Honda and Toyota Rank Highest in a Tie in After-Sales Service Among Mass Market Brands

BANGKOK: 29 July 2016 — New-vehicle owner satisfaction with authorized after-sales service improves for a third consecutive year, but the quality of interaction with service advisors deteriorates, according to the J.D. Power 2016 Thailand Customer Service Index (CSI) Study,SM released today.

The study, now in its 17th year, measures new-vehicle owner satisfaction with the after-sales service process at an authorized service center by examining dealership performance in five factors (in order of importance): service quality (29%); service initiation (26%); vehicle pick-up (18%); service advisor (15%); and service facility (12%). Brand service performance is measured on a 1,000-point scale, with a higher score indicating higher customer satisfaction.

Overall satisfaction with mass market brands averages 873 in 2016, up from 865 in 2015, with improvements in all factors examined in the study. Although overall satisfaction increases, the proportion of customers who indicate their service dealer staff was completely focused on them and their needs decreases to 81% in 2016 from 91% in 2015. Furthermore, the proportion of customers who say that their service advisor did not provide valuable advice increases to 19% from 10% in 2013, indicating that customers are increasingly challenging the credibility and expertise of service advisors.

As car sales in Thailand decline due to an economic slowdown, authorized dealers are focusing on increasing after-sales service revenue to ensure business viability. Dealers are adopting an aggressive multipronged approach to drive traffic to their service centers, such as sending more reminders and promoting express service; however, in doing so, service centre staff need to continue to focus on the importance of having quality conversations with their customers. The impact of service advisors not putting their customers at ease can depress satisfaction levels by as much as 69 points. 

“The majority of service customers are first-time car owners, so they need someone to assist them throughout the entire service experience,” said Siros Satrabhaya, country manager at J.D. Power. “Even as service staff exhibit remarkable efficiency in completing service in the shortest time possible, they need to strategize how to emotionally connect with their customers during that limited time span. Doing so can help build trust with the brand and increase customer retention rates both during pre- and post-warranty periods.”

Among customers who are highly satisfied with their dealer service (overall satisfaction scores of 921 and above), 48% indicate a strong intention to return to their dealer for post-warranty service and 85% “definitely would” recommend their dealer to friends and family. In contrast, among customers who are less satisfied (scores of 834 and lower), only 24% affirmed that they would return to the dealer for post-warranty service, and only 40% say they “definitely would” recommend the dealer to others.

Study Rankings

Honda and Toyota rank highest in a tie in overall customer service satisfaction among mass market brands, with a score of 882 each. Honda performs particularly well in the service quality factor. Toyota performs particularly well in service initiation and vehicle pick-up. Isuzu ranks third at 875, performing particularly well in the service advisor and dealer facility factors.

Additional Key Findings

  • Service Reminders Effective in Boosting Appointments: Nearly three-fourths (73%) of  customers received a service reminder message or call in 2016, a 10 percentage point increase from 2015. Service reminders are mutually beneficial to dealers and customers: they help dealers better plan their workload and increase throughput and help customers enjoy quicker service. 
  • Repeat Buyers Have a Better Service Experience Than First-Time Buyers: Nearly two-thirds (65%) of service customers are first-time new-vehicle buyers; however, satisfaction with their most recent service visit is higher among repeat buyers than among first-time buyers (882 vs. 869, respectively).
  • Revisit Intentions Drop; Service Defection Increases: Revisit intentions during pre- and post-warranty periods are noticeably down. Customers who say they “definitely would” revisit the dealer for warranty service decreases to 67% in 2016 from 74% in 2015. Similarly, customers who say they “definitely would” revisit their dealer post-warranty has dropped to 38% from 57%. Furthermore, the proportion of customers who have defected to a non-authorized facility has increased to 7% in 2016 from 4% in 2015.

The 2016 Thailand Customer Service Index (CSI) Study is based on responses from 2,846 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle between January 2014 and May 2015 and took their vehicle for service to an authorized dealer or service center between July 2015 and May 2016. The study was fielded from January through May 2016.

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. Information regarding J.D. Power and its products can be accessed through the Internet at asean-oceania.jdpower.com.

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Media Contacts:

XingTi Liu

Singapore (Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, India, Malaysia, Vietnam and Philippines)

+65 65976151