BPA Featured Article

Call Monitoring Makes for Better Car Service Quality

By Steve Anderson, Contributing Writer
March 20, 2017

 For those who have recently bought a car, or had it serviced, you might have noticed that customer service was better than the last time you went car shopping. Thanks to a growing number of customer-facing technologies like call monitoring, that's just the case, at least according to word from the JD Power 2017 U.S. Customer Service Index (CSI (News - Alert)) study, which said customer satisfaction and customer service are both on upward trends.

The CSI found that customers were increasingly satisfied on five separate fronts related to car service, including advisor prowess, initiation measures, facilities, vehicle pick-up, and overall quality. The study commonly focused on franchised dealership operations and independent service operations that dealt with owners or leasers of newer vehicles, generally in the one-to-five year old brackets.

Of course, the study focused in large part on overall quality of work, but also—according to JD Power vice president of U.S. automotive retail practice Chris Sutton—on staying in touch with the customer during the repairs process, a point that had significant impact on overall customer loyalty.

The study offered further insight like noting that text messages were a more effective way of keeping in touch with customers, though this varied by generation. Phone (News - Alert) messages prompted 55 percent of customers to say they “definitely will” return, while 67 percent of text message recipients said likewise. Millennial customers preferred text in 41 percent of cases, and Gen X customers favored it in 25 percent of cases, as did baby boomers. Even pre-boomers favored it in 10 percent of cases.

Call monitoring, meanwhile, can be a huge help in addressing some of the biggest problems customers face. Service quality is one of the lowest-rated parts of the study, and using call monitoring tools can help by allowing calls to be better addressed when they come in. It's one thing to know how to address a problem, and another entirely to know how to express what the problem is. Having a supervisor—who's commonly better trained and more adept—can be a great step toward getting a problem fixed the first time.

In the end, that's particularly what customers want. Keeping in contact is very important, but fixing the problem the first time, and as quickly as possible, is a big help. Improving customer contact helps make for a better customer experience, particularly for drop-off repairs like a car. Businesses already doing well in fixing vehicles can likely get further ahead by improving customer contact measures.

Edited by Alicia Young