Satisfaction with After-Sales Service Experience in Australia Declines for a Second Consecutive Year, with Urbanites and Households with Children among the Least Satisfied

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Mazda Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction with After-Sales Service in Australia

SINGAPORE: 4 December 2013 In order to improve the overall after-sales service experience among vehicle owners in Australia, service centres need to adapt to the changing needs and requirements of customers, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2013 Australia Customer Service Index (CSI) Study SM released today.
Chapter 1: 6745: Major findings of the Australia CSI Study
Chapter 2: 6746: Customer Requirements at the Service Centre
Chapter 3: 6739: Capped Price Servicing
Chapter 4: 6734: Performance of the Highest Ranked Make
Chapter 5: 6744: What Stands Out for the Australian Market?

Overall satisfaction with the vehicle service experience at authorised service centres in Australia declines to 783 (on a 1,000-point scale) in 2013, an 8-point decrease from 2012. Satisfaction among vehicle owners in households with children decreases by 13 points to 767, while satisfaction among urbanites decreases by 12 points to 772 year over year. Notably, 35 percent of customers taking their car for service have children in their households and 27 percent of all service customers in the study live in a city.

"Prominent this year is not only the overall drop in satisfaction among customers taking their vehicle in for a service, but also how drivers with children are recording some of the lowest scores in the study," says Gordon Shields, director at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Singapore.

KEY FINDINGS

  • Among the 19 percent of vehicle owners who remain at the service centre while their vehicle is serviced, satisfaction is higher when a broad range of facilities and amenities are available during their wait. Service centres offering four or fewer facilities and amenities gain an average overall satisfaction of 774 compared with 859 for centres that offer five or more. 
  • The study shows that only 14 percent of service centres offer Wi-Fi, and only five percent have a children's playground. This is in stark contrast to other markets, like China, which has 36 percent of service centres providing a children's playground or 88 percent with Internet access  . Satisfaction levels increase significantly when Wi-Fi is offered at the dealership compared with when it's not (837 vs. 774 points), and if a playground is available (835 vs. 780 points).
  • According to the study, 29 percent of vehicle owners need alternative transportation when leaving their vehicle for service at the dealership or service centre. Among vehicle owners who need alternative transportation, 50 percent are offered a free ride; 34 percent are offered a free loan vehicle; and 11 percent are not offered an alternative. Overall satisfaction among vehicle owners who are not provided a transportation option is 704 points--79 points below the industry average. 
  • Nearly one-fifth (19%) of vehicle owners do not receive a commitment from their dealer regarding the time their vehicle will be ready. Among the 12 percent of vehicle owners who indicate their committed time was missed, satisfaction is 151 points lower than among those whose serviced vehicle was ready on time (657 vs. 808, respectively).
  • Offering capped-price servicing increases the likelihood of securing repeat business for service centres. More than one-half (52 percent) of vehicle owners who received capped-price servicing indicate they will revisit their service centre or dealership for post-warranty work, compared with 45 percent among those who did not receive capped pricing.
  • More than one-fourth (28%) of vehicle owners indicate their vehicle was both washed and vacuumed during their service visit, compared with 27 percent in 2012 and 15 percent in 2011. Moreover, satisfaction among vehicle owners whose vehicle was cleaner after service than before service is 829, compared with 757 among vehicle owners whose vehicle was not cleaned, and 587 among those whose vehicle was returned less clean after service than it was upon arrival at the service centre. 
  • Among vehicle owners who are highly satisfied (satisfaction scores 893 or higher) with the dealer's overall service performance, 85 percent say they "definitely would" revisit the service dealer for post-warranty service. In contrast, only 10 percent of highly dissatisfied vehicle owners (satisfaction scores of 699 points or lower) say the same.
"It is becoming increasingly important for dealers and service centres to be sensitive of vehicle owners' time constraints," said Shields. "Delivering on promised service times, providing quicker service options, as well as better amenities and facilities, will ensure customers are able to be more productive during their service visit and, in turn, further enhance the customer experience." 

Australia Customer Satisfaction Rankings

The largest drop in satisfaction in 2013 is due to the decline in scores in four factors: vehicle pick-up (-10 points); service quality (-9 points); service facility (-8 points); and service advisor (-8 points). Among the 12 brands ranked in this study, Mazda ranks highest with a score of 804. Mazda performs particularly well in service facility and service quality. Toyota ranks second (802), while Subaru (801), Honda (798) and Nissan (787) round out the five highest-ranking brands. 
Now in its fourth 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. Overall satisfaction is measured on a 1,000-point scale, with a higher score indicating higher satisfaction.
The 2013 Australia Customer Service Index (CSI) Study is based on responses from 4,421 owners who purchased their new vehicle between August 2008 and September 2013 and took their vehicle for service between August 2012 and September 2013. The study was fielded in August and September 2013.

Media Relations Contacts

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

John Tews; Director, Media Relations; J.D. Power; Troy, Michigan 48083 USA; 001-248-680-6218; john.tews@jdpa.com

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