Automakers and Dealers in China Need to Improve Effectiveness of Digital Tools, J.D. Power Finds
Audi, Dongfeng Yueda Kia, GAC Honda and Geely Rank Highest in Respective Segments
SHANGHAI: 29 Sept. 2021 — Although more and more vehicle owners in China have been using digital tools to make service appointments, their experience with digital appointment tools have yet to be improved. Automakers and dealers still need to focus on enhancing the effectiveness and user experience of the digital tools, according to the J.D. Power 2021 China Customer Service Index (CSI) Study,SM released today.
The China Customer Service Index (CSI) Study, now in its 21st year, measures satisfaction with after-sales service at authorized dealers in the past 12 months among owners of one- to four-year-old vehicles.
The study shows that vehicle owners who made their latest service appointment with digital tools has increased year over year to 27% from 14% in 2018, while owners who call to make an appointment has declined to 39% from 59% in 2018. The digital tools utilized by vehicle owners this year are WeChat official account, website, OEM app and infotainment.
“Most OEMs and dealers have realized the importance of digital tools for improving the customer experience and have accelerated the deployment of such tools, which is just the first step,” said Ann Xie, general manager of the digital retail consulting practice at J.D. Power China. “Next, they must continue to optimize these digital tools to improve the efficiency, flexibility and timeliness of services, which will determine the level of customer satisfaction.”
Following are additional findings of the 2021 study:
- The longer the ownership, the lower the customer satisfaction: Satisfaction among owners of one- to two-year-old vehicles is 771(on a 1,000-point scale) and among owners of two- to three-year-old vehicles is 755, and among three- to four- year-old vehicle owners dramatically declines to 727.
- Receipt of confirmation notices varies based on service scheduler tool: The study finds that 62% of owners who have called to schedule their most recent service appointment say they received the confirmation notice immediately, while only 42% and 37%, respectively, of owners who make an appointment through WeChat official accounts and the OEM apps received the confirmation immediately. Additionally, 96% of owners who called to schedule their service were able to reserve the service time they wanted, while owners who scheduled the visit through WeChat official accounts and OEM apps, the percentages are 92% and 89%, respectively.
- Satisfaction with Chinese domestic brands improves continuously: Satisfaction with Chinese domestic brands in 2021 increases to 754 from 739 in 2020. Satisfaction with the service facilities of domestic brands improves the most to 751 in 2021 from 733 in 2020. This is primarily due to the improvement of high-tech facilities.
- Female owners less satisfied with unexpected charges and prefer professional service advice: When service charges are not communicated in advance, satisfaction among female vehicle owners is 15 points lower than among male vehicle owners. Additionally, female owners say they are more willing to obtain professional advice during the repair/maintenance process than are male owners.
Audi ranks highest in customer service satisfaction among luxury brands with a score of 778. Land Rover (776) ranks second and Mercedes-Benz (775) ranks third.
Dongfeng Yueda Kia and GAC Honda rank highest in a tie in customer service satisfaction among mass market brands with a score of 775. Geely (770) ranks third.
Geely (770) ranks highest among Chinese domestic brands and is also among the top three mass market brands. GAC Trumpchi (768) and MG (761) rank second and third, respectively.
The China Customer Service Index (CSI) Study measures customer satisfaction based on six key factors: service reservation (22%); service team (18%); welcome and diagnostic (17%); service quality (15%); service facility (14%); and service value (14%).
The 2021 China Customer Service Index (CSI) Study is based on responses from 37,327 vehicle owners of 40 automotive brands in 70 major cities who purchased their new vehicle between December 2016 and May 2020. The study was fielded from January through June 2021.
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, 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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