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Gap in Customer Service Satisfaction between Luxury and Mass Market Brands Narrows

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Audi Ranks Highest among Luxury Brands;
Dongfeng Peugeot and Guangqi Honda Rank Highest in a Tie among Mass Market Brands

Shanghai: 31 July 2014—Overall customer satisfaction with after-sales service at authorized dealerships in China increases in 2014, and the gap in satisfaction between the luxury and mass market segments narrows, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2014 China Customer Service Index (CSI) StudySM.

The study, now in its 14th year, measures satisfaction among vehicle owners who have owned their vehicle between 12 and 24 months and who visited an authorized dealer's service department for maintenance or repair work during the last six months. The 12 to 24 month ownership period typically represents a substantial portion of the vehicle warranty period. The study examines five factors to determine overall satisfaction with dealer service (in order of importance): service quality (24%); service facility (21%); vehicle pick-up (21%); service advisor (18%); and service initiation (17%). The customer satisfaction score measures the performance among authorized dealers on meeting customers' expectations of their after-sales experience.

Customer satisfaction with luxury brands improves to 855 (on a 1,000-point scale) from 849 in 2013, and satisfaction with mass market brands increases to 824, up from 811 last year. The gap in customer service satisfaction between luxury and mass-market brands narrows to 31 points in 2014 from 38 points in 2013.

“Mass market vehicle brands have improved their service satisfaction and are proving fierce market competition for luxury brands,” said Dr. Mei Songlin, vice president and managing director at J.D. Power Asia Pacific. “However, in order to satisfy increasing customer needs and expectations, all vehicle brands must strive to improve after-sales service.”

Key Findings

The study identifies 18 key performance indicators (KPIs) that contribute to overall customer satisfaction with the after-sales service experience. When 15 or more KPIs are implemented in the mass market segment, satisfaction scores exceed the mass-market average. Nearly one-half (49%) of mass market vehicle owners indicate their authorized dealership met at least 15 KPIs during their service experience in 2014, a 23 percent increase from 2013.

ŸCustomers value fast service from their dealership. In the mass market segment, quick/ express service has the highest impact on overall satisfaction. The study finds that when maintenance/ repair is completed within two hours on the same day, customer satisfaction is 828; however, when completed less than one hour, satisfaction increases to 855, which is 31 points higher than the segment average (824). 

ŸCustomer satisfaction with their after-sales experience has a direct impact on dealers’ service volume. Service volume among dealers with high satisfaction scores (845 points and above) averages 1,343 units per month, which is 26 percent higher than service volume of dealers with low satisfaction scores (782 and below). Dealerships with high satisfaction scores also generate considerably higher after-sales revenue (average 10.7 million RMB), which is approximately 27 percent higher than dealers with low scores.

ŸThere is a strong correlation between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. More than one-half (51%) of mass market customers who are highly satisfied with their brand say they “definitely would” revisit the dealer for post-warranty service, which is more than double the percentage of mass market customers with low satisfaction (24%).

CSI Study Rankings

Audi ranks highest among luxury brands with a score of 912, followed by Cadillac (864) and Infiniti (863).

Dongfeng Peugeot and Guangqi Honda rank highest (in a tie) among mass market brands (906 each), and Dongfeng Citroen ranks third (898).

The 2014 China Customer Service Index Study is based on street intercept and face-to-face interviews with 16,928 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle between February 2012 and May 2013, and examines 67 passenger vehicle brands. The study was fielded between February and May 2014 in 46 major cities in China.

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