Honesty Is Best Policy to Increase Customer Satisfaction and Revenue in Auto Dealer Service Departments
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Fiat Ranks Highest among Non-Premium Brands; Audi Ranks Highest among Premium Brands
MEXICO CITY: 28 Sept. 2017 — Automotive dealership service advisors who recommend more than the original work requested during a service visit—and can honestly justify why the added work is needed—have higher customer satisfaction and their customers are willing to spend more money, according to the J.D. Power 2017 Mexico Customer Service Index (CSI) Study.SM
The Mexico CSI Study, now in its third year, delivers a comprehensive analysis of service experiences among owners of 1- to 3-year-old vehicles and evaluates customer satisfaction with their servicing dealer by examining five key measures (in order of importance): service quality (25%); service initiation (24%); service advisor (20%); vehicle pick-up (16%); and service facility (16%). Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.
The study finds that 64% of customers indicate their service advisor recommended services in addition to the original work requested. Overall, 25% of customers indicate their service advisor recommended additional work, and they had the work done. Overall satisfaction among customers who had the additional work done is 59 points higher than among those whose service advisor didn’t suggest more services, with the average spend per visit MX $583 more than among those whose advisor didn’t recommend more work. When the work is suggested but not agreed to, satisfaction is 26 points lower than those who agreed to have the work done.
“Demonstrating knowledge of a vehicle’s prior service history, conducting inspections with the customer once service is completed and offering a detailed explanation of services rendered are ways to show that any additional work recommendations are based on their vehicle’s specific conditions, not just a way to get more money,” said Gerardo Gomez, Senior Director and Country Manager at J.D. Power de Mexico. “This is the key to building trust with customers so they return and recommend the dealership to others.”
Following are key findings of the study:
- Customers are spending more on vehicle service: There is an 18% increase in customer spending at dealer/non-dealer service facilities compared with 2016. Customers spent an average of MX $4,007 in 2017 vs. MX $3,371 in 2016.
- Ready when promised adds to customer satisfaction: Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are dealership processes that have the greatest effect on the customer experience and overall CSI scores. Delivering customers’ vehicles when originally promised is the most impactful KPI and can improve satisfaction by 67 points. This KPI is met 85% of the time. However, the KPI with the most room for improvement is greeting the customer within two minutes of arriving at the facility. When it takes more than two minutes, satisfaction declines by 30 points.
- Dealers need to go digital: While only 11% of service customers say dealers currently contact them by text message, email update or a messaging app, 49% indicate they prefer to be contacted using one of these methods for a future visit. More than one-third of customers also indicate that technology is their preferred method for scheduling and confirming service visits. Among those who schedule their appointments via the internet, satisfaction is highest (851) when dealers confirm the appointments online. However, dealers only use this method 21% of the time.
“Today, it’s not uncommon for people to be glued to their computers, smartphones and tablets for a number of reasons, including shopping, getting news updates or communicating with each other,” Gomez said. “Although there are record vehicle sales in 2017, dealers aren’t meeting customers’ expectations when it comes to service. Messaging apps in particular are very popular in Mexico and are also an inexpensive way for dealers to increase satisfaction.”
Fiat ranks highest in overall satisfaction among non-premium brands, with a score of 862. Toyota ranks second with a score of 838, followed by Mitsubishi with a score of 829; Ford with 828; and Honda with 825.
Audi ranks highest among premium brands, with a score of 895. Mercedes-Benz ranks second with a score of 893.
The 2017 Mexico Customer Service Index Study is based on the evaluations of 6,999 interviews with new-vehicle owners in Mexico approximately 12 to 36 months after purchase. The study was fielded from March through August 2017.
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J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. These capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power is headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., and has offices serving North/South America, Asia Pacific and Europe. 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.
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