Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Uldls Smidchens

Second Advisor

Dr. Carol Sheffer

Third Advisor

Dr. James Gilchrist


Investigated in this descriptive study was the relationship between new car dealership customer service satisfaction ratings and dealership sales success, as measured by market penetration ratings, within a major domestic automobile company. Specifically, the first step in the study was the collection of data regarding customer service and sales success ratings earned by the total of the subject company's dealers in each of 42 geographical zones in the United States. Second, an attempt was made to determine whether a relationship existed between the customer service ratings and sales success ratings for the company's zones to whom certain characteristics could be attributed.

In order to investigate the relationship between customer service satisfaction ratings and sales success ratings, hypotheses were presented which dealt with the study group of the 42 zones and with the zones' characteristics. Those characteristics included (a) passenger car market penetration, (b) overall dealer customer satisfaction, (c) warranty service customer satisfaction, (d) percentage of times customers were forced to bring their new car back to the dealer for the same service problem, (e) new car delivery condition satisfaction, (f) dealership sales staff customer satisfaction, and (g) percentages of salesperson turnover.

A major conclusion of the study was that there exists a direct relationship between customer service satisfaction and sales success, as measured by market penetration.

Dealers are the most visible link in automobile manufacturers' marketing chain and have the potential to enhance or degrade the corporate image on a local as well as national basis. How then should the manufacturers direct their automobile dealers? Is an all out, highly expensive effort to increase customer service the answer to increased sales? The significance of this study was to provide a degree of insight into these questions.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access