WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 18 March 2015 — As the percentage of all dealer service visits related to automotive recalls reaches 16 percent—surpassing the recent peak of 15 percent in 2011—satisfaction among recall customers continues to improve, according to the J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Customer Service Index (CSI) StudySM released today.
The study measures customer satisfaction with service at a franchised dealer facility for maintenance or repair work among owners and lessees of 1- to 5-year-old vehicles.
The study finds that the overall CSI among customers who take their vehicle to a dealer for recall-related work improved to 789 on a 1,000-point scale, up from 777 in 2014. This increase, combined with a slight decline in overall satisfaction, reduced the negative satisfaction gap between recall visits and overall CSI. There is an 11-point gap in satisfaction between customers with a recall visit and those with a non-recall visit, compared with a gap of 27 points in 2014 and 21 points in 2013. Furthermore, satisfaction is 8 points higher among customers with a recall visit than among those with a repair visit (781).
“Even though recalls can create a large influx of customers into the service department and really strain capacity, automakers are better prepared to handle recalls than they were a few years ago,” said Chris Sutton, vice president, U.S. automotive retail practice at J.D. Power. “Manufacturers have shown that it is possible to turn a potential negative into a positive when it comes to recalls if they’re done in a way that doesn’t inconvenience the customer.”
Jaguar ranks highest in satisfaction with dealer service among luxury brands, with a score of 877. Following Jaguar in the luxury ranking are Lexus (870), Audi (865), Lincoln (861) and Cadillac (858).
With a CSI score of 836, Buick ranks highest among mass market brands for a second consecutive year. Rounding out the top five mass market brands in the ranking are MINI (834), Volkswagen (818), GMC (811) and Chevrolet (807).
- Overall customer satisfaction with dealer service averages 852 among luxury brands and 792 among mass market brands.
- Dealers that offer some type of express lane for customers who do not schedule service appointments substantially outperform those that do not offer this option (819 vs. 764, respectively). Among customers servicing at a dealership with an express lane, 52 percent indicate speaking to a service advisor immediately, compared with 38 percent of those servicing at a non-express lane dealer.
- Despite widespread availability of Internet service appointment scheduling, only 9 percent of customers book appointments via the Internet, compared with 73 percent who call for an appointment. Forty-five percent of customers say they are unaware that Internet scheduling is available to them.
- Satisfaction is substantially higher among customers who work with the same service advisor they worked with in the past than among those who work with a new advisor (824 vs. 769, respectively). Nearly two-thirds (63%) of customers indicate having worked with the same service advisor in the past.
- While 29 percent of customers say that the service advisor recommended additional work, the success rate of those recommendations—or the proportion of customers who agree to have the work performed—is 47 percent. The average dollar total service spend for customers who have the additional recommended work done at the dealership is $277, compared with $171 for those who do not have the additional recommended work done.
The 2015 U.S. CSI Study is based on responses from more than 70,000 owners and lessees of 2010 to 2014 model-year vehicles. The study was fielded between November and December 2014.
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