Canadians who are highly satisfied with the service experience at their auto dealer are more likely to repurchase the same make of vehicle, according to J.D. Power and Associates’ 2012 Canadian Customer Commitment Index study.
The study also finds that customers prefer to be contacted by their dealership via the same communication channel they use to schedule their service appointments.
According to J.D. Power, the newly released study measures the service behaviours, satisfaction and loyalty of owners of vehicles that are four to 12 years old.
Overall customer satisfaction is determined by examining five key factors of the service experience: service initiation, service advisor, service facility, service quality and vehicle pick-up.
The study examines customer satisfaction with both new-vehicle dealerships and aftermarket facilities.
Forty two per cent of customers who rate their dealer service experience 10 (on a 10-point scale) indicate they “definitely will” purchase the same make the next time they shop for a new vehicle.
In contrast, only seven per cent of customers who rate their service experience between one and five say they “definitely will” purchase the same make.
“The dealership service staff essentially acts as a second salesperson to the customer after they have purchased the vehicle,” said Ryan Robinson, director of the Canadian automotive practice at J.D. Power and Associates.
“The interactions they have with customers after the sale is critical to ensuring that customers not only purchase the same make of vehicle in the future, but also do so at the same dealership. The link between service satisfaction and future vehicle purchase intent is a critical one.”
J.D. Power also finds that customers prefer to be communicated with via the same communication channel they use to schedule service appointments, indicating a comfort level with that channel.
Among customers who schedule a service appointment via telephone, 54 per cent prefer to be contacted in the future by telephone, compared with email (32 per cent) and traditional mail (10 per cent). Similarly, among customers scheduling service appointments via the Internet, 66 per cent prefer to be contacted by email, compared with phone (22 per cent), traditional mail (3 per cent) or text message (8 per cent).
“Knowing how a customer contacts a dealership is just as important as the communication itself,” said Robinson.
“The study shows that customers prefer to be contacted in the way that they schedule appointments. The additional effort that service staff put into the method of communication provides an opportunity to set the tone for the upcoming service interaction.”
NAPA AUTOPRO ranks highest in satisfying automotive service customers in Canada with an overall index score of 879. Rounding out the five highest-ranked brands are Jiffy Lube (857); Mr. Lube (849); Great Canadian Oil Change (848); and Subaru Dealerships (847).
The 2012 Canadian Customer Commitment Index Study is based on responses from more than 18,000 owners in Canada whose vehicles are between four and 12 years old. The study was fielded in January and February 2012 and in June and July 2012.
Overall Service Experience Satisfaction Index: (Based on a 1,000-point scale)
NAPA AUTOPRO: 879
Jiffy Lube: 857
Mr. Lube: 849
Great Canadian Oil Change: 848
Subaru Dealerships: 847
Goodyear Auto Service Centre: 837
Industry Average: 827
Acura Dealerships: 824
Audi/Volkswagen Dealerships: 823
Honda Dealerships: 823
Hyundai Dealerships: 822
GM Dealerships: 816
Kia Dealerships: 814
Toyota/Lexus Dealerships: 812
Nissan/Infiniti Dealerships: 811
Active Green & Ross: 810
Mercedes-Benz Dealerships: 808
Ford/Lincoln Dealerships: 807
Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep Dealerships: 804
Mazda Dealerships: 794
Wal-Mart Tire & Lube Express: 786
Mitsubishi Dealerships: 777
Ford Fast Lane: 774
BMW Dealerships: 770
Canadian Tire: 767