Overall Customer Satisfaction with Auto Service on the Rise

March 20, 2017

March 20, 2017—According to J.D. Power’s 2017 U.S. Customer Service Index Study, customer satisfaction with automotive service is increasing.

Service quality scores account for the greatest improvement, rising to 805 (out of 1,000) from 779 in 2015. The four other measures—service advisor, service initiation, service facility and vehicle pick-up all showed improvements from 2015. Overall customer satisfaction is 813, up from 800.

The study shows that among customers who are contacted by phone, 55 percent say they "definitely will" return for paid service. When receiving text message updates, that loyalty factor jumps to 67 percent. Additionally, customers' preference for communicating via text has increased 3-6 percent across all generational categories since 2015. More than four in 10 (41 percent) Gen Y1 and Gen X customers now cite this preference, as do 25 percent of Boomers and 10 percent of Pre-Boomers.

Additional key findings of the 2017 study include:

  • Service advisor scores big: The highest level of satisfaction is in service advisor, with a score of 834. This is followed by service initiation (830); service quality (805); vehicle pick-up (803); and service facility (790).
  • Technology affects satisfaction: Increases in the use of tablets by service advisors and online scheduling tend to increase customer satisfaction. Tablet usage increases to 24% from 17% in 2015, and online scheduling increases to 13% from 9% during the same period.
  • Almost a clean sweep: Customers rate dealers higher than non-dealers in 15 of 16 attributes. The most noticeable advantages are amenities offered; comfort of waiting area; and cleanliness of dealership. Non-dealers rate higher in time required to complete vehicle service—but only by 0.06 points on a 10-point scale.
  • The value of getting it right the first time: The vast majority (94 percent) of customers who take their vehicle in for service indicate that the dealer fixed it right the first time. However, among the 6 percent of customers indicating the service work was not completed right on the first visit, satisfaction drops to 639, which is 184 points lower than among those whose work was completed right the first time.
  • Too much static: Dealers seem to have trouble servicing problems with radios. It's unclear if the issue is vehicle- or service-related, but only 80% of customers who sought service for a radio reception problem indicate the dealer was able to fix it right the first time.
  • Lexus ranks highest in satisfaction with dealer service among luxury brands, with a score of 874. Following in the luxury ranking are Audi (869); Lincoln (868); Porsche (867); and Cadillac (865).
  • Buick ranks highest in satisfaction with dealer service among mass market brands, with a score of 860. Following in mass market brands are MINI (850); GMC (837); Chevrolet (829); and Nissan (822).

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