Independents set service pricing standards

Franchised workshops should review their service pricing to keep customers for longer, the What Car? Servicing Satisfaction Survey 2017 has shown.

Independent workshops bettered their franchised counterparts when it came to value for money across servicing work, with an average customer satisfaction score of 89.8% compared to 79.4% for franchised servicing agents.

The Servicing Satisfaction Survey heard from 8,300 new car customers who ranked 34 car brands on their most recent car service, scoring on politeness of staff, quality of work and value for money.

For newer cars, a significant gap remains with customers awarding independent workshops – brand specialist and non-brand specialists – average satisfaction ratings of 84.1% and 91.4% for value respectively. In comparison, franchised workshops who serviced the majority of younger cars in the survey attained a customer satisfaction score of 80.9%.

Independents also nudged franchises for customer experience, scoring 94.2% on average for attitude and politeness of staff compared to 91.1%. Critiqued for their higher pricing, franchised workshops also scored less for the quality of work, with 88.5% of customers satisfied compared to 92.7% of those who used independent workshops.

Of the franchised workshops, Japanese manufacturer Honda took the top spot for overall satisfaction across the entire car parc, keeping customers of older and newer cars happy with an overall customer satisfaction score of 91.2%.

MG came second, averaging 90.9% while Lexus completed the podium in third place with overall satisfaction of 90.2% across its franchised servicing departments.

A number of manufacturers in the top tier for overall servicing satisfaction offer their customers fixed-price servicing plans to keep costs down in the first years of ownership. Honda has a five-year or 62,500 mile fixed-price servicing plan for all cars sold through its network that are under eight months old while MG also allows customers to pay a one-off fee for servicing on certain models.