Getting your foot through the door is one thing, but getting in the room is another. While buying a car is made simple through the AutoDeal platform, keeping it however, making monthlies, and bringing it for service is another ordeal in itself. Customer satisfaction begins as soon as a purchase is made, and as soon as the vehicle reaches its resting place in the garage of its new owner. It continues throughout the life of the car, so it is a never-ending experience.
J.D. Power finds that overall customer satisfaction is down in 2019. From 812 out of 1000 in 2018, the score has dipped to 803 according to the J.D. Power 2019 Philippines Customer Service Index Study. The study covers a total of 2,384 new vehicle owners who have purchased a car between January 2016, and April 2018. These participants entered an authorized dealer or service center between January 2018, and April 2019. The first 12 to 36 months of ownership are covered by the study, and is based on five factors: service quality, service initiation, service facility, vehicle pickup, and service advisor. All categories carry different weights.
Having your car serviced at the dealership entails a bit of a wait, as it takes time for mechanics to carry out the needed maintenance. Around 35% of customers experience wait times of more than 30 minutes from handover to releasing. This is up by eleven percentage points from the 2018 study.
This can be attributed to a few factors. On the dealership side, the service process is much slower, with 69% of consumers indicating that service took three hours or more to finish. Meanwhile, 72% of consumers stated that paperwork completion took more than 10 minutes during the vehicle pickup. Naturally, consumers who had to wait 10 or more minutes for their papers were less satisfied.
On the consumer’s side, the study finds that customer appointments have gone down. Dealers have been receiving less appointments as compared to last year. The study finds that consumers who schedule an appointment with their dealership come out more satisfied than those who simply walk in and ask for a service. A dealer is better equipped to cater to a customer that calls in advance rather than comes unannounced.
Dealers have been encouraging customers to set appointments in order for them to prepare their schedules better. On top of that, quick and express service options need to be offered more to consumers. Only 39% of respondents were offered the option, a drop of 16% from last year. Customer satisfaction rated higher for consumers that were offered the express service.
Another initiative that has dealers increasing their satisfaction score is maintaining transparency with their customers during the service interval. More than half, at 59%, of customers were informed of the time needed for the service during the drop off; this is down by 13% back in 2018.
Nobody likes a long wait, and whatever pushes the process along faster is going to more palatable for the consumers. Brands should opt to take care of their consumers while their cars are being taken into service, and take extra steps to keep them as comfortable as possible. It all comes down to proper communication, honesty, and planning in advance.