According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, a survey conducted by auto industry research company J.D. Power and Associates found that vehicle owners who visit auto dealership facilities for service are more satisfied with their experience at dealerships than independent facilities.
Ranked on a 1,000-point scale, overall satisfaction with the service experience averages 38 points higher than non-dealer facilities. The study also indicated that 79 percent of all service visits among owners of one-to-three year old vehicles were performed at dealer facilities.
According to the J.D. Power and Associates’ press release released March 14, the study examines satisfaction among vehicle owners who visit a service department at auto dealerships for maintenance or repair work. The rankings are based on responses from more than 84,000 owners and lessees of 2007-2011 model-year vehicles.
These positive results come at a time when auto dealerships are experiencing low service volume due to the recession. Anticipating higher volume as car sales begin to increase again, the study expands on its findings, identifying specific ways auto dealerships can maintain high volumes of satisfaction regardless of service volume:
Promote online scheduling of service appointments. Customers who scheduled a service appointment online were more satisfied with the service than customers who called or dropped by.
Review the technician inspection report with all service customers. Customers were significantly more likely to say they “definitely will” return to the dealership for services when the technician reviewed the multi-point inspection plan with them. Customers also indicated they were more likely to purchase or lease the same vehicle make in the future.
Consider the benefits of implementing complimentary maintenance programs. Unsurprisingly, owners were more likely to visit dealers for service who offered manufacturer-sponsored maintenance programs. However, customers who were offered complimentary maintenance programs were also more likely to return to the dealership for service after the warranty/maintenance contract expired, resulting in higher service visit retention rates for auto dealerships.
Lexus ranked number one in luxury dealership customer satisfaction, followed by Cadillac, Jaguar, Acura and Porsche. For mass market brands, MINI ranked highest, followed by Buick, GMC, Chevrolet and Hyundai.
Customer service and maintenance issues are only a few of the many tasks running a dealership encompasses. From selling and servicing to repairs and maintenance, inspections, financing and insurance and many other operational tasks, the services you offer to your customers come with unique risks and exposures that require insurance protection specifically designed for dealerships.
That’s what we do. At Dealer Protection Group, we work with a number of top-rated insurance companies that specialize in insurance for auto dealerships. Contact us today at 949.208.8550. We look forward to hearing from you.