Our fourth quarter issue once again brings with it your guide to the annual Dealers’ Choice Awards. The awards are based on a survey sent to Auto Dealer Today and F&I and Showroom readers in May. The winners were announced in June and are set to accept their awards at a special ceremony held as part of Industry Summit, scheduled for Nov. 4–6 and held in New Orleans for the first time this year.
The Dealers’ Choice Awards program was designed with one goal in mind: to allow dealers and dealership personnel to vote for their favorite vendors, suppliers, and finance sources and score them on the quality of the services and customer service they provide, the value received for the money you spend, and whether you would recommend them to another dealer.
Participation increases each year and the competition grows more intense. Each contest introduces us to several new players in a wide range of dealer-facing verticals.
Every vote is a write-in vote. There is no multiple choice because that would be technically impossible. (We asked.) Examples of past winners are included with each category, but each company name still has to be manually entered, then scored.
If your dealers dislike you, they will give you bad scores.
If you have ever completed a DCA survey, you already know this. If you have not, and you own or work at a company you feel is deserving of a Dealers’ Choice Award, you may be wondering why you didn’t win one. We know this because we hear from curious or disappointed industry executives every year, typically within days of the big announcement.
For a peek behind the DCA curtain, here are the most frequently asked questions we hear and how we answer them:
How do I win an award? The Dealers’ Choice Awards are based on the results of the survey, which is open only to dealers and dealership workers. Award winners get votes and high scores for their services, customer service, value, and whether the voter would recommend them. Quality outweighs quantity.
Can I campaign to win an award? The link to the survey is included in our news and promotional coverage of the awards program. Companies can and do share the link with their dealer clients. But each voter has to complete the survey themselves, no voter can vote more than once, and completed surveys are spot-checked for veracity.
Is campaigning the secret to winning awards? No. If your dealers dislike you, they will give you bad scores.
Will I get an award if I advertise? No. The majority of award winners are not advertisers and many winners are companies we’ve never heard of. Many of our advertisers do not win awards.
Then who’s paying for this? Companies are offered the opportunity to sponsor the program after the winners are announced. And we appreciate their support.
So if I win an award and sponsor the program, I’ll win again next year? Maybe! It’s not up to us.
We take great pride in the program and great joy in contacting each year’s winners, of which there were 71 this year, accounting for 103 awards in 35 categories. Thanks to everyone who voted in this year’s Dealers’ Choice Awards, thanks again to our supporters, and best of luck to you all in 2020.