The J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Customer Satisfaction Index Study has been released.
Overall customer service improved to 816 (on a 1,000-point scale) from 802, while service quality scores account for the greatest improvement, rising to 809 from 782 in 2015, when the study was redesigned. The other four measures, service advisor, service initation, service facility and vehicle pick-up, all showed improvements from 2015 levels.
The J.D. Power U.S. Customer Satisfaction Index Study measures customer satisfaction with service at a franchised dealer or independent service facility for maintenance or repair work among owners and lessees of one- to five-year-old vehicles.
The luxury brand average this year is 859, with Lexus topping the segment with a score of 874. Audi (869), Lincoln (868), Porsche (867) and Cadillac (865) round out the top five. Only four luxury brands performed below the average: BMW (852), Acura (836), Volvo (836) and Land Rover (828).
For mass market brands, Buick led the way with a score of 860. The mass market brand average was 807, with nine automakers performing below average. At the bottom of the list this year is Mazda (784), Dodge (771), Ram (755), Jeep (753) and Fiat (739). Joining Buick at the top is MINI (850), GMC (837), Chevrolet (829) and Nissan (822).
The study also found that among customers who are contacted by phone, 55 percent say they “definitely will” return for paid service. But when receiving text messages, the loyalty factor jumps to 67 percent. An increase in the use of tablets by service advisors and online scheduling also tends to increase customer satisfaction.
“The quality of work – doing the job right the first time – can noticeably affect customer satisfaction and loyalty, but it shouldn’t be viewed in a vacuum,” said Chris Sutton, vice president, U.S. automotive retail practice at J.D. Power. “Proactive communication with the customer, especially while the car is being serviced, is one element that has a direct influence on loyalty.”
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