Mercedes-Benz Ranks Highest among Luxury Brands in New-Vehicle Sales Satisfaction in Taiwan
SINGAPORE: 23 Sept. 2016 — Nearly one-fourth of luxury new-vehicle buyers in Taiwan are visiting dealer showrooms with an open mind, knowing that they want to buy a car but not deciding ahead of time on any brand or model, according to the J.D. Power 2016 Taiwan Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) StudySM luxury segment, released today.
The study finds that 23% of vehicle shoppers are undecided when they visit a dealership in 2016, an increase from 17% in 2015, which creates a challenge for dealers to satisfy these shoppers. Overall satisfaction among customers who were undecided before visiting a dealership is 799 points (on a 1,000-point scale), while satisfaction among those who had decided on their vehicle choice beforehand is 805.
“Even though undecided customers are harder to satisfy, this is still a positive development for the industry as the window of opportunity for dealers is now open to multiple brands,” said Kaustav Roy, director at J.D. Power. “Dealers previously do not even get a chance to make an impression on fiercely one-minded customers as the likelihood of them visiting their showrooms was low but now the playing field is being levelled.”
The study also finds that the salesperson play a critical role in helping the undecided shopper crystallize their decision-making process. The right questions, when asked by the salesperson, also have the effect of lifting satisfaction levels by up to 28 points above the industry average. The top three most impactful questions for undecided customers are the intended usage of the new vehicle, budget and the reasons for buying the vehicle. In contrast, the questions that matter to pre-decided customers are the preferred payment method, intended main user of the vehicle and the budget.
“Salespeople have to be savvy to assess their customers’ propensity to purchase and probe them with thoughtful questions, “said Aaron Lee, country manager at J.D. Power. “That will help them to make recommendations that fit the specific needs of the buyer and enable them to be well-positioned to make a sale.”
Additionally, the study also finds that undecided customers are more likely to report that they felt that the deal was not in their favor. More than one-third (34%) of customers who were undecided during the shopping process indicate that they felt the price was higher than expected, compared with only 18% of those who were resolute in their vehicle choice. Additionally, undecided customers indicate having faced more pressure from their salesperson during the entire sales process than those who had decided on their make and model (9% vs. 4%, respectively).
Following are additional key findings of the study:
- Customers Least Satisfied with the Deal: Among the six study factors measured in the study, satisfaction is lowest in deal (780) and delivery timing (796).
- Delivery Time Is Critical: Customers expect their vehicle to be delivered within three weeks of ordering. Overall satisfaction is 825 when the vehicle is delivered within three weeks. However, for the 40% of customers who received their vehicle after three weeks from the booking, overall satisfaction drops to 773.
- Sales Transaction Time: Customers expect their sales transaction to be completed within four days. The study finds that 66% customers waited five or more days for the sale to be completed, up from 55% in 2015. When the dealer takes five or more days to complete the transaction, overall satisfaction drops to 790.
- Satisfaction pays off in loyalty and advocacy: Among highly satisfied customers (SSI scores of 883 or higher), 53% say they “definitely would” purchase the same brand of vehicle and 59% say they “definitely would” recommend the brand to family and friends. In contrast, among customers who are highly dissatisfied (SSI scores of 722 or lower), only 11% say they “definitely would” repurchase the same brand and only 52% say they “definitely would” recommend the brand to others.
About the Study
Now in its 18th year, the study examines six factors that contribute to overall customer satisfaction with the new-vehicle purchase experience. In order of importance, they are delivery process (20%); dealership facility (20%); salesperson (19%); deal (16%); delivery timing (13%); and sales initiation (12%). Sales satisfaction performance is reported as an index score based on a 1,000-point scale, with a higher score indicating higher customer satisfaction. This study examines sales satisfaction in the luxury market segment.
Overall sales satisfaction in the luxury segment averages 804 points in 2016. Among the five brands included in the segment, Mercedes-Benz ranks highest in satisfaction with a score of 811. Mercedes-Benz performs particularly well across all six factors. BMW ranks second with a score of 804, while Lexus ranks third with a score of 799.
The 2016 Taiwan SSI Study luxury segment is based on responses from 559 new-vehicle owners of luxury brands who purchased their vehicle between July 2015 and March 2016. The study, which was fielded from January through May 2016, measures new-vehicle owner satisfaction with the sales and delivery experiences from authorized dealers in Taiwan.
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About J.D. Power in the Asia Pacific Region
J.D. Power has offices in Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Malaysia and Bangkok that conduct customer satisfaction research and provide consulting services in the automotive, information technology and finance industries in the Asia Pacific region. Together, the six offices bring the language of customer satisfaction to consumers and businesses in Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Information regarding J.D. Power and its products can be accessed through the Internet at asean-oceania.jdpower.com.
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