KUALA LUMPUR: 29 July 2016— Car owners intolerant of service advisors not tending to their needs personally and quickly at service centers can significantly lower customer satisfaction levels, according to the J.D. Power 2016 Malaysia Customer Service Index (CSI) StudySM released today.
When a customer is greeted by someone other than the service advisor, satisfaction scores decline by as many as 26 points. Furthermore, when service advisors take 15 minutes or more to complete the process of vehicle handover (discussion of service work, vehicle inspection and paperwork), satisfaction scores decline by as many as 29 points. This year, the percentage of customers who completed the drop-off process in 14 minutes or less has declined to 58% from 67% in 2015.
The study, now in its 14th year, measures overall service satisfaction among owners who took their vehicle to an authorized service center by examining dealership performance in five factors (in order of importance): service quality (32%); service initiation (22%); vehicle pick-up (18%); service advisor (15%); and service facility (13%). Brand service performance is measured on a 1,000-point scale.
Overall customer service satisfaction averages 751 points this year, up 2 points from 2015. While all factors have improved in the low single-digit figures, satisfaction with service advisors has declined by 1 point.
“The saying, ‘You only get one chance to make a good first impression,’ is a very accurate description of the customer-service advisor interaction,” said Rajaswaran Tharmalingam, the country head of Malaysia for J.D. Power. “With the stresses of modern living, Malaysian car owners are clearly more time-constrained and demand to complete this important but time-consuming errand in a hassle-free manner. Hence, it is critical for dealerships to ensure they have the right ratio of service advisors who exhibit high quality customer-handling skills to meet customers’ expectations.”
Additionally, customers expect to be personally managed by their service advisors at the end of the service experience. For example, when the task of locating and picking up the vehicle is delegated to someone else, or if no assistance is rendered, satisfaction levels drop to 734 points as opposed to 762 if the service advisor does it himself.
“From beginning to end, the service advisor is the person with whom customers want to interact,” Tharmalingam said. “Service centers are wise to recognize this and to equip their advisors the skills to deal effectively with customers.”
Toyota ranks highest in overall service satisfaction among mass market brands, with a score of 763. Toyota performs particularly well in the service initiation, service advisor and service quality factors. Mazda ranks second with a score of 760 and Mitsubishi ranks third at 758.
Following are additional key findings of the study:
- Malaysian National Brands Show Improvement: Overall customer service among the Malaysian national brands within the mass market segment averages 747, up 5 points from 2015.
- Service Centers Sending More Service Reminders: More customers indicated they received routine maintenance notification (41% vs. 30%) from the previous year. An increase of 4 percentage points (26% vs. 22%) was seen in customers’ specific service needs being discussed with the service center prior to taking the vehicle in.
- Longer Waiting Time for Service by Appointment: Customers waiting three or more days for an appointment (31% of respondents) average an overall satisfaction score of 743. Furthermore, the percentage of customers who waited three days or more has increased by 10 percentage points. Customers waiting two days or less for an appointment (69% of respondents) average an overall satisfaction score of 768.
- Delighted Customers Raise Loyalty and Advocacy: Among customers who are highly satisfied with their dealer service (overall satisfaction scores of 823 and above), 46% say they “definitely would” return to their dealer for post-warranty service and 50% “definitely would” recommend their dealer to friends and family. In contrast, among customers who are less satisfied (scores of 690 and below), only 15% say they “definitely would” return to the dealer for post-warranty service, and only 11% say they “definitely would” recommend the dealer to others.
About the Study
The 2016 Malaysia Customer Service Index Study is based on responses from 3,257 new-vehicle owners who purchased their mass market brand vehicle between February 2014 and May 2015 and took their vehicle for service to an authorized service center between August 2015 and May 2016. The study was fielded between February and May 2016.
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