For dealership service managers worried about losing customers to independent and aftermarket competitors, there is good news out there, according to a J.D. Power and Associates report – the 2012 U.S. Customer Service Index (CSI) Study. For dealer customers, overall satisfaction with the service experience averages 38 points higher on a 1,000-point scale, compared with non-dealer facilities (787 vs. 749, respectively). Another improvement seen in the study is that 79% of all service visits among owners of one-to-three-year-old vehicles are performed at dealer facilities, up from 74% in 2011 and 72% in 2010.
Contributing to the overall improvement is a shift in the proportion of maintenance and repair work performed at dealer service centers. In 2012, 72% of vehicle owners indicate their latest dealer service visit was for maintenance rather than repair, an increase from 63% in 2011. Lexus ranks highest in customer satisfaction with dealer service among luxury brands and receives an award for a fourth consecutive year. Among mass market brands, MINI ranks highest for a second consecutive year with a score of 809.