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Toyota tops in customer-service satisfaction

After-sales service satisfaction among new-vehicle owners at authorised car dealerships in Thailand has declined considerably, according to the JD Power Asia Pacific 2014 Thailand Customer Service Index (CSI) StudySM released yesterday.

The study, now in its 15th year, measures new-vehicle owner satisfaction with after-sales service by examining dealership performance in five factors - service initiation; service advice; service facility; vehicle pick-up; and service quality. Dealership service performance is reported as an index score based on a 1,000-point scale.

For the first time, the 2014 study examines service satisfaction exclusively in the mass market segment. Overall satisfaction for mass market brands averages 838 in 2014, down from 889 in 2013. Satisfaction has decreased across all customer service factors, with the largest year-over-year decline in service advice, which drops 58 points from 2013.

"New-vehicle owners, the majority of whom are first-time buyers, are increasingly sensitive to the personal relationship with the service-centre staff and are looking for better quality interaction," JD Power Asia Pacific senior manager Loic Pean said in a press release. "While dealerships are generally doing a good job of improving their processes, customers express dissatisfaction with the lack of focus on their needs and are demanding better advice regarding their vehicle maintenance requirements."

The proportion of "indifferent" or "disappointed" mass market customers - those who provide a rating of seven or lower on a 10-point scale - has particularly increased in terms of the thoroughness of service advice or explanation and the fairness of the charges (+10 percentage points each), as well as the service time (+9 percentage points). Implementation of service standards has marginally improved due to targeted efforts at improving cost estimates, cleanliness of vehicle on return and status updates during the service, with each increasing by 10 or more percentage points.

Toyota ranked highest in overall customer service satisfaction among mass market brands, with a score of 850, according to the report. Toyota performed particularly well in the service initiation, facility, vehicle pick-up and service quality factors. Isuzu, which finished second at 848, performs particularly well in the service adviser factor. Mazda (843) was third and Honda (840) was fourth.

The 2014 CSI Study is based on responses from 3,902 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicles between January 2012 and April 2013 and took their vehicles for service to authorised dealers or service centres between July 2013 and April 2014. The study was fielded between January and April 2014.


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