SÃO PAULO: 7 July 2016 — Customer satisfaction with the dealer service experience in Brazil is improving, according to the J.D. Power 2016 Brazil Customer Service Index (CSI) Study,SM released today.
The vehicle pick-up process—the final step in the service experience at a dealership—is critical to customer satisfaction, which in turn has a profound effect on intended loyalty. The pick-up process, which includes completing any necessary paperwork, paying for any charges and receiving the vehicle, is a delicate balance between speed and thoroughness.
Service customers in Brazil spend an average of 16 minutes to finish the paperwork and pick up their vehicle after maintenance or repairs. Overall satisfaction is highest (816 on a 1,000-point scale) among the 22% of service customers who indicate the pick-up process took 5 or fewer minutes. Satisfaction drops to 799 among the 27% of customers who say the process took 6 to 10 minutes and dips to 717 among the 20% who say it took 21 minutes or longer.
“There is a delicate balance between expediting the pick-up process and also delivering value to customers by explaining the work completed and any charges incurred, answering their questions, completing the paperwork and getting them back in their vehicle and on their way,” said Fabio Braga, director of operations, J.D. Power do Brasil. “Dealers have to give customers the level of detail they expect in an efficient manner. Customers want trustworthiness and transparency, and while that is established when the customer arrives at the dealership, it can be reinforced during the pick-up process.”
Overall satisfaction averages 761 among customers who receive an explanation of the work performed and 766 among those who receive an explanation of charges after service is completed. When a customer doesn’t receive an explanation of the work completed or an explanation of the charges, satisfaction drops to 583 and 625, respectively.
High Satisfaction Equals High Loyalty
Providing a satisfying vehicle service experience positively affects loyalty for dealerships. Since vehicle service is often the most recent experience a customer has had at a dealership, the service department can be instrumental in driving sales, according to study findings. Among customers who are highly satisfied with their dealer service experience (overall satisfaction scores of 900 or higher), 76% say they “definitely will” purchase or lease their next new vehicle from the servicing dealer. When satisfaction slips just slightly from delighted to satisfied (800-899), intended loyalty drops to 37% and plummets to 20% when satisfaction declines to between 600 and 799 points.
“The service experience is critical to customer satisfaction and loyalty and should be a high priority for dealerships,” said Braga. “The service experience not only impacts future service business, but can also have a tremendous effect on a dealer’s new- and used-vehicle sales.”
Sergio Sanchez, Brazil auto practice manager, noted that in Brazil, where annual new-vehicle sales have declined by more than 1.3 million units since 2014, the service and parts department can help dealerships sustain their business. “Many consumers are postponing their new-vehicle purchase, and holding on to their vehicle longer means it may require more maintenance and service. That additional service is critical to dealers during tough market conditions. But, as reflected in the increase in overall satisfaction, dealers are responding by focusing on their service customers.”
The CSI Study is a comprehensive analysis of the vehicle service experience, and is conducted by J.D. Power in 16 countries worldwide. Now in its second year in Brazil, the study explores customer satisfaction with their service dealer by examining five measures (listed in order of importance): service advisor (22%); service initiation (22%); service quality (22%); service facility (18%); and vehicle pick-up (17%). Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.
Following are additional key findings of the study:
- Service Advisor Can Make or Break Satisfaction: The service advisor has a tremendous effect on customer satisfaction with the service experience. When the service advisor greets customers in two minutes or less, it can improve service satisfaction by as much as 42 points; yet, 54% of customers indicate they had to wait for a greeting. Additionally, when customers say the service advisor is completely focused on their needs, it can improve service satisfaction by as much as 37 points.
- Amenities Satisfy Customers while They Wait: Nearly three in 10 (29%) service customers stay at the dealership while their vehicle is being serviced. Amenities offered by the dealership for waiting customers helps boost overall satisfaction. While television, newspapers/magazines and coffee are the most frequently offered amenities among the 10 measured in the study, the highest levels of service facility satisfaction are among customers who are provided computers with Internet access (844), tablet computers or video games (844) and workspaces to plug in their own computers (837).
Toyota ranks highest in overall service satisfaction for a second consecutive year, with a score of 829, a 40-point increase from 2015. Hyundai-CAOA ranks second (803), followed by Hyundai-HMB (800), Chevrolet (798) and Honda (791).
The 2016 Brazil Customer Service Index (CSI) Study is based on the evaluations of more than 5,000 new-vehicle owners in Brazil 12 to 36 months after purchase. The study was fielded from March through May 2016.
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