Customer service more crucial to after-sales satisfaction

AKTHIUGH vehicle manufacturers (OEMs) place a strong focus on executing service quality-related processes, such as work done right the first time and washing the vehicle after servicing, these processes alone do not necessarily correspond to the highest levels of customer satisfaction, according to the J.D. Power 2018 India Two-Wheeler Customer Service Index (2WCSI) Study, released recently.

Among the 88 per cent of two-wheeler owners who were provided with these two service quality processes during their most recent service visit, satisfaction is 764 points (on a 1,000-point scale), which is 16 points higher than the industry average.

“Vehicle servicing is often considered as a necessary chore, and customers appreciate it when the manufacturer or workshop helps execute a service visit as effortlessly and conveniently as possible,” said Kaustav Roy, regional director at J D Power, Singapore. “The focus needs to shift from servicing the vehicle to engaging the customers. Two-wheeler OEMs that take the first step in providing these activities will likely be able to differentiate their service offering from that of other OEMs and the non-authorized service network.”

Overall satisfaction among customers who were provided with key service quality processes, supported by relevant communication activities within the optimum time parameters, is 799 points, which is 51 points higher than the industry average.

Additional key findings of the study:

  • Scheduling service improves satisfaction: Instances of customers scheduling their service visit through a prior appointment have increased to 31per cent in 2018 from 20 per cent in 2016. Satisfaction is higher among customers who schedule an appointment for servicing than among those who drop by the service dealer without an appointment (768 vs. 738, respectively).
  • Comfort and connectivity key at service facility: Among the various facilities available in the service outlet, internet access, and an air-conditioned waiting area have the highest positive impact on customer satisfaction.
  • Competitive pressure from non-authorised network: Nearly one in five (18 per cent) customers indicate having visited a non-authorised service network within 24 months of vehicle ownership. Manufacturers can retain more of these customers in the authorized network by providing a richer experience. Among customers who are highly satisfied with the authorized network (overall satisfaction score of 855 points or higher), the defection rate to a non-authorized network drops to 12 per cent.

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