Satisfaction with good after-sales service rises: study
Satisfaction is higher among after-sales service customers in Thailand when elements that reinforce a good experience are executed well, according to the JD Power 2019 Thailand Customer Service Index (CSI) Study released on Thursday.
These elements include giving precise service times at the beginning of service; updating customers about the service status; and providing thorough explanations of the work performed and charges at the end. Overall satisfaction was 831 (on a 1,000-point scale), an increase from 826 in 2018.
The study also found that a higher proportion of customers (20 per cent in 2019 vs 16 per cent in 2018) indicated that the service time experienced was better than expected. Satisfaction among vehicle owners who experienced better service than expected came in at 858, while satisfaction for those whose service time was worse than expected was 731. A higher percentage of customers (85 per cent in 2019 vs 62 per cent in 2018) said they were kept updated about their vehicle status. Improvements were also seen in post-service explanations about the work performed (98 per cent in 2019 vs 97 per cent in 2018) and service charges (97 per cent in 2019 vs 96 per cent in 2018).
“Customers are increasingly more sensitive to the time it takes to service their vehicles,” said Siros Satrabhaya, Regional Director for Thailand at JD Power. “Dealers and automakers play a pivotal role in making the on-the-ground experience more efficient by improving operating procedures and processes to shorten service time. At the same time, dealers should be encouraged to go the extra mile. Washing and vacuuming, for example, add great value to the quality of service.”
More customers whose cars were completely serviced within the hour rose to 45 per cent in 2019 from 36 per cent in 2018. However, only 67 per cent of customers said their car was washed and vacuumed post-service, down from 69 per cent last year.
Additional key findings of the 2019 study include:
More awareness of internet scheduling tools: Among customers who did not make appointments using the internet or apps, almost one-fourth (24 per cent) said they were not aware that appointments could be made via these channels; an improvement from 36 per cent in 2018. However, 23 per cent of these customers found the online booking system difficult to use, up from 14 per cent in 2018.
Addressing customer requirements at facilities in Bangkok and beyond the capital: For customers who reside outside the capital, perks that help satisfaction improve the most are free meals (+31 points above the factor average); a cafe on the premises (+31); and tablets or video games on offer (+22). For customers in Bangkok, availability of tablets or video games (+12) and devices with internet access (+8) have the greatest influence.
Empathise with customers when recommending additional work: Fewer customers (29 per cent in 2019) accept recommendations for additional work (down from 33 per cent in 2018). Customers who accepted recommendations had higher satisfaction (839 points) versus those who did not (830 points). Service advisers must avoid being pushy and instead suggest only additional work that enhances customer satisfaction.
Nissan ranks highest in after-sales customer satisfaction with an overall satisfaction score of 838 and performs well on three of the five factors: service adviser, vehicle pick-up and service quality. Isuzu ranks second with a score of 837 and Toyota ranks third with a score of 836.
The J.D. Power 2019 Thailand Customer Service Index (CSI) Study measures overall satisfaction among vehicle owners who visited an authorised service center for maintenance or repair work during the first 12 to 36 months of ownership, based on five factors (in order of importance): service quality (27 per cent); vehicle pick-up (20 per cent); service facility (18 per cent); service initiation (18 per cent); and service advisor (18 per cent).
Now in its 20th year, the study is based on responses from 3,050 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle between February 2016 and June 2018 and took their vehicle for service to an authorised dealer or service centre between February 2018 and June 2019.