MELBOURNE: 13 Dec. 2016 — Investments made by luxury automotive brands in their service staff in recent years is paying off, as customer satisfaction with dealer service increases for the third consecutive year, according to the J.D. Power 2016 Australia Customer Service Index (CSI) StudySM luxury segment, released today.
Overall customer satisfaction with the vehicle service experience at authorised service centres in the luxury market increases to 824 (on a 1,000-point scale) in 2016, up from 817 in 2015 and 803 in 2014.
The service advisor plays a critical role in customer satisfaction, and courtesy goes a long way when dealing with luxury-vehicle owners. More than 1 in 3 (31%) customers say they are “delighted” with the courtesy of their service advisor in 2016, an increase from 24% in 2015.
“Service advisors are vital to the success of service centres across Australia,” said Mohit Arora, executive director at J.D. Power. “Customers’ interaction with their service advisor needs to be professional, transparent, trustworthy and, most importantly, enjoyable. A happy customer is one who will return for future work when the warranty expires and will recommend your services to others.”
Automakers’ efforts to please their service customers at dealerships also pay off with increased customer retention and profitability. The study finds that among highly satisfied customers (overall satisfaction scores of 918 or higher), 84% say they intend to revisit the dealership for paid services post warranty, as well as recommend the same brand and servicing dealer to a friend or relative.
Following Up with Customers
Nearly two-thirds (65%) of customers of luxury brand service centres were contacted by the dealership within a few days after their vehicles were serviced. In comparison, only 45% of mass market customers were contacted by the dealership after their service appointment. Among luxury customers who were contacted by the dealership, overall satisfaction is 844, compared with 787 among those who were not contacted.
“While all dealers across the network mention how difficult it is to make contact with their customers, those that are successful in doing so reap the benefits of happier customers,” said Loi Truong, senior country manager of Australia at J.D.Power. “Contacting customers and asking about their service experience—and measuring this performance with a view to continually improve—is the key to success.”
Additional findings of the study include:
- Service Centre Facilities Are Important to Customers: Offering service customers a variety of amenities and facilities—such as business centres, Wi-Fi and reading materials—helps dealerships improve satisfaction. Among customers who were offered six or more amenities, overall satisfaction is 893 points, compared with 856 among those who were offered four or five amenities and 791 among those who were offered three or fewer amenities.
- Cost Estimates Improve Satisfaction: Providing customers with a cost estimate prior to servicing their vehicle can increase overall satisfaction by as much as 7 index points. In contrast, among customers who do not receive a cost estimate, satisfaction drops by as much as 29 index points.
Australia Customer Service Index Rankings
Lexus ranks highest in satisfaction with after-sales service among owners of luxury brand vehicles, with a score of 852 points. Lexus performs particularly well in all five study factors. Mercedes-Benz (828) ranks second and Audi (826) third.
About the Study
Now in its seventh year, the study measures overall satisfaction with the vehicle service experience at an authorised service centre by examining five factors (listed in order of importance): service quality; vehicle pick-up; service advisor; service initiation; and service facility.
The 2016 Australia Customer Service Index (CSI) Study luxury segment is based on responses from 518 luxury-vehicle owners who purchased their new vehicle from August 2011 through September 2016 and took their vehicle for service to an authorized dealership service centre from August 2015 through September 2016. The study was fielded from August through September 2016.
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About J.D. Power in the Asia Pacific Region
J.D. Power has offices in Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Malaysia and Bangkok that conduct customer satisfaction research and provide consulting services in the automotive, information technology and finance industries in the Asia Pacific region. Together, the six 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 and its products can be accessed through the internet at asean-oceania.jdpower.com.
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