In any industry, customer satisfaction is important. Whether it’s an official review of an upcoming movie or a casual recommendation from a friend, people are constantly looking for what the current customers have to say about the products because let’s face it – one of the most honest reviews will come from people who actually experienced the services first-hand.
That train of thought goes exactly the same in the automotive industry. The product itself is just the tip of the iceberg. Yes, it’s important that you’re satisfied with how your target brand-new car looks, or how it can make you feel really good while test driving, but that feeling of contentment will go to waste if the brand won’t take care of you the moment you step into its dealership, either to buy a car or for a service appointment. But where you can you really hear the voice of customer satisfaction?
J.D. Power has that, and the consulting firm has been doing so for the past 18 years. Its main aim is to bridge the gap between future and current customers by conducting customer satisfaction research in the automotive industries in the Asia Pacific region, which includes the Philippines.
For the 2018 survey, customer satisfaction was measured in two separate stages. The first one was during the car-buying experience, which included the online and offline journey of the buyer up to vehicle delivery process. The other was the overall satisfaction of customers from the service that the dealers provide during the first 12 to 36 months of car ownership. The points were based on a 1,000-point scale, with a higher score indicating better customer satisfaction.
Kia Motors Philippines ranks highest in new-vehicle purchase experience
New-vehicle purchase experience wasn’t limited to the actual service provided to the customers during their time inside the showrooms. Sure, it’s the most important, with the sales agent, dealer facility, and delivery process were among the things first checked. However, paperwork completion and the way the deal was worked out were also crucial, as well as the brand’s website.
It’s imperative to take note that 60% of the young market this year (29 years old and younger) use the internet before buying a vehicle, while 43% of those 30 years and older do the same. J.D. Power also mentioned that satisfaction was higher when the sales consultant use digital media to demonstrate the vehicle features – both during the purchase decision and vehicle delivery. In short, online car-buying and digital media played a key role this year in satisfying car buyers.
Among the 10 brands that got surveyed, Kia Motors Philippines ranked the highest with 842 points, edging out Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) from the throne it held in 2017. Suzuki Philippines Inc. came in next with 831 points, while Toyota Motor Philippines wasn’t too far behind with 826 points. The study was based on the responses of 2,072 new-vehicle buyers from August 2017 to May 2018.
Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. retains its crown as the King of After-Sales Service
Express service or spending less time in dealerships during a service appointment remained a key factor in satisfying vehicles owners for 2018. The survey also showed that the satisfaction of customers who opted for express service was higher than those who chose the traditional method. Sigfred M. Doloroso, Country Manager for the Philippines, J.D. Power, cited that Filipino customers are time-sensitive and you can attribute that to their increasingly fast-paced lifestyle.
Moreover, the dealer’s transparency about the services also played a key role this year, as more customers had the chance to see their vehicle being serviced than last year. In turn, the time it takes to service the car seems more reasonable for the car owners as they were able to see the whole process.
HCPI ranked the highest for the second consecutive year with 823 points. The company particularly aced three of the five factors: service initiation, service advisor, and service facility. Nissan Philippines, Inc. and Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation came in next with 822 and 816 points, respectively. The study was based on responses from 2,455 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle between February 2015 and May 2017, then took their vehicle for service to an authorized dealer or service center between August 2017 and May 2018.