Consistent Improvement in Service Quality Boosts Customer Satisfaction, J.D. Power Finds
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Mazda Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction with After-Sales Service among Mass Market Brands
MELBOURNE: 28 Nov. 2017 — Automotive service dealers have consistently been improving the delivery of customer experience since 2013, achieving a notable improvement in service quality as evidenced by an increase of 48 points on a 1,000-point scale, according to the J.D. Power 2017 Australia Customer Service Index (Mass Market) Study,SM released today.
The quality of maintenance or repair work is a vital aspect of the overall customer experience. Fixing the vehicle in the first service visit is now a basic expectation, in addition to receiving communication from the dealership post-service. Although more than 9 in 10 customers have their vehicle returned fixed right the first time, only 48% of these customers were contacted after their service. In contrast, 73% of customers whose vehicle was not fixed right the first time indicate that they were not contacted post-service.
“With more than 50 automotive brands to choose from, customer loyalty has become even more crucial in this increasingly competitive industry,” said Loi Truong, Senior Country Manager at J.D. Power. “It is vital to contact every customer after their visit to the service centre, regardless of the nature of their visit, and let them know that their feedback is valued. With most brands offering consistent and high levels of service quality, building on the relationship with each customer is becoming an even more crucial component of the vehicle ownership journey.”
Satisfaction increases by 30 points above the mass market average to 852 when customers are contacted after their vehicle’s service to ensure that all work was carried out as per their expectations. The incidence of customers being contacted has consistently been on the rise since 2013 (47% in 2017 vs. 41% in 2013). Interestingly, more customers are contacted after their service when their vehicles are washed and vacuumed (61%). In contrast, only 33% of customers whose vehicle was returned neither washed nor vacuumed were contacted.
Following are additional findings of the 2017 study:
- Predictable servicing costs increase: The unpredictability of service bills has tapered off since 2013. While 70% of customers paid what they expected (increase of 7 percentage points since 2013), 25% of customers paid higher than what they expected (a decline of 5 percentage points since 2013).
- Accurate cost estimate is beneficial: With a higher incidence of customers being provided with a cost estimate prior to sending their vehicle in for service (69% in 2017 vs. 62% in 2013), there is an increase in customers saying that the actual cost incurred by them was the same as the original estimate given to them (87% in 2017 vs. 84% in 2013).
- Satisfied customers are kept informed of their vehicle status: Nearly three-fourths (73%) of customers indicate they were kept informed by their service advisor of the status of their vehicle being serviced. Satisfaction among these customers is 30 points higher than the mass market average.
- Satisfaction with online appointment increasing: Most customers still call their service dealer to schedule their appointment (79%); however, customers who use the internet to schedule service (11%) are more satisfied than those who call their service dealer (826 vs. 821, respectively). The majority (65%) of these customers use the brand’s or dealer’s website to schedule their service appointment, with satisfaction among these customers 9 points above the mass market average.
- Room for improvement: The study finds that 31% of customers needed their service dealer to provide them with transportation while their vehicle was being serviced. Satisfaction among these customers is 2 index points below the mass market average. It is, thus, important for dealers to understand the needs of their customers and make it convenient for them to go to their destination while their vehicle is being serviced.
Of the 13 brands ranked in the mass market segment, Mazda ranks highest with a score of 835 (ranked highest five times in eight years), followed by Hyundai with a score of 831 and Kia with 829.
The 2017 Australia Customer Service Index (Mass Market) Study is based on responses from 4,646 owners who purchased their new vehicle between August 2012 and September 2017 and took their vehicle for service to an authorised dealership service centre between August 2016 and September 2017. The study was fielded from August through September 2017.
Now in its eighth year, the study measures overall satisfaction with the vehicle service experience at an authorised service centre by examining five factors (listed in order of importance): service quality; vehicle pick-up; service advisor; service initiation; and service facility.
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About J.D. Power in the Asia Pacific Region
J.D. Power has offices in Singapore, Bangkok, Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo that conduct customer satisfaction research and provide consulting services in the automotive, information technology and finance industries in the Asia Pacific region. Together, the five offices bring the language of customer satisfaction to consumers and businesses in Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. J.D. Power is a portfolio company of XIO Group, a global alternative investments and private equity firm headquartered in London, and is led by its four founders: Athene Li, Joseph Pacini, Murphy Qiao and Carsten Geyer. Information regarding J.D. Power and its products can be accessed through the internet at asean-oceania.jdpower.com.
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