Melbourne: 1 December 2015 — Auto dealerships in Australia are providing service customers with extras, such as a free car wash and vacuuming, and adding amenities to their waiting areas as a way to differentiate themselves in a highly competitive market, according to J.D. Power 2015 Australia Customer Service Index (CSI) StudySM released today.
The study finds that 31% of customers who took their mass market vehicle in for maintenance or repairs at an authorised dealer say the dealer washed and vacuumed their vehicle after the service was completed, an increase from 28% in 2014. Overall satisfaction among customers whose vehicle was washed and vacuumed is 842 (on a 1,000-point scale), while satisfaction among those whose vehicle was not is 762.
Additionally, there is a year-over-year 7 percentage point increase in dealers providing Wi-Fi access in their service facility. Among the amenities measured in the study, customer satisfaction with Wi-Fi access is 836 index points, trailing only free food at 850 and availability of a children’s area at 838.
“With little differentiation in dealer performance, these value-added services and amenities are helping improve the customer experience and boost overall satisfaction,” said Loi Truong, senior country manager of Australia at J.D. Power.
Overall customer satisfaction with the vehicle after-sales service experience at an authorised service centre in the mass market segment for 2015 is 797, up from 790 in 2014 and 782 in 2013.
Satisfaction with dealer service leads to customer loyalty and advocacy. Among the 24% of customers who are highly satisfied (overall satisfaction scores of 901 and above), 58% say they “definitely will” purchase their next vehicle from that dealer, and 75% say they “definitely would” recommend the dealer to friends and family. In contrast, among customers less satisfied (scores of 715 and below), only 5% indicate an intention to purchase their next vehicle from that dealer, and only 5% say they “definitely would” recommend the dealer to others.
Moreover, highly satisfied customers are eight times more likely to revisit their service dealer for post-warranty service work (maintenance and repairs), compared with those with lower satisfaction.
“Because service satisfaction is so critical, it’s encouraging to see that more dealers are calling their customers to make sure they are fully satisfied with their service visit (46% vs. 44% in 2014),” said Truong. “Calling customers after their service visit increases satisfaction by 40 points. However, compared to other markets like the United States (61%) and the UK (56%), dealers in Australia lag behind in gathering feedback from their customers.”
Now in its sixth year, the study measures overall satisfaction with the vehicle service experience at authorised service centres by examining five factors (listed in order of importance): service quality; vehicle pick-up; service advisor; service initiation; and service facility.
- Except for New South Wales, all states experience an improvement in satisfaction year-over-year, with the highest level in South Australia (828).
- Among the 6% of customers who say their service work was not done right the first time, satisfaction averages 638. The primary reasons for repeat work include parts were not available (656); work performed did not correct the problem (618); and dealership could not find the problem (615).
- Vehicle owners younger than 35 years old, who comprise 17% of dealer service customers, are the least satisfied demographic group (770). Owners who are 66 years and older are the most satisfied (841).
- The percentage of customers scheduling their service appointment over the Internet has steadily increased to 11% in 2015 from 6% in 2012. Overall satisfaction among customers who use the Internet for scheduling their service visit has increased by 11 points since 2012.
- The percentage of after-sales customers indicating being covered by a capped price servicing programme has increased to 47%, up 9 percentage points from 2014. Overall satisfaction among customers covered by a capped price service programme is 811.
Australia Customer Service Index Rankings
Honda ranks highest in customer satisfaction with dealer service among mass market brands, with a score of 816. Honda performs particularly well in the service advisor, vehicle pick-up and service quality factors. Mazda ranks second (813), followed by Toyota (807), Kia (804) and Subaru (800).
The 2015 Australia Customer Service Index (CSI) Study is based on responses from 4,518 owners who purchased their new vehicle between August 2010 and October 2015 and took their vehicle for service at an authorised service centre between August 2014 and October 2015. The study was fielded from August through October 2015.
Media Relations Contacts
XingTi Liu; J.D. Power; Singapore, 068811; Phone +65-67338980; [email protected]
John Tews; J.D. Power; Troy, Michigan 48083 USA; 001-248-680-6218; [email protected]
About J.D. Power in the 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 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.
 Sources: J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Customer Service Index StudySM and J.D. Power 2015 UK Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction StudySM