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Why is My Service Advisor’s CSI Inconsistent? 7 Keys to Transform It

Inconsistent CSI is one of the most frustrating struggles in any service department. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, scores fluctuate again. 

Today I’m breaking down the real reasons behind inconsistent CSI – and what you can do to finally fix it. 

Trust me, this isn’t just another post blaming Advisors. The core issues go much deeper.

I’ll share actionable tips to stabilize and improve CSI across the board. Let’s dive in.

It Starts With Shop Capacity 

The number one killer of CSI? Lack of shop capacity.

When customers wait weeks for an open schedule, perception of experience tanks. It breeds feelings of inconvenience and difficulty from the start.

Capacity issues also limit flexibility for drive-ins and emergencies. Nothing hurts worse than telling a loyal customer you can’t fit them in for days or weeks when they’re stranded with a problem.

You want one more Technician than you think you need. There should always be breathing room in the schedule. 

Monitor capacity like a hawk. As soon as gaps start to close, get aggressive about hiring.

attracting new customers

Choke points due to lagging capacity affect advisors’ ability to satisfy customers. Fix this first before looking at individuals.

The Right Systems Are Key

When we’re busy, it feels like success. But volume and velocity signal nothing about quality.

High CSI comes from systems designed for care – not churning through customers.

Things like Express Service foster efficiency. But take care not to sacrifice relationship-building for speed alone.

Customers want more than just a quick visit. They want trusted Advisors who know them and care.

That takes systems that allow unrushed discussions of needs and education throughout the process.

Set Advisors up for success with systems flexible enough for high care alongside high volume. 

Put Your A-Team Up Front

Far too often, the least experienced Techs and Advisors run the show up front. This is another CSI killer.

They handle critical first impressions and ongoing relationships. But we give them the least training and support.

Flip this around. Put your absolute best talent in customer-facing roles. Pay them accordingly.

This holds especially true for Quick Lube. Use your rock star Advisors to set the tone and exceed expectations. 

Invest here for the biggest impact on stabilizing and lifting CSI.

Slow Down RO Volume 

Some managers proudly share that their Advisors write 20+ repair orders a day. To me, that signals a problem.

Very few (if any) Advisors can provide consistent, quality CSI at that frantic pace day-in and day-out. 

High RO volume easily leads to robotic, transactional service. Customers feel like a number not a person.

Their satisfaction depends on personalized care and education from Advisors with the time to build rapport.

Keep daily RO target volumes reasonable for your team. And focus on raising average RO dollars instead of just quantity.

Handle Comebacks Better

Comebacks kill CSI. But how you handle them determines satisfaction as much as the comeback itself.

Too often comebacks get brushed off as a nuisance, not an opportunity. 

When issues reoccur, overdeliver on communication and resolution. Take ownership.

Follow up after the visit as well to reaffirm your commitment to their satisfaction.

With effort and empathy, you can often win back disappointed customers. Don’t take comebacks lightly.

Listen to Feedback

After a poor CSI score, do you engage customers to understand why? Or just make assumptions?

Actually listening to feedback is crucial for identifying weak points in experience.

Follow up immediately with low-scoring customers. Hear them out. Resist defending yourself. 

Then respond to concerns and modify policies or procedures accordingly. Turn detractors into advocates.

Proactively asking for feedback helps Advisors improve as well. Make listening a habit, not just for complaints.

Take Responsibility as Leaders 

Here’s the cold, hard truth about inconsistent CSI: it’s on us as leaders.

When we blame Advisors, we give away our power to affect change.

We design the systems, set the measures, establish capacity, hire and train the team.

If CSI is unreliable, we own that – whether from faulty systems or inadequate training. 

Once you embrace responsibility as the one shaping experience, improvement becomes possible.

Rally your team around a shared vision for customer service excellence. And align processes with that vision.

Advisors can’t drive CSI in misfiring systems. Take ownership and transform the environment you built.

Get Strategic About CSI

Improving CSI requires a nuanced, multi-pronged approach. It won’t happen overnight.

But with a comprehensive strategy focused on capacity, systems, talent, and accountability, you can stabilize scores.

If you’re ready to dig in and do the work – without blaming front line employees – let’s talk.

I can help you spot gaps in the customer journey and build an action plan tailored to your service department’s unique needs.

Within 90 days, you’ll see real momentum towards consistent, excellent CSI. And more raving fans than ever before.

Click here to schedule a quick strategy session with one of my team.

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