JD Power cites fall of satisfaction levels among on new-car buyers
Car buyers in the Philippine ranked Mazda as being the best car manufacturer to provide after sales customer service, beating perennial winners Honda and Toyota. This is according to the JD Power 2016 Philippines Customer Service Index (CSI) Study released last July 29, 2016.
Mazda Philippines president and Chief Executive Officer Steven Tan gladly welcomed the ranking for the brand citing that all their hard work in Mazda has come to fruition stating that, “the winners here the customers!”
Tan attributed the feat to the team effort between Mazda PH and dealerships. “We provide the processes and support. It’s the dealers and their staff who takes care of the customers.”
“We also have a unique program in the market, called YoJin 3. That’s three-year free maintenance, three-year roadside assistance and three-year warranty,” he added.
All new Mazda vehicles come fully loaded with the with YoJin3 total care package, which is aimed at enhancing the Mazda ownership experience at no added cost.
Mazda car buyers are given free three-year periodic maintenance service; free parts and labor for every scheduled service for three years or 60,000 kilometers, whichever comes first; free three-Year Roadside Assistance (nationwide); emergency towing assistance; minor on-site vehicle repair assistance; alternative travel assistance; arrangement of hotel accommodation assistance; vehicle removal; free three-year concierge service; dinning referral and reservation assistance; hotel referral and reservation assistance; golf course referral and reservation assistance; car rental and limousine referral and reservation assistance business services; flower and gift delivery assistance; and courier service assistance. Mazda purchases also come with free bumper-to-bumper coverage for three years or 100,000 kilometers, whichever comes first.
“All of these contribute to help us to be number one. But it doesn’t mean that we stop trying. It only means that it encourages us to try even harder,” Tan added.
Satisfaction levels fall
On the other hand, the study also revealed that customer satisfaction levels have dropped to the lowest market – booming car sales and fast-changing consumer profiles.
The study, which is now in its 16th year, measures new-vehicle owner satisfaction with the after-sales service process at an authorized service center by examining dealership performance in five factors: 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 measured on a 1,000-point scale, with a higher score indicating higher customer satisfaction.
The overall service satisfaction averages at 822 points this year, down from 2015’s 837 points with declines recorded across all customer service factors. In particular, satisfaction with service facility suffered the greatest drop of 24 points year-on-year, indicating that the large influx of customers into the service centers is straining capacity.
“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.
Among the 11 mass-market brands ranked, Mazda performed highest for the first time since the study’s inception, with a CSI score of 845. Mazda performed particularly well in all five CSI factors. Honda ranked second (831) followed by Nissan in third (827).
The study also showed customers are waiting longer at every service juncture: The vehicle handover process time has increased by five minutes from 2015. Nearly half (49 percent) of customers say it took four 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 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.
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).
The 2016 Philippines Customer Service Index Study is based on responses from 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 study was fielded between February and May 2016.