Customer Expectations of Convenience during Vehicle Service Rises Significantly in India

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Maruti Suzuki Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Dealer Service in India for a 13th Consecutive Year



SINGAPORE:  31 October 2012 — Vehicle owners in India increasingly seek speed and convenience when having their vehicle serviced, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2012 India Customer Service Index (CSI) Study SM released today.

The study, now in its 16th year, measures satisfaction among vehicle owners who visit an authorized dealership service center for maintenance or repair work between the first 12 to 24 months of vehicle ownership. The study measures overall satisfaction in five factors (listed in order of importance): service quality; vehicle pick-up; service advisor; service facility; and service initiation. Overall customer satisfaction is measured on a 1,000-point scale, with a higher score indicating higher satisfaction.

The study finds that vehicle owners increasingly consider faster turnaround in service, door-step service and alternate transportation arrangements post vehicle drop-off as essential to satisfaction.

Satisfaction is significantly higher among vehicle owners whose dealership provides an alternate form of transportation while their vehicle is being serviced than among those who do not receive this service. Correspondingly, during the past three years, the gap in satisfaction between these two groups of customers has increased by 41 points. The expectation for this service continues to outpace the delivery of it from dealerships by nearly 29 percent.

Door-step service for vehicle owners also contributes to higher satisfaction scores. Overall satisfaction is 43 points higher among owners whose vehicle is picked up from and dropped off at their home or work by the dealership than among those who take their vehicle to the dealership service center themselves.

"Vehicle owners view the service process as an essential errand that needs to be completed," said Mohit Arora, executive director J.D.Power Asia Pacific. "With increasing stress of the daily commute, time commitments and other complexities in their daily life, owners highly appreciate the actions that dealers take to mitigate the effort required for service."

Overall customer satisfaction with the dealership service experience has increased by 10 points from 2011 to 834 in 2012, demonstrating that operational improvements continue to remain a focus for the industry. Satisfaction has improved in all five factors, with the largest increase in the service quality factor.

The study also finds that during the past three years, there has been a significant reduction in the cost of maintaining and repairing vehicles, which correlates to the improvement in the overall quality of vehicles being produced. In 2012, vehicle owners have experienced significantly fewer problems, compared with 2010. This year, 10 percent of owners have experienced a problem with their petrol-fueled vehicle during the initial 12 to 24 months of ownership, down from 17 percent in 2010. Similarly, the percentage of owners who have experienced a problem with their diesel-powered vehicle has declined to 14 percent in 2012 from 24 percent in 2010.   

"While reduction in the number of problems experienced during ownership has contributed to the reduction in the cost of vehicle maintenance and repairs for owners, the overall cost of running vehicles has gone up," said Arora. "Fuel price increases are the primary reason for the rising costs, especially for petrol models, for which a 13 percent reduction in the cost of maintenance has been offset by a 31 percent increase in the cost spent on fuel between 2010 and 2012."

Maruti Suzuki ranks highest in customer satisfaction with dealer service for a 13th consecutive year, with a score of 879 points. Maruti Suzuki performs particularly well across all factors. Mahindra is the most improved make in 2012, significantly improving across all five factors of service operations.

Vehicle owners who are highly satisfied with dealer service tend to have higher levels of advocacy and loyalty to the dealership and the brand. Among owners who are highly satisfied with their service experience at the dealership (service satisfaction scores averaging 930 and above), 93 percent indicate they "definitely would" revisit their service dealer for post-warranty service. In contrast, only 38 percent of less-satisfied owners (service satisfaction scores averaging 768 and below) say the same. Similarly, 85 percent of highly satisfied owners indicate they "definitely would" purchase their next vehicle from the service dealer, compared with just 31 percent of those who are less satisfied.

The 2012 India Customer Service Index Study is based on evaluations from 7,594 vehicle owners. The study was fielded from May to August 2012 and includes owners who purchased their vehicle between May 2010 and August 2011.

About J.D. Power Asia Pacific

J.D. Power Asia Pacific has offices in Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai and Bangkok that conduct customer satisfaction research and provide consulting services in the automotive, information technology and finance industries. Together, the five offices bring the language of customer satisfaction to consumers and businesses in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand. Information regarding J.D. Power Asia Pacific and its products can be accessed through the Internet at www.jdpower.com. Media e-mail contact: xingti_liu@jdpower.com.sg

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction.  The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually.  For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

McGraw-Hill announced on September 12, 2011, its intention to separate into two companies: McGraw-Hill Financial, a leading provider of content and analytics to global financial markets, and McGraw-Hill Education, a leading education company focused on digital learning and education services worldwide. McGraw-Hill Financial's leading brands include Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates. With sales of $6.2 billion in 2011, the Corporation has approximately 23,000 employees across more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.

Media Relations Contacts:

John Tews; J.D. Power and Associates; Troy, Mich.; (248) 680-6218; media.relations@jdpa.com

Xingti Liu; J.D. Power Asia Pacific; 08-Shenton Way, #44-02/03/04; Singapore, 068811; Phone +65-67338980; xingti_liu@jdpower.com

Follow us on Twitter: @JDPower

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates. www.jdpower.com/corporate

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Media Contacts

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(248) 680-6218
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