TOKYO: 25 Jan. 2017 — Regular sales calls and positive customer treatment during after-sales service are necessary in order to build a long-term relationship with customers, according to the J.D. Power 2017 Japan Heavy-Duty Truck Ownership Satisfaction StudySM and the J.D. Power 2017 Japan Light-Duty Truck Ownership Satisfaction Study,SM both released today.
The annual studies measure overall satisfaction with heavy- and light-duty truck manufacturers and their respective authorized truck dealers among commercial fleet owners, including managers of truck freight companies. Satisfaction is determined by examining owners’ evaluations of 10 attributes grouped into four factors (listed in order of importance): vehicle (44%); service (23%); sales (21%); and cost (12%). Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.
Overall ownership satisfaction with heavy-duty trucks averages 560 points, down slightly from 562 in 2016, and 549 points for light-duty trucks, down from 552 in 2016. The most pronounced year-over-year change in heavy-duty truck ownership satisfaction is in the service factor, which decreases by 7 points, while the largest change in light-duty truck ownership satisfaction is in the vehicle factor, which drops by 5 points.
The study finds that the frequency of contacts with customers correlates to owner satisfaction and loyalty. However, only 55% of owners were contacted at least once a month, compared with 58% in 2016. Overall satisfaction among owners who receive sales calls or are contacted by a salesperson averages 573, compared with 438 among those who are not contacted.
“When reviewing various activities in order to streamline sales activities, the contact process is important in building relationships with customers,” said Yuji Sasaki, director of the automotive division at J.D. Power. “Performing activities to maintain minimum sales contacts can retain customers, and if this is not possible, positive treatment when customers visit the dealer for after-sales service can be effective in retention.”
Other key findings of the study:
- Most Common Problems: Among heavy-duty truck owners, the most commonly experienced problem is with electric components (29%), followed by engine (25%), power transmission device (25%) and exhaust emission control device (25%). Among owners who experience exhaust emission control device problems, 50% of heavy-duty truck owners and 56% of light-duty truck owners indicate they have experienced the problems two or more times. “Experiencing a problem negatively affects satisfaction, and recurrent problems lead to a further decline,” said Sasaki. “Improving customer satisfaction, and thus loyalty, requires improvement in vehicle quality, including the prevention of problems and their recurrence, as well as reinforcing service approaches when problems occur.”
- Problems Cause Satisfaction to Plummet: Overall satisfaction decreases significantly when owners experience problems with their trucks. Among heavy-duty truck owners who experience one or more problems with their trucks, overall satisfaction averages 542, compared with 619 among those who experience no problems. Among light-duty truck owners who experience a problem with their truck, overall satisfaction averages 522, compared with 592 among those who experience no problems.
- Truck Owner Satisfaction Highest Immediately After Purchase: The study finds that owner satisfaction is highest right after the purchase and decreases over time. However, the drop in satisfaction can be mitigated when the salesperson stays in contact with the owner or when the owner visits the dealership for service. Overall satisfaction remains at 568 among customers after three or more years of ownership if they have been contacted by their salesperson at least once a month, compared with the industry average of 560.
Hino and Izusu tie for the highest ranking in heavy-duty truck ownership satisfaction with a score of 571. It is the eighth consecutive year that Hino ranks at the top of this category. Isuzu improves by 18 points overall from 2016, with a 27-point increase in the vehicle factor.
Hino ranks highest in light-duty truck ownership satisfaction for the third consecutive year, with a score of 574. Hino performs particularly well in the cost, vehicle and sales factors.
The 2017 Japan Heavy-Duty Truck Ownership Satisfaction Study is based on 3,529 responses from 2,292 truck owners, and the 2017 Japan Light-Duty Truck Ownership Satisfaction Study is based on 2,818 responses from 1,954 truck owners. Fleet owners in each segment evaluated up to two manufacturers. The mail survey was conducted from September through November 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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