NEW YORK — An online survey of more than 200 adult-aged car buyers found high dissatisfaction levels with how dealers resolve complaints.

The study was conducted using SurveyMonkey by compliance-auditing firm Total Dealer Compliance (TDC). Of the consumers polled, more than 30% indicated that they have submitted a complaint to a dealership. Of those, more than 55% were dissatisfied with the resolution provided.

"Compliance and customer saitsfaction go hand-in-hand. A clear complaint resolution process that is overseen by a compliance officer is the most effective approach to resolving customer complaints," said Max Zanan, president of TDC.

When consumers who had submitted a complaint were asked what the biggest pain point was when submitting a complaint, more than 55% said it was the dealership's lack of desire to resolve the issue. 

The study also found that nearly 75% of consumers who submitted a complaint did so by calling the dealership or submitting their complaint online. Additionally, nearly 80% of respondents think that customer satisfaction is of utmost importance to the dealership if they have a clearly stated complaint resolution process.

“Currently either a general manager or a general sales manager handles customer complaints, which is counter-productive because it is hard to be objective when your salary depends on commissions from sales," Zanan noted. "A compliance officer is better equipped to handle complaints because their main objective is to protect the dealership."