Meeting growing expectations of younger customers is becoming crucial for dealerships in India, J.D. Power finds.
Selling a product or service will only get you income, but satisfying the customer's need will get you a sustainable growing business. The statement holds true globally, be it big or small, domestic or international, any service or product needs to give a positive experience to the customer to be successful. And when it comes to cars, which are both mobility providers and an extension of one's personality, a high level of satisfaction is a direct driver to sales.
In its 22nd year, the 2018 J D Power Customer Service Index (CSI) (Mass-market) study, released today finds that customers who are 30 years and younger expect a higher quality service experience when their vehicle is being serviced. The study says it has become significant for the automotive industry in India to improve the service experience as it continues to see an influx of younger customers, with 28 percent of the customers who visit dealerships aged 30 years or younger.
The 2018 study finds that when it comes to service processes, younger customers have higher expectations at the dealerships compared to the more mature customers. For the customer, key service process encompasses several aspects such as the performance of a thorough multi-point inspection around the vehicle; listening back and repeating all customer requests; review and explanation of the work pre- and post-service; and regular vehicle status updates.
The study measured new-vehicle owner satisfaction with the aftersales service process by examining dealership performance in five factors (listed in order of importance): service quality (30%); service initiation (18%); service facility (18%); service advisor (17%); and vehicle pick-up (17%). The study examined service satisfaction in the mass market segment.
The company said that satisfaction with the entire service process was lower among these younger customers than among those who are older than 30 years (825 vs. 848, respectively, on a 1,000-point scale).
Commenting on the study findings, Kaustav Roy, regional director, JD Power, said: "India’s population is expected to be among the youngest in the world by 2020. This shift in demographics will likely further attract more customers in this age group to dealerships, so it is imperative to understand the needs of this set of customers in terms of convenience, speed and transparency. The dealers will then be in a better position to meet the expectations of this demographic by providing a superior service experience and, in turn, enhancing customer loyalty.”
The survey finds that the propensity to go back or recommend the dealer for post-warranty service is lower among younger customers compared to those who are older— 45 percent of younger customers said they 'definitely will' recommend their dealer and return for post-warranty service, compared to 55 percent of the older customers who said the same.
KEY FINDINGS OF THE 2018 CSI STUDY
Digitisation helps drive satisfaction: More than half (58%) of customers said that the service advisor used a tablet during the service initiation process. The satisfaction among these customers was higher than among those who did not experience the same (879 vs. 778, respectively).
Engagement drives revenue: satisfaction was higher among customers who accepted their service advisor’s recommendation for additional service work to be performed than among those who did not accept the recommendations (866 vs.775, respectively). Furthermore, the customers who accepted additional work generated 12 percent more revenue than those who did not agree to the advisor’s recommendations.
More customers waiting at dealership during service: In the last five years, the proportion of customers waiting at the dealership during the entire service experience has grown to 31 percent in 2018 from 21 percent in 2014. This increase is a result of the faster service turnaround time, with 55 percent of customers who chose to wait at the dealership saying they received their vehicle back within three hours.
The 2018 India Customer Service Index (Mass Market) Study is based on responses from 9,045 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle between March 2015 and August 2017. The study was fielded from March through August 2018.
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