SINGAPORE: 22 October 2013 — Offering a test drive to new-vehicle buyers who visit a dealership in Vietnam increases customer satisfaction with the sales process, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2013 Vietnam Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) StudySM released today.
Now in its fifth year, the study examines seven factors that contribute to overall satisfaction with the purchase experience. In order of importance, they are delivery process (29%); delivery timing (17%); sales initiation (15%); paperwork (11%); salesperson (11%); dealer facility (10%); and deal (7%). SSI performance is reported as an index score based on a 1,000-point scale, where a higher overall SSI score indicates higher satisfaction with the new-vehicle sales and delivery process. Overall sales satisfaction averages 850 in 2013--a 4-point increase from 2012.
While the study finds that 36 percent of new-vehicle shoppers actually take a test drive, only 73 percent of new-vehicle buyers are offered a test drive by the dealer—a 7 percent decrease from 2012. Overall satisfaction with the sales experience is 852 among buyers who are offered a test drive, which is eight points higher than among those who were not offered a test drive. Among new-vehicle buyers who already own a vehicle, offering a test drive is even more important, with overall satisfaction among customers given the option to test the vehicle (869) 19 points higher than the industry average.
According to the study, the average length of a test drive is 17 minutes in 2013, compared with 19 minutes in 2012 and 21 minutes in 2011.
"It is important that dealers encourage customers to test drive their new-vehicles in order to familiarize themselves with the various features and benefits of the car," said Rajeev Nair, director at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Singapore. "A test drive is a great opportunity for the salesperson to demonstrate and highlight vehicle features to customers, answer any queries that customers may have and help to differentiate their brand from those of competitors."
With 84 percent of new-vehicle buyers in Vietnam purchasing a new vehicle for the first time, the study finds that satisfaction is higher among new-vehicle buyers when their salesperson spends more than 30 minutes to conduct a thorough handover of the new vehicle to the customer—15 points higher than among buyers whose salesperson spends 15 minutes or fewer with them at the time of delivery.
"Customers are often excited to take delivery of their new vehicle and appreciate the time taken by the salesperson to explain not only the vehicle features, but also answer questions related to the service intervals and warranty coverage," said Nair. "This is especially so in Vietnam where the majority of new vehicle owners are first time buyers, and they may not be familiar with all aspects of the new vehicle."
According to the study, friends and family is the most popular source of information for new-vehicle shoppers (89%). However, 78 percent of new-vehicle shoppers in Vietnam use the Internet to research vehicle makes and models, up from 61 percent in 2012.
"The importance of the Internet in Vietnam underscores the need for brands and dealerships to provide a strong Web presence that both informs and attracts customers," said Nair. "Brands that can leverage the Internet to extend and complement their physical dealerships stand to benefit from engaging customers across multiple contact channels."
The study shows a close correlation between customer satisfaction with the new-vehicle purchase and delivery experience, and customers' future loyalty and advocacy intentions toward their dealer and brand. Among highly satisfied customers (SSI scores of 886 or higher), 52 percent say they "definitely would" recommend their dealer to friends and relatives, compared with only 33 percent among highly dissatisfied customers (SSI scores of 812 or lower). A similar positive trend is reflected for customer intentions to recommend the vehicle brand they purchased.
Among the six brands ranked in the study, Hyundai ranks highest in overall sales satisfaction with a score of 856, up 8 points from 2012. Hyundai performs particularly well in the sales initiation, deal, salesperson and delivery timing factors. Honda ranks second (853), followed by Toyota (852).
The 2013 Vietnam Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study is based on responses from 922 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle between October 2012 and July 2013. The study was fielded between May and August 2013 and measures new-vehicle owner satisfaction with the sales and delivery experience from authorized dealers in Vietnam.
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 performance analytics services in the automotive, information technology and finance industries. Together, the five 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 Asia Pacific and its products can be accessed through the Internet at JDPower.com. Media email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About J.D. Power
J.D. Power is a global marketing information services company providing performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power has offices in North/South America, Europe and Asia Pacific. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power is a business unit of McGraw Hill Financial.
About McGraw Hill Financial
McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI) is a leading financial intelligence company providing the global capital and commodity markets with independent benchmarks, credit ratings, portfolio and enterprise risk solutions, and analytics. The Company's iconic brands include: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL, J.D. Power, and McGraw Hill Construction. The Company has approximately 17,000 employees in 27 countries. Additional information is available at www.mhfi.com.
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