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2008 Customer Service Index Study

2008 Customer Service Index Study

By Jeff Youngs, December 31, 2007
Each year, J.D. Power and Associates evaluates vehicle owner satisfaction with customer visits to the dealer service department for maintenance and repair work during the first three years of ownership-typically the length of a vehicle's warranty period. For 2008, over 87,000 owners and lessees of 2005 to 2007 model-year vehicles were asked about their experience with the dealer service department. Highlights of the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Customer Service Index (CSI) StudySM include:

  • For the first time in three years, overall customer satisfaction with dealer service improved
  • More than two-thirds of the 37 ranked brands in the U.S. market posted gains from last year, and 21 of the brands (57 percent) earn scores at or above the average score for the industry as a whole

  • For a second straight year, Jaguar, the British luxury brand, ranks highest in customer satisfaction with dealer service. Closely following Jaguar in the rankings are Cadillac, Buick, Lexus and Lincoln. Buick had the strongest performance among non-luxury brands
  • Customers who visit the dealer for routine maintenance tend to be more satisfied, on average, than are repair customers
  • Only 35 percent of customers take their vehicles to the dealer for repair work-the lowest proportion in the study's 28-year history. In 1999, for instance, 53 percent of reported visits were for repairs
  • Customer satisfaction with repair work rose nine points from 2007-with gains by both premium and non-premium brands
  • Satisfaction with routine maintenance also increased slightly from 2007
The improved levels of new-vehicle quality, as revealed in the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Initial Quality Study (IQS),SM likely will mean fewer unwanted visits to dealer service departments for repairs during the first years of ownership. Routine or scheduled maintenance for oil changes, tune-ups, tire rotations, etc. will still be needed-but these visits will be more satisfactory for many customers than in past years, according to results in the latest CSI Study.

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