The relative importance of the initial shopping phase in the overall purchase experience of new-vehicle buyers at authorized car dealerships in the Philippines more than doubled from 2014, according to the JD Power Asia Pacific 2015 Philippines Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study released last week.
Now in its 15th year, the study has been entirely redesigned in 2015 and now examines six factors that contribute to overall customer satisfaction with the new-vehicle purchase experience. In order of importance, they are sales initiation; delivery process; delivery timing; salesperson; dealer facility; and deal. Sales satisfaction performance is reported as an index score based on a 1,000-point scale, with a higher score indicating higher customer satisfaction. Due to the study redesign, the 2015 index scores are not directly comparable with 2014.
Overall satisfaction with the sales and delivery process is 757 in 2015. While satisfaction is higher in the dealer facility factor (773) than overall, there is a 100-point gap in satisfaction scores between the highest- and lowest-performing makes in this factor. Among all factors, satisfaction is lowest in sales initiation (744), which has the smallest gap (46 points) between the highest- and lowest-performing makes.
“As both the demand and new-vehicle sales in the Philippines domestic car market continue to grow at a steady rate, new-vehicle buyers are increasingly cross-shopping and looking at all vehicle options before making their final decision,” said Loïc Péan, senior manager at JD Power Asia Pacific. “While courtesy and friendliness are an important part during the initial shopping process, buyers also require a comprehensive vehicle demonstration, comparisons with other models considered and a sales advisor who understands their needs and intended usage of the vehicle. The SSI Study shows notable gaps and highlights the need for general improvements in those areas.”
In the sales initiation factor, the demonstration of the vehicle is the lowest-rated attribute in 2015. Nearly half (49 percent) of new-vehicle buyers indicate their sales advisor demonstrated features on a display vehicle (down by 11 percentage points from 2014) and 13 percent indicate that they received just a verbal explanation (up from 5 percent in 2014). Additionally, fewer test drives are offered in 2015, compared with 2014 (59 percent vs 95 percent, respectively). Less than 50 percent of new-vehicle buyers indicate their sales advisor asked probing questions—such as personal information, purchase reasons, intended usage, past ownership, other models considered and other dealers visited—in addition to such typical questions as budget, preferred payment method and model of interest.