What Customers Say About FFV - Fixed First Visit

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By Ted Ings, Executive Director

“Was your concern fixed on this visit?” 

Manufacturers and dealers, listen up! There’s a message coming at you from your customers…but it might not be one you’ll be happy to hear. It’s a common question on CSI surveys all over North America: 

According to a recent J.D. Power US Customer Service Index Study, customers responded positively in an overwhelming majority. 94 percent of customers say that their concern was fixed the first time they visited the dealership for that problem. That sounds like a very good result at a glance, and it’s certainly a good jumping-off point. 


The problem is that there are six percent of dealership service customers who state that their concern wasn’t repaired on the first visit. Think that’s a small percentage?

Look at it this way: if an average repair order count per service advisor is 15 to 20 per day, there’s one customer per service advisor per day whose vehicle hasn’t been fixed correctly. Still think that’s acceptable?

The FFV Hidden Statistic

But there’s a statistic that can’t be found in the CSI score. Service customers are often informed that “anything less than a perfect score is a failing score.” In not-so-many words, customers are asked to give a perfect CSI score, even when it hasn’t been earned. Guaranteed, there are customers who respond to CSI surveys as ‘completely satisfied’ that are driving cars with the very same issue they just visited the service department for. It’s an X factor.
Let’s do the math. Six percent plus X equals… too much!! 

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There are two items that should be addressed: 

•    First, it’s important to make sure CSI scores are completely truthful. If service advisors are informing customers that one will be coming, coaching for a perfect score should never be tolerated. It doesn’t help the dealership improve and it certainly doesn’t serve the customer well. 
•    Second, constantly strive to improve on real-life FFV. Before handing a car back to a customer – especially if no fault was found – a manager or shop foreman should attempt to duplicate the concern or verify the correction. 


The negative results of a concern not repaired on the first visit are obvious. Target FFV scores in a real and practical way to give customers your best service!


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