Porsche, Buick Tops in Service, Power Study Finds

Date: March 14, 2019
Source: Automotive News
Porsche ranks highest among luxury brands in customer satisfaction with dealer service and Buick, for the third straight year, topped all mass-market brands in J.D. Power’s latest customer service index study.
 
Porsche, with a score of 893 on a 1,000-point scale, gained 19 points over last year’s score (874), supplanting Infiniti, which topped the survey of luxury brands for the first time in 2018 but fell to fourth place in the 2019 study.
 
Lexus ranked second among luxury brands with a score of 881, up from 871, followed by Cadillac in third (880 points), Infiniti (878) and Mercedes-Benz (870). Acura’s score rose the most -- 21 points -- to 866, or sixth place. Land Rover’s service satisfaction score dropped 31 points to 781, leaving the brand in last place -- and 81 points below the luxury brand average of 862.
 
Overall, five luxury brands -- Audi, BMW, Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover -- scored below the average luxury brand score, which was flat.
 
Among mass-market brands, Buick ranked highest with a score of 857, followed by Mini (853) in second place. Mitsubishi vaulted from below the mass-market brand average last year with a 2019 score that rose 27 points to 846, good for third place, followed by Chevrolet (845) in fourth place, and GMC and Toyota, tied at 840.
 
Five FCA brands -- Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Fiat -- placed at the bottom of the survey, though all of them, except for Fiat, posted higher scores in the latest study compared to 2018. In addition to Fiat, Chevrolet and GMC also posted slightly lower scores in the latest survey.
 
Power said scores are assigned and weighted based on five measures: Service quality (27 percent); service initiation (20 percent); service adviser (20 percent); service facility (17 percent); and vehicle pickup (16 percent).
 
The CSI study measures satisfaction among owners and lessees with 2016 to 2018 model-year vehicles serviced at franchised dealerships and independent service stores. J.D. Power surveyed more than 57,000 customers from October through December 2018 for the study.
 
The scores measure the quality of service, performance of the service adviser, service initiation, service facility and vehicle pickup.
 
Technology Convenience
 
J.D. Power said service satisfaction is 75 points higher for customers who have a fully digital experience compared with one that is fully analog. Customers increasingly prefer to schedule service through the Internet and communicate with dealers via text messages rather than phone.
 
“Service customers want the convenience that technology offers them,” said Chris Sutton, vice president of U.S. automotive retail practice for J.D. Power. “For example, 34 percent of customers indicate they prefer to communicate via text message -- but this only occurs 9 percent of the time. There’s no reason why this isn’t a more widely adopted practice across the industry.”
 
He said, “customers now expect “technology to enable more efficient interaction with businesses -- and that includes dealers.”
 
Other key findings in the Power study:
 
  • Customers feel like the advice of service advisers is 70 points higher when they focus on their needs during their in-store visit.
  • Customers satisfaction improves by 70 points when they feel that their service adviser is focused on them and their needs during the visit.
  • Customer satisfaction on service is also higher when customers are informed about work performed on a vehicle (44 points); when they are advised of a vehicle’s service history (37 points); and when they are informed of the vehicle’s status (33 points), and more.
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