Dealership’s Continuous Focus on Customer Service Is Key to Maintaining Satisfaction, J.D. Power Finds
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Lexus Ranks Highest among Luxury Brands for 11th Consecutive Year; MINI Ranks Highest among Mass Market Brands for Sixth Consecutive Year
TOKYO: 1 Sept. 2017 — Maintaining focus on customer service proves to be key in increasing customer satisfaction, especially as satisfaction decreases with length of vehicle ownership, according to the J.D. Power 2017 Japan Customer Service Index (CSI) Study.
The study, now in its 16th year, measures overall satisfaction with after-sales service among new-vehicle owners after 15 to 50 months of ownership who visit an authorized service center for maintenance or repair work based on five factors (in order of importance): vehicle pick-up (21%); service representative (21%); service quality (21%); facility (19%); and service initiation (18%). Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.
Overall customer satisfaction averages 658 points in 2017, the same as in 2016. Satisfaction in the luxury segment has improved year over year by 5 points to 728, while satisfaction in the mass market segment has decreased by 1 point to 654.
“Despite a decline in satisfaction in the mass market segment with the increased length of ownership, we find that higher levels of satisfaction can be maintained by continuing the focus on customer service,” said Koichi Urayama, director of the automotive division at J.D. Power, Tokyo. “Such things as contacting customers every six months and giving advice on future maintenance can increase not only satisfaction, but also loyalty.”
Following are some of the key findings of the study:
- Faster turnaround time is key: Satisfaction averages 670 points among customers who waited at the dealer while a shaken inspection was being conducted vs. 644 among those who left their vehicle. For customers who waited at the dealership for a shaken inspection for two or fewer hours, satisfaction further increases to 683.
- The luxury segment remains efficient: In the luxury segment, satisfaction improves in all five factors: service initiation (+6 points); service representative (+5); facility (+3); vehicle pick-up (+1); and service quality (+6). In the mass market segment, satisfaction remains the same as in 2016 in the service quality factor, while it improves in service representative and facility (+1 point in each) and decreases in service initiation (-4) and vehicle pick-up (-2).
- Customer satisfaction and loyalty go hand-in-hand: Among highly satisfied customers (overall satisfaction scores of 800 points or higher), 77% say that they “definitely would” or “probably would” recommend their dealer to others. However, that proportion drops substantially to 35% among customers with lower levels of satisfaction (scores below 500).
Lexus performs particularly well in all five factors and ranks highest with a score of 780, which is 52 points higher than the segment average. Lexus is followed by Mercedes-Benz (730), BMW (715), Audi (701) and Volvo (676).
MINI, performing well in all factors except service initiation, ranks highest for a sixth consecutive year, with a score of 690. MINI is followed by Volkswagen (678), Nissan (675), Toyota (667) and Honda (653).
The 2017 Japan Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Study measures passenger-vehicle owner satisfaction with after-sales service obtained during the most recent one-year period at an authorized dealership. The study is based on responses from 9,183 domestic and import vehicle owners after 2 to 12 months of ownership. The online survey was fielded from late May through early June 2017.
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. 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 japan.jdpower.com.
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