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About Us

CRI utilizes multiple channels of communication

 

Every business has unique needs, and should not be forced to conform to the same “black box” marketing programs. CRI prides itself on being nimble, and customizing solutions for each and every client.

"Our experience with Customer Research dates back to the early 80’s. We’ve continued doing business with them for nearly 40 years because of their attention to detail and personalized service. Even though they have grown to be a nation-wide company, they continue to operate as a small, family-run business."

- Kerry Sawyer
President, Toyota of Puyallup

If the Client is Happy We're Happy

Customer Research, Inc. was founded in 1967, with a focus on customer satisfaction indexing (CSI) follow-up calls for Pacific Northwest auto dealers. Today CRI provides many industries with CSI, customer loyalty, reputation enhancement, data collection and revenue generating marketing solutions globally. Our extensive client list includes thousands of:

  • Independent service centers
  • Collision centers
  • Franchised auto dealers
  • Auto glass businesses
  • Insurance companies
  • Auto recyclers
  • Businesses from many additional industries

Although CRI currently serves thousands of businesses, we take a “boutique” approach to all clients.

Our philosophy is simple: if our clients aren’t happy, then neither are we. The satisfaction of our clients is our #1 priority, which is why when you partner with CRI, you can be assured that your project will be handled with complete attention and care. Understanding that every industry is different, you will be assigned a CRI account representative who will work closely with you toward achieving your goals.

With nearly 50 years of experience, our goal is to help contribute toward the success of your business and become your most valuable business partner. CRI clients range from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

Corporate Partners 

Mitchell 1
Toyota Motor Sales USA
LKQ Corporation
Lexus
CARSTAR

 

 

Amerisure Insurance
QBE Insurance
SureCritic
Sonic Automotive
AAA

 

 

Solera / ARG Alliance
DCR Accident Repair Centers
Keystone Automotive
Automotive Recyclers Association
Joe Hudson's Collision Centers

 

Industry Publications

Considerations for Choosing a CSI Delivery Method
Fender Bender Magazine
By Kelly Beaton, with Dusty Dunkle contributing

Calming Comeback Customers
Fender Bender Magazine
By Anna Zeck, with Dusty Dunkle Contributing

Make Your Online Reputation Sparkle
Automotive Recycling Magazine
By Dusty Dunkle

Your Online Reputation and Your Bottom Line
Automotive Recycling Magazine
By Dusty Dunkle

From Bad to Gold
Fender Bender Magazine
By Andrew Johnson, with Dusty Dunkle Contributing

Calming Customer Complaints
Fender Bender Magazine
By Andrew Johnson, with Dusty Dunkle Contributing

Reputation Through Reviews
Fender Bender Magazine
By Andrew Johnson, with Dusty Dunkle Contributing

One Woman's Vision in a Man's Industry
The Puget Sound Dealer
By Dusty Dunkle

Worth Its Weight In Gold
Automotive Recycling
By D.L Foor

Read about how CRI client Gullo Toyota Collision Center won the Toyota Certified Collision Center (TCCC) customer service triple crown three years running!

 

 

Marketing Through Social Media
Body Shop Business
Curt Harler with Dusty Dunkle contributing

Choose Your Partners Wisely
The Puget Sound Dealer
By Dusty Dunkle

What CSI Can Do For Your Body Shop
Fixed Ops Magazine
By Dusty Dunkle

Hold the Phones - How New Technology Changed CSI
Fixed Ops Magazine
By Dusty Dunkle

Use CSI For More Than Marketing
Bodyshop Professional
By Dusty Dunkle

Got Happy Customers?
Fixed Ops Magazine
By Dusty Dunkle

Create Customer Loyalty
Dealer Marketing Magazine
By Dusty Dunkle

Your Second Chance to Make That Sale
The Puget Sound Dealer
By Dusty Dunkle

Considerations for Choosing a CSI Delivery Method
Fender Bender
By Kelly Beaton, with Dusty Dunkle contributing

 

 

 

CRI Turns 50! Our History

In 1967 Kathy Dunkle walked into a Seattle area auto dealership desperately seeking work. There were no job openings, but the general manager, impressed with her talents, created a position for her delivering flowers to new vehicle buyers. At the time, no one suspected what would come of these deliveries. But as the customers Kathy visited shared their purchase experiences with her - both positive and negative -  the dealership came to recognize the incredible value of the information she brought back each night, and soon a plan was developed to gather feedback from every customer.

As Kathy called through stacks of completed service department repair orders, she quickly discovered how often a bad experience led customers to take their business elsewhere, and how often a polite follow-up call, beginning with a thank you, could lead to repeat and referral business.  Some customers even thought the calls were a hoax, as they had never in their lives been asked about a product or service experience.

Kathy knew she was on to something big. It was clear that customer feedback could be crucial to success. It could be an incredible tool for improving service and boosting business. Kathy saw that what she had learned at a single dealership would be of great value to auto dealers throughout Seattle and beyond, all of whom would be eager to benefit from similar insights.  Shortly thereafter she formed Customer Research, Inc. (CRI), the nation’s first customer satisfaction follow-up company, serving the automotive industry.

Since 1967, customer satisfaction indexing (CSI) has become the industry standard for measuring the success of auto dealerships and service departments. At the time, monitoring customer satisfaction was not a well understood concept. Today, every manufacturer, retailer, and automotive service entity in America tracks CSI closely as an accepted part of doing business.  And that small business that was born of Kathy Dunkle delivering flowers has - over 50 years - grown into a leading provider of CSI, customer loyalty, reputation enhancement, and revenue generating marketing solutions across the globe.

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