Automotive Service Quality CSI Impacted by "No Fault Found"

Automotive Service Quality CSI.jpg

The difference is vast.

Service customers who have had their vehicle concerns fixed on the first visit have glowing CSI scores for the dealership.

Those who haven’t had their car’s problem fixed on the first go-round have CSI scores that slip from 823 to 639 according to J.D. Power’s U.S. Customer Service Index (CSI) Study. The disparity is massive and can drag a dealership’s – and an OEM’s – CSI scores way down.

A leading cause of poor Fixed First Visit, or FFV, has to do with the diagnostic process.

Here’s a common scenario:

A customer drops off their vehicle for a radio concern (a leader in FFV problems, coincidentally). The RO is written, the technician tries to identify the concern, and can’t. The customer is notified that their vehicle is ready to be picked up and returns to the dealership to get their car. When they leave, the problem is still there!

What Went Wrong in the Service Process?


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There are several ways the customer’s concern could have been dealt with differently. Each of the steps can help prevent a ‘No Fault Found’ diagnosis, thus avoiding a painful strike on the CSI survey.


• The service advisor should witness the problem. In the walkaround, the service advisor can ask the customer to show them how to duplicate the problem. The vehicle is right there in front of them – why not take a moment to go above and beyond for the customer?

• The technician can ask questions. Is the problem elusive or intermittent? The advisor or tech can contact the customer with clarifying questions to aid in diagnosis. A short conversation can contribute to a repair instead of a frustrated customer.

• No vehicle goes back to the owner without confirming an NFF. The service process must have a failsafe built in. Any vehicle determined by the technician to have an unconfirmed fault should be checked by another set of hands. A shop foreman or service manager should attempt to duplicate the concern before it goes back to the customer.


It’s about doing what’s right for the customer. No one brings their car to the service department for fun – they believe there really is a problem! Do everything you can to identify – and fix – the customer’s concern every time.

It goes a long way to boosting your CSI score.