Lexus Ranks Highest in Luxury Segment for 13th Consecutive Year; MINI Ranks Highest in Mass Market Segment
Overall Customer Satisfaction with Dealer Service Has Slightly Deceased since Last Year,J.D. Power Finds
TOKYO: 29 Aug. 2019 —Increasing support and communication for customers that have booked appointments effects customer service satisfaction, according to the J.D. Power 2019 Japan Customer Service Index (CSI) StudySM, released today.
“More customers like to schedule service systematically,” said Koichi Urayama, Senior Director of the Automotive Division at J.D. Power. “Dealer staff, including sales and service representatives, need to not only perform follow-up activities to help their customers make smooth service appointments but also enhance the system to meet customers’ demand for early appointments, encouraging them to use the online reservation systems which have not yet been broadly utilized. In addition, it is important to establish a system to communicate with customers efficiently and smoothly at every touchpoint, including explanations about service content and making contact on a regular basis.”
Following are some of the key findings of the 2019 study:
Overall satisfaction decreases: Overall satisfaction has decreased slightly by 3 points to 668 (on a 1,000-point scale) in 2019 from 671 in 2018. Satisfaction among mass market brands declined 3 points to 665, while satisfaction among luxury brands decreased by 3 points to 729.
Satisfaction in service initiation deteriorates: Among the five factors, the largest decrease in satisfaction year over year is in service initiation (-6 points).
Customers are booking appointments sooner: In 2019, more than one-third (37%) of customers indicate that they made an appointment for less than a week ahead, compared with 55% in 2014. On the other hand, 20% of customers indicate that they made an appointment 14 days or more in advance, a gradual increase from 10% in 2014. In particular, the percentage of customers who had their service performed during the morning on weekends/holidays and made an appointment 14 days or more in advance increased to 27% in 2019 from 12% in 2014. However, customers who made an appointment 14 days or more in advance indicate lower satisfaction than customers who made an appointment less than a week ahead, especially driven by the ease of scheduling service visit attribute.
Most preferred method of scheduling service is via phone: More than half (56%) of the customers phoned the dealer to make an appointment, while 21% directly contacted the salesperson or service representative; 14% made an appointment when they were contacted by the salesperson/selling dealer; and 4% used the dealer website. However, satisfaction is the lowest among customers who phoned the dealer (653), while customers who directly contacted the salesperson or service representative indicate the highest satisfaction (699).
Among the five luxury brands included in the study, Lexus ranks highest for the 13th consecutive year, with a score of 778—almost 50 points higher than the segment average. Lexus performs particularly well in all five factors.
Among the 10 mass market brands included in the study, MINI (707) ranks highest for the first time in two years. MINI performs particularly well in the factors of vehicle pick-up; service quality; service representative; and service initiation.
The 2019 Japan Customer Service Index (CSI) Study measures overall satisfaction with after-sales service among new-vehicle owners after 15-50 months of ownership. The study surveys owners who visit an authorized service center for maintenance or repair work and is based on five factors (in order of importance): vehicle pick-up (21%); service representative (21%); service quality (21%); facility (19%); and service initiation (18%).
The study, now in its 18th year, includes responses from 9,139 respondents who registered their new domestic and import vehicles between April 2015 and March 2018. The online survey was fielded in May and June 2019. Satisfaction is based on the percentage of importance of each of five factors and owners’ evaluation of multiple attributed included within these factors.
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