Recommendations key to servicing

Young customers are more reliant on recommendations from friends and relatives when choosing a servicing dealer, according to the JD Power 2018 UK Customer Service Index (CSI) Study.

The survey also showed that overall satisfaction scores, which are based on a 1,000-point scale, improved by 12 points from 2017.

‘These results illustrate the importance of developing passionate advocates, not only for the product but also for the dealership itself, when trying to attract younger people as new customers,’ said Josh Halliburton, vice president and head of European operations at JD Power. ‘Recommendations among customers in this group are far more important than dealership advertising, promotional materials or coupons.’

Other key findings of the 2018 study show that internet scheduling is more satisfying than via phone; text message communication is not meeting customers’ preferences despite being used more frequently; service advisors are key to customer satisfaction; explanation of work and charges is time well spent; and brand promoters are loyal customers.

The survey also highlighted Land Rover as ranked highest among premium brands for a second consecutive year, followed by Volvo and Mercedes-Benz. MINI ranked highest among volume brands, with Honda second and Kia in third.

The study, now in its fourth year, measures customer satisfaction with their service experience at a franchised dealer facility for maintenance and repair work. The study is based on five measures: service quality (26%); service initiation (23%); service advisor (19%); vehicle pick-up (17%); and service facility (16%).

The 2018 UK Customer Service Index Study is based on data collected from 7,899 respondents who registered their new vehicle between February 2015 and April 2017. The study was fielded in February-April 2018.