J.D. Power released the results of the 2017 Customer Service Index (CSI) Study in mid-March. They found that overall customer satisfaction is up, likely do to a rise in automotive service quality.

The 2017 Customer Service Index (CSI) Study

customer satisfactionThe Customer Service Index (CSI) Study, one of J.D. Power's benchmarks, measures consumer satisfaction with automotive service. Both franchised dealer and independent service facilities are studied.

For 2017, the study was based on responses from over 70,000 owners and lessees of one- to five-year-old cars. So, keep in mind that J.D. Power is talking about very new vehicles as we unpack this. The study was fielded between October and December of 2016.

Respondents scored their satisfaction levels in five different areas. Here is how they each scored on J.D. Power's 1,000-point scale.

  • Service Advisor: 834
  • Service Initiation: 830
  • Service Quality: 805
  • Vehicle Pick-Up: 803
  • Service Facility: 790

The average scores improved across the board year over year. And that includes the combined average for customer service, which jumped to 813 this year from 800 a year ago. Service quality improved the most from last year to this, rising to 805 from 779.

Key Takeaways from the Study

J.D. Power believes these elements can influence customer satisfaction and loyalty.

  • Getting it Right the First Time is Immensely Important - This one isn't surprising. Satisfaction dropped 184 points (on the 1,000-point scale) for customers whose work wasn't completed right the first time. Thankfully, 94% of respondents said the dealer was able to fix their car the first go around.
  • Dealership Service Departments Dominate - Respondents were asked to rate dealers and independent service centers on 16 different attributes. Dealers scored higher than non-dealers in 15 of those. Dealerships particular excelled in these areas: comfort of waiting area, amenities offered, and cleanliness.
  • Adding Text Messaging Capabilities Should Be a Priority - The study found that 55% of customers who are contacted by phone said they "definitely will" return for service. However, that loyalty factor jumped to 67% when the customer received text message updates throughout the process. Furthermore, 41% of Generation X and Y consumers, 25% of Baby Boomers, and 10% of Pre-Boomers say they prefer to communicate via text. The issue? Only 3% of respondents indicated that they receive text message updates. It appears your store's service operation stands to benefit if you implement a text messaging system.

The Bottom Line

The 2017 J.D. Power CSI Study showed that automotive service satisfaction was up across the board. Also, dealership service operations scored better than independent shops in almost every area. The key for dealers will be to make sure they keep up the good work and find new and innovative ways to increase loyalty, such as implementing a text messaging system.

If your store is looking for other ways to stand out from your competition, Auto Credit Express can help. Our top-of-the-line special finance leads and other dealership products and services can help boost your bottom line. Get in touch with us to learn more by calling us at 888-535-2277. Or, you can complete the contact form on our website and we'll get back to you.