Friendly, expert and honest staff are the key to customer confidence in car sales, says Driver Power

Published at: 27th July 2022

PEOPLE are the selling superpower for the most successful franchise dealerships, according to Auto Express’s latest Driver Power ownership satisfaction survey – the definitive deep dive into factors that drive confidence and satisfaction for car buyers.

While dealers focus heavily on processes, high quality premises and constructing attractive deals, this year’s Driver Power survey results have revealed that the friendliness, expertise and honesty of sales staff are more closely related to dealership success than any other factor.

Auto Express editor in chief Steve Fowler commented: “The old adage that people buy from people is proven again by our findings of the importance customers place on sales staff that they like and trust.

“This latest Driver Power deep dive suggests that there are no bad brands, with very little separating the quality assessments by customers across a wide range of factors. But the close relationship between assessments of sales staff and eventual brand rankings suggests that it is people, rather than processes or even price, that remain the superpower for the most successful franchise dealers.”

The 2022 Driver Power ‘brand scorecard’ survey dives deep into the experience of car buyers to identify the factors that drive confidence and satisfaction among customers.

Measuring customer experiences of everything from showroom facilities, through deal-making and handover processes to servicing and complaints handling, Driver Power provides the definitive scorecard for Britain’s leading car brands, as represented by their franchise dealer networks.

This independent performance measure helps manufacturers and their dealer networks to identify what they’re doing best, along with areas they should  improve.

While standards are revealed to be high across the board, the standout finding is that the best qualities of sales staff are more closely related to overall performance than any other factor.

It means that, when focusing on customer experiences of the sales process, the top three brands are also those whose sales people are seen as most friendly, expert, honest or transparent, responsive and helpful.

When it comes to factors such as service centre workmanship or complaints handling, the best performers do not necessarily achieve the highest overall brand rankings.

For the buying experience, the highest-rated sales staff push their brands overall to the top of the chart. But in the case of customer ratings for servicing quality, the workmanship of technicians plays less of a role in determining overall brand rankings.

How we do the maths behind our survey – the issues facing the motor industry have also impacted our survey. We gathered statistically robust information about 25 brands’ new-car sales performance, but that fell to 17 for the aftersales experience. Only the 16 brands which met the criteria for both make our final ranking.

Driver Power Best Dealer Rankings 2022

1.         Honda             93.38%

2.         Lexus              93.13%

3.         Peugeot           92.92%

4.         Subaru            91.30%

5.         Kia                   91.10%

6.         Toyota             90.78%

7.         Nissan             90.45%

8.         Ford                 90.37%

9.         Audi                 89.23%

10.       Volkswagen    89.13%

11.       Mercedes        88.96%

12.       Hyundai           88.58%

13.       Volvo               88.11%

14.       Jaguar             87.35%

15.       BMW               86.48%

16.       Skoda              86.29%