BEIJING: 10 Oct. 2019 — Even though 72% of car owners in China make an appointment before visiting a dealership for maintenance, the experience is not as fast and smooth as customers expect, according to the J.D. Power 2019 China Customer Service Index (CSI) Study,SM released today.
The study finds that 28% of car owners have difficulties making an appointment. The most common problems are preferred time not available; reservation conditions are restrictive; and the reservation system is difficult to use. After arriving at the dealership, customers cannot fully enjoy the convenience of reservation either—they have to wait 23 minutes before service begins, which is two minutes longer than customers without a reservation. The study also shows that 41% of customers who make an appointment before visiting the dealer expect to be able to schedule the service at their preferred time and 40% expect service to start immediately after arriving at the dealership.
"Reservations are designed by dealers to carry out various work orders and complete the service process as quickly as possible but the customer experience reflects that the reservation system does not work perfectly,” said Eileen Ren, Vice President of Digital Customer Experience at J.D. Power China. “Authorized dealers still need to focus on the optimization of resource allocation to deliver the seamless experience from reservation to service completion.
Compared with authorized dealers, non-authorized dealers are more efficient in providing vehicle service. The percentage of customers who indicate the service started immediately after arriving at non-dealers is 15% higher than customers at dealers. Additionally, the overall length of the service at non-dealers is 18 minutes less than at dealers.
"Although authorized dealers display a remarkable advantage in service quality, the efficiency is one of the weaknesses,” Ren said. “Improving reservation service and the efficiency through the whole service process are likely to reduce customers turning to non-dealers.”
Following are additional findings of the 2019 study:
- Both driving mileage and service frequency dropped: The monthly driving mileage of car owners has declined by 18% from 2018 and visiting frequency to dealers has dropped 17% to 2.8 times vs. 3.4 times in 2018. The decline is highest (25%) among customers born between 1980 and 1984.
- Owners increasingly turn to non-dealers: In 2017, owners visiting non-dealers for service for the first time happened in the 17th month after purchase but, this year, the first visit to non-dealers has advanced to the 15th month of ownership.
- Gap between mass market and luxury brands narrows: Overall satisfaction for the industry is 736 (on a 1,000-point scale), while the gap between luxury brands (751) and mass market brands (733) has shrunk 18 points. In 2018, the gap was 56 points.
- Be cautious in recommending additional services: Recommending additional service is one of the sales tactics for dealers to increase revenue on each visit. However, if the recommendations cannot meet the real needs of customers, nearly 20% will be rejected and the customer satisfaction will decrease as well.
Audi ranks highest in customer service satisfaction among luxury brands with a score of 788. Land Rover ranks second with a score of 760.
Dongfeng Yueda Kia ranks highest in customer service satisfaction among mass market brands with a score of 760. Beijing Hyundai (755) ranks second and GAC Honda (754) ranks third. GAC Trumpchi (752), Geely (750), WEY (744) and BAIC Senova (743) are the four domestic brands to rank among the top 10 mass market brands.
The China Customer Service Index (CSI) Study, now in its 19th year, delivers a comprehensive analysis of vehicle owners’ service experiences and measures customer satisfaction with their dealer service by examining five key measures: service quality (22%); service initiation (21%); service facility (20%); service advisor (19%); and vehicle pick-up (18%).
The 2019 China Customer Service Index (CSI) Study is based on responses from 35,718 vehicle owners in 71 major cities who purchased their new vehicle between January 2015 and June 2018. The study was fielded from January through July 2019.
J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. Those capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power has offices serving North America, South America, Asia Pacific and Europe. For more information, please visit china.jdpower.com or stay connected with us on J.D. Power WeChat and Weibo.
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