Mazda tops the Philippine automotive industry in terms of Customer Service Index (CSI) according to the latest JD Power Survey. The study, now on its 16th year, measures new-vehicle owner satisfaction with after-sales service process at authorized service centers by examining dealership performances in five factors (in order of importance): service quality (29 percent), service initiation (26 percent), vehicle pick-up (17 percent), service facility (14 percent), and service advisor (14 percent). Brand service performance is then measured on a 1,000-point scale with the highest score indicating highest customer satisfaction.
The survey covered 1,838 new vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle between February 2014 and May 2015 and took their vehicle for service to an authorized dealer or service center between August 2015 and May 2016. The survey ranked 11 mainstream brands in the country.
Mazda ranked top with 845 points, 14 points clear of second placer Honda. It’s followed by Nissan at 827, while Ford and Toyota tied at 825. The other brands that managed above average performance were Isuzu and Hyundai (824 and 823 respectively).
“Despite more service reminders being sent to customers for routine maintenance, customers are not reciprocating by making appointments for their service visit,” said Loïc Pean, Senior Manager at JD Power. “We still see six in 10 walk-in customers and this exacerbates the capacity crunch at the dealerships. Dealerships have to be resolute to educate their customers to get into the habit of making appointments else it will be a formidable task for dealers to manage unscheduled workload and maximize throughput.”
Adding to the complexity of the business environment are the dramatic shifts in customer demographics. Nearly three-fourths (72 percent) of customers are first-time new-vehicle owners, up from 49 percent in 2015. The percentage of younger car owners (under 40 years) has also increased to 62 percent in 2016, compared with 52 percent in 2015. In addition, women constitute a larger proportion of new-vehicle owners this year at 43 percent, up from 31 percent last year.
“As these changes happen in a fairly short span of time, dealers need to continually stay a step ahead to anticipate the changes so as to effectively address the multi-faceted needs of the younger generation. Those who are successful in meeting customers’ expectations will reap the rewards of higher advocacy and loyalty,” said Sigfred Doloroso, Country Manager at JD Power.
Among customers who are highly satisfied with their dealer service (overall satisfaction scores of 870 and above), 59 percent say they “definitely would” return to their dealer for post-warranty service and 62 percent “definitely would” recommend their dealer to friends and family. In contrast, among customers who are less satisfied (scores of 774 and lower), only 44 percent say they “definitely would” return to the dealer for post-warranty service, and only 48 percent say they “definitely would” recommend the dealer to others.
There are also additional key kinds made during the survey:
- Customers Are Waiting Longer at Every Service Juncture: The vehicle handover process time has increased by 5 minutes from 2015. Nearly half (49 percent) of customers say it took 4 hours or more to get their car serviced, up from 39 percent in 2015. Even the time taken to finish the paperwork and pick up the vehicle after service has increased, as 63 percent of customers say this process took more than 10 minutes, up from 49 percent in 2015.
- Service Initiation Is Critical to Overall Satisfaction: Service initiation gains in importance in the study and accounts for 26 percent of overall satisfaction, yet it is the lowest-scoring factor in the study. Trying to arrange a service visit with ease is the main pain point for customers.
- Fewer Customers Are Contacted To Check If They Are Satisfied: Only one third (34 percent) of customers are contacted after service to check if the work was performed up to their satisfaction. The incidence rate of this follow-up work has come down significantly from last year (45 percent).