dealership.