Satisfaction Declines as New-Vehicle Owners Expect More of Service Centers, J.D. Power Finds
New-vehicle owner satisfaction among those who utilize authorized after-sales service declines in 2017, as service customers increasingly expect more services and better value during service visits, according to the J.D. Power 2017 Thailand Customer Service Index (CSI) Study,SM released today.
Overall service satisfaction for mass market brands averages 866 (on a 1,000-point scale), down from 873 in 2016. Although 20% of customers say their most recent service experience exceeded their expectations—an increase of 13% from 2016—a similar proportion indicate that their service advisor was neither completely focused on their needs (20%) nor provided helpful advice (19%). The study finds that implementation of service standards has declined year over year, with fewer dealer staff reportedly taking the time to inspect the vehicle with customers before service (75% vs. 87% in 2016, respectively) and after service (93% vs. 97%, respectively).
“Most new-vehicle owners are generally satisfied with after-sales service but would prefer a more attentive service center representative, one who provides valuable advice on optimum and cost-efficient car maintenance,” said Siros Satrabhaya, country manager at J.D. Power. “While core quality standards are quite often met, and servicing time remains stable, dealer personnel need to go the extra mile in order to provide the highest possible customer service. With customers increasingly comparing authorized dealer service standards and value for money with those of non-authorized facilities, such as quick service chains, dealers need to step up and offer more personalised service. Examples would be transport options to and from their facility during service, express service and more flexible service times.”
Competition from non-authorized facilities is increasing, as 9% of customers indicate they have used such service centers for their new-vehicle service—up two percentage points from 2016—and, more specifically, among 14% of customers in the Greater Bangkok region (an increase of 10% from last year). New-vehicle owners cite convenience and speed of service among the top reasons for visiting non-authorized facilities. Customer satisfaction with these facilities has increased considerably as the proportions of customers who are pleased (satisfaction score of 8 or 9 on a 10-point scale) and delighted (score of 10) has increased this year by 25% from 2016 (to 84% from 59%).
Despite a 7% increase year over year in the number of customers who make an appointment prior to their service visit (61% vs. 54%, respectively), the study finds that quality of interaction over the phone has declined. The time it takes for customers to speak with a service advisor once at the dealership has also increased, in addition to the time taken to complete the entire vehicle handover process—32% said it took more than 10 minutes, compared with 20% in 2016.
The study also finds that, while the average service time remains stable with more than two-thirds (67%) of service customers’ vehicles (serviced on the same day) ready within two hours, satisfaction levels with service time are lower than in 2016 regardless of the actual time it took to complete the service. In addition, while in 2016 a slight majority (56%) said they used a “quick service” facility, only 32% in 2017 say the same.
Toyota ranks highest for a fourth consecutive year in overall customer service satisfaction among mass market brands, with a score of 879. Toyota outperforms competitor brands across all five CSI factors. All brands except Suzuki and Chevrolet have lower satisfaction levels in 2017 compared with 2016. Honda ranks second with a score of 864 and Mitsubishi ranks third with 863.