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Dealers Helped Take Sting Out of Recalls, Finds JD Power Survey

Jaguar, Buick tops in customer service, in new survey.

by on Mar.18, 2015

John Csernotta of J.D. Power, left, presented Joe Eberhardt, center, and Eric Johnston, right, of Jaguar with a 2015 J.D. Power Customer Service Index award

While a record number of vehicles – about 64 million in all – were recalled in the U.S. last year, dealers helped take the sting out of things, according to a new survey by J.D. Power and Associates.

Power’s latest Customer Service Index found that dealers went out of their way to make the repair process as painless as possible.

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“Manufacturers have shown that it is possible to turn a potential negative into a positive when it comes to recalls if they’re done in a way that doesn’t inconvenience the customer,” noted Chris Sutton, vice president of J.D. Power’s U.S. automotive retail practice. (more…)

Lexus Tops New JD Power Customer Service Study

GMC surges into lead among mass market brands.

by on Mar.13, 2013

Lexus vehicles like the GS sedan once again dominated the Power measure of dealer service.

Sure, those car dealers are easy to poke fun at. But a new study suggests American motorists are more than happy, on the whole, with the service they’re delivering.

For the fifth year in a row, Lexus led the closely watched J.D. Power Customer Service Index, a measure of how well are meeting owners’ expectations for performance at their repair shops. Detroit-based GMC, meanwhile, jumped into the lead among mass-market brands, according to the market research firm.

The annual CSI found that customers are becoming increasingly satisfied by dealer service in general, especially with the service they get from factory-approved retailers as compared with independent facilities.

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“Manufacturers have made large investments in their retail programs, and dealers have made significant investments in key customer touch-points—people, improved processes and customer waiting areas—which are having a profoundly positive impact on their customers,” said Chris Sutton, the JDPA senior director in charge of the 2013 survey.

(more…)

Lexus, Mini Top Brands for Customer Satisfaction with Dealer Service

Study finds dealers ranked above independent service shops.

by on Mar.14, 2012

Lexus topped the J.D. Power Customer Service chart for a fourth consecutive year.

For the fourth year in a row, Lexus has topped the charts as the brand delivering the highest level of customer satisfaction when it comes to dealer service.  Among mainstream brands, Mini led the list for the second consecutive year, according to a new study by J.D. Power and Associates.

The annual Customer Service Index, or CSI, found that overall satisfaction with dealer service has improved substantially over the last year, perhaps reflecting efforts by automakers to build brand loyalty.  Significantly, survey respondents revealed they are generally more pleased with the service they get at the dealer than with work done by independent repair shops.

“Steady improvements in vehicle quality, longer intervals between recommended service visits and a higher mix of maintenance service events have had a positive effect on overall dealer service satisfaction,” said Chris Sutton, senior director at J.D. Power and Associates.

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“Moreover,” Sutton added, “manufacturers and their dealers have instituted broad-based customer service improvement initiatives to increase satisfaction with both the purchase experience and after-sales service, with the understanding that a substandard service occasion can and will impact their ability to make a future vehicle sale or gain repeat service business.”

(more…)

Lexus, Mini, top J.D. Power Customer Service Index

Customers face little "upsell" pressure from dealer service shops.

by on Mar.11, 2011

The repair shop can make a big difference in the way a customer views a dealership - and a brand.

Lexus and Mini are the brands most likely to satisfy customers – at least those owners who take their vehicles in for service, reports J.D. Power and Associates.

While its conventional wisdom that consumers will be heavily pressed to make unnecessary repairs by greedy dealers, the 2011 Customer Service Index reveals that very few owners actually face “upsell” pressure from dealers who want to perform unnecessary repairs.

Only 7% of customers faced such pressures, according to Power’s survey of nearly 100,000 owners and lessees of 2006 through 2010 model-year vehicles.  But the report reveals that the older the vehicle the more likely an owner is to face upselling.  And, in some cases, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, reports Power.

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Suggesting additional service work can actually benefit both customers and dealerships,” according to Jon Osborn, Power’s research director, because “customers may prolong the life of their vehicle while service facilities may gain additional revenue.”

Nonetheless, he stressed that dealers need to properly train their staff to suggest additional work only when it is truly necessary – and not to make customers feel unduly pressured.

(more…)

Lexus Tops Power Customer Service Index, But Toyota Slips Below Average

Hummer leads list of mainstream brands.

by on Feb.24, 2010

Lexus tops the new J.D. Power Customer Service charts, but mainstream Toyota lags well below average, a potentially serious problem.

Lexus, the luxury arm of Toyota Motor Co. yet again topped the customer service charts, though its mainstream sibling, the Toyota brand, slipped well below average, according to a new survey by J.D. Power and Associates.

Luxury brands generally delivered the best performance according to the 30th J.D. Power Customer Service Index, which measures how owners feel about the way their dealers handles repairs and maintenance to their vehicles during the first three years of ownership.  But some mainstream brands rose to the top, notably including Hummer, the brand General Motors hopes to sell in the coming weeks.

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Keeping customers happy in the service bay can be an important way for a manufacturer – and its dealers – to retain loyalty, said Power officials.

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