SINGAPORE: 31 Aug. 2017 — Despite new-vehicle buyers visiting authorized showrooms more frequently during their purchase experience and an increasing number accepting delivery at the dealer premises, satisfaction with dealer facilities and the delivery process is declining, according to the J.D. Power 2017 Philippines Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study,SM released today.
Overall satisfaction with the sales and delivery process stands at 740 (on a 1,000-point scale) in 2017, down from 758 in 2016. Satisfaction decreases across all six SSI factors (sales initiation; delivery process; delivery timing; salesperson; dealer facility; and deal). Most noteworthy is the decline in satisfaction with dealer facility — covering the interior and the exterior layout as well as in the accessibility of authorized dealerships — down 32 points to 735. Delivery process registers the second-largest decline, down 20 points to 746, as the time to complete the vehicle handover process increases notably: nearly three-fourths (72%) of customers said the process took more than two hours, up by almost one-quarter (23%) from 2016.
“Pressure is mounting on dealers to upgrade their existing facilities and/or open new facilities to accommodate the influx of new car buyers,” said Loïc Péan, senior manager at J.D. Power. “Accessibility is a common issue in urban areas, but improvements may also be required within showrooms, such as improving the display of models to offer a better shopping experience as well as the efficient and timely delivery of the vehicle. In addition, the test drive experience needs to be enhanced and better organized as it currently does not seem to have the expected positive effect on customer satisfaction.”
Customers who performed a test drive are overall less satisfied than those who did not (734 vs. 747, respectively), confirming the trend already observed in 2016. Test driving is currently found to be the least effective method of explaining features and benefits, behind verbal-only explanation.
The study also finds that dealers fail to follow up sufficiently with prospective buyers, both before and after purchase. Indeed, one in four (25%) of new-vehicle buyers say that the salesperson did not call back after their first visit to dealership, up from only 5% in 2016. Moreover, the same proportion also say they were not contacted to ensure everything was satisfactory after the vehicle delivery, up from only 6% in 2016.
When demand increases, following up with prospective buyers naturally becomes more difficult — however, it is also critical to ensure a positive customer experience and continued positive word of mouth, notably for the dealers themselves. Furthermore, it is key to increasing sales ratios as new-vehicle shoppers in the Philippines rely more and more on recommendations from friends and salespeople, cited as the second most important purchase reason after vehicle performance, up 10% from last year (49% vs. 39%, respectively).
In addition, customers provide higher ratings regarding their salesperson’s knowledge about vehicles as compared with 2016 —the only satisfaction attribute to improve from last year.
Among the 11 mass market brands ranked in the study, Honda (747) ranks highest in new-vehicle sales satisfaction for the first time since 2012. Honda performs particularly well in the sales initiation and salesperson factors. Toyota ranks second (745) and performs well in the dealer facility and delivery timing factors. Nissan ranks third (743), outperforming competitor brands in the deal and delivery process factors.
About the Study
Now in its 17th year, the Philippines Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study examines six factors that contribute to overall customer satisfaction with the new-vehicle purchase experience. In order of importance, they are: sales initiation (20%); delivery process (18%); delivery timing (18%); salesperson (17%); dealer facility (15%); and deal (12%).
The study is based on responses from 1,650 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle between August 2016 and April 2017, and was fielded between February and June 2017.
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About J.D. Power in the Asia Pacific Region
J.D. Power has offices in Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo 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. J.D. Power is a portfolio company of XIO Group, a global alternative investments and private equity firm headquartered in London, and is led by its four founders: Athene Li, Joseph Pacini, Murphy Qiao and Carsten Geyer. Information regarding J.D. Power and its products can be accessed through the internet at asean-oceania.jdpower.com.
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