BMW & Merc tops J.D. Power Customer Service study

BMW & Merc tops J.D. Power Customer Service study

by -

Results of the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2011 Malaysia Customer Service Index (CSI) Study are out, with the German big two BMW and Mercedes-Benz dominating proceedings. Only five points separate the two on the 1,000-point scale, as Munich edged ahead of Stuttgart with a score of 804 against 799 in the debut of both brands in the study.

Faced with the German onslaught, last year’s top ranked brand, Isuzu, dropped to third with 770 points, followed by Honda and Suzuki at 751 points each, and Toyota at 750 points. The industry averaged at 718 points, with Hyundai-Inokom, Perodua and Proton the only unfortunate members scoring below that level.

Like the Thai and Indonesian study which we reported last week, the Malaysian study also seeks feedback from owners who visited their authorized service centres for maintenance and repair of the vehicles during the first 12 to 24 of ownership. Some 2,667 owners, who bought their vehicles between February 2009 and May 2010, participated in this survey, which took place from February to May 2011.

Five aspects of the after-sales experience are evaluated, and in order of importance for the Malaysian market, they are service quality, vehicle pick-up, service initiation, service advisor and service facility. BMW, for example, excelled in the two most important criteria listed above.

Maintenance cost has always been regarded as an issue close to the heart of Malaysian motorists, and the findings of this study confirms as much. Customers who are charged less than the initial estimated costs are notably more satisfied (average score 733) than those who are either charged more than estimated (657) or were not given estimates beforehand (683).

“In a competitive market such as Malaysia, it is especially important to provide customers with estimates at the time of service initiation and to ensure that these estimates are accurate,” said Mohit Arora, executive director at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Singapore.

Further elaborating, Arora said, “In addition, dealerships must provide effective and timely communication in cases where initial estimates and actual costs are different.”

Just like what it was found in the Indonesian study, findings in the Malaysian study also show generally positive responses from customers who receive prompt service reminders from their dealerships, with satisfaction averaging 21 points above the industry average. The benefits of such a practice does not appear lost on our dealer networks, as the proportion of customers who received service reminders has doubled from 16% in 2010 to 38% in 2011.

“Implementing processes that notify customers when service is due encourage them to make service appointments, allowing dealers to better plan service flow and resources. This customer touch point also contributes to higher levels of customer loyalty and advocacy to both the dealership and the brand,” said Arora.

Rates of customer loyalty and advocacy intent for brands and dealerships are strongly affected by satisfaction with authorized service dealers. Approximately 42% of highly satisfied customers (service satisfaction scores averaging above 796) say they “definitely will” recommend their dealership to friends and relatives. Similarly, 40% of highly satisfied customers say they “definitely will” revisit their service dealer for post warranty service.

Charts: Official J.D. Power release.


Leave a Reply