SINGAPORE: 1 August 2012 — Satisfaction is notably higher when salespeople do not pressure new-vehicle buyers into making a purchase on the same day they visit a dealership, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2012 Taiwan Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) StudySM released today.
Now in its 14th year, the study measures new-vehicle owner satisfaction with the sales and delivery experience in seven key factors that contribute to overall satisfaction. In order of importance, these factors are delivery process, salesperson, delivery timing, sales initiation, deal, paperwork and dealer facility.
Overall customer satisfaction with the new-vehicle sales and delivery experience in Taiwan improves marginally to an index score of 890 (on a 1,000-point scale) in 2012 from 888 in 2011.
The incidence of vehicle owners experiencing uncomfortable sales pressure is 14 percent in 2012. The most commonly reported type of sales pressure experienced is to buy a vehicle on the same day as the visit. This type of pressure negatively impacts owner satisfaction with the purchase experience, resulting in an average index score of 829, a 61-point decline from the industry average. In contrast, satisfaction among vehicle buyers who are not pressured by a salesperson to buy a vehicle on the same day is 896.
"First-time buyers are more heavily influenced by sales pressure being applied during the purchase experience," said Rajeev Nair, director with J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Singapore. "Four percent more first-time buyers indicate experiencing uncomfortable sales pressure, leading to a 35-point greater drop in satisfaction, than do repeat buyers, compared with industry average scores.
"Sales personnel with the ability to engage with the new-vehicle buyer, understand their requirements, provide recommendations based on their needs, and allow enough time for the buyer to make an informed decision, may be better positioned to close the deal without pressuring the buyer," said Nair.
Lexus ranks highest for a fifth consecutive year, with an index score of 910. Lexus performs particularly well in four of the seven factors: sales initiation, paperwork, delivery timing and delivery process. Following Lexus in the rankings are Mercedes-Benz (909) and Luxgen (902).
According to findings in the study, satisfaction increases when salespersons ask vehicle buyers for feedback, even following an unsatisfactory sales experience. Overall satisfaction among first-time buyers who are not asked for their feedback is 863, compared with 897 among those who are asked for their feedback
"In the short run, asking for feedback allows a dealership to perform sales recovery for specific customers who are extremely dissatisfied by directly attending to them and trying to resolve their main concerns," said Nair. "In the long run, it allows automakers and dealerships to review their sales and delivery processes to identify areas for improvement, provide a more delightful purchase and delivery experience for future customers, as well as build stronger brand affinity and loyalty."
Another finding from the study is that the opinions of friends and relatives continue to be the top source of information that new-vehicle buyers consider when deciding which make and model to purchase, with 68 percent of vehicle shoppers referring to them for input. In addition, a higher percentage of new-vehicle buyers are actively seeking information from the Internet, compared with last year (55% vs. 47%, respectively). In contrast, only 16 percent of new-vehicle buyers are relying on traditional media channels, such as newspapers and magazines, down 3 percentage points from 2011.
"As information on vehicles becomes more widely and easily available, shoppers are turning to multiple sources of information to get a well-rounded perspective on the vehicle they plan to purchase," said Nair. "Dealership personnel need to be aware of what is being discussed on the Internet about their vehicles and be prepared to answer questions from well-informed customers."
Satisfaction with the purchase and delivery experience strongly impacts owner recommendation intentions. Fully 61 percent of "delighted" owners1 say they "definitely would" recommend their dealer, compared with only 10 percent of those who are "disappointed/indifferent2." A similar trend holds true for recommendation intentions toward the vehicle brand as well.
The 2012 Taiwan SSI Study is based on responses from 2,420 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle between July 2011 and February 2012. The study, which covers 87 vehicle models, was fielded from February to May 2012 and measures new-vehicle owner satisfaction with the sales and delivery experience.
2 First-time buyers providing a rating of 1-7 on a 10-point scale for overall satisfaction with the sales and delivery experience.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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