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CSI with service operations growing: study

November 17, 2010

Satisfaction levels among owners of 4- and 5-year-old vehicles at dealers’ service operations are on a slight upswing this year, a new J.D. Power and Associates study finds.

This is an important increase given that many dealers are getting squeezed by tighter profit margins. What contributed to this improvement?

The 2008 Service Usage and Retention Study suggested that because of product quality improvements throughout the industry, more customers are bringing in their vehicles for regular maintenance work than for repairs, leading to higher satisfaction rates.

This year, 58 percent of consumers indicated they took their vehicle to a dealership for maintenance, while 42 percent reported making repair visits, compared to 54 percent and 46 percent last year, respectively.

The study found overall satisfaction with dealer services at 86 percent, up three points since 2007. Customer satisfaction tends to be higher for a maintenance visit than for a repair visit.

With fewer repair visits, "customers are able to avoid unexpected and potentially inconvenient service visits," said Tom Gauer of J.D. Power. "In addition, dealers have also improved their efforts to provide knowledgeable and courteous staff and a comfortable service experience," he said.

Forming a personal relationship with customers can help to increase satisfaction scores, the study added.

Forming a personal relationship with customers can help to increase satisfaction scores, the study added.

 

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