J.D. Power And Associates has released a study that seems to confirm what car owners already know: service from dealers is better than through independent providers.
Car buyers overall tend to prefer service by their dealers by 38 points on the company’s 1,000 point Customer Service Index (CSI (News - Alert)) scale. Satisfaction with dealers has increased in 2012 by 12 points over last year.
“Steady improvements in vehicle quality, longer intervals between recommended service visits and a higher mix of maintenance service events have had a positive effect on overall dealer service satisfaction,” Chris Sutton, senior director at J.D. Power and Associates said. “Moreover, manufacturers and their dealers have instituted broad-based customer service improvement initiatives to increase satisfaction with both the purchase experience and after-sales service, with the understanding that a substandard service occasion can and will impact their ability to make a future vehicle sale or gain repeat service business.”
J.D. Power found that more car owners are preferring to have their dealers perform routine maintenance and repair work on their vehicles over independent service centers.
The company measures reports on service quality, service initiation, service advisor, service facility, and vehicle pick-up. They tabulated responses from over 84,000 car owners in the U.S. leasing 2007 to 2011 model years.
J.D. Power said the top major brands for customer satisfaction are Buick, GMC, Chevrolet, and Hyundai. Among luxury dealers, Cadillac came out on top, followed by Jaguar, Acura and Porsche. In the mass market, the winner was MINI, ranking the highest for the second year in a row.
Nissan and Toyota have improved the most in the mass market, and Audi has improved its ranking the most in the luxury segment.
J.D. Power recommends that dealers make it possible for owners to schedule service online, review the technician’s findings with the customer, and consider complimentary maintenance programs for people buying new cars.
The news isn’t all good for car manufacturers, even if the dark cloud has a little bit of a silver lining. J.D. Power said it expects sales of new cars to drop through 2013 before rebounding.
For people taking to the skies instead of the roads, the company has released its rankings of airlines. Those shopping for car insurance will be please to know that J.D. Power has given Erie Insurance an award for its customer service.
Edited by Jennifer Russell