Mahindra tops the chart in JD Power’s India tractor customer service index

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 31 Aug 2018

File image of Mahindra & Mahindra delivering 1,000 tractors to customers in Nagpur.

Domestic and global tractor major, Mahindra has added another feather to its cap, the company which is not only the largest Indian tractor brand but also the world’s largest selling tractor brand, has topped the chart in terms of after-sales service satisfaction with a score of 831 (out of 1,000), with the second spot also being held by Mahindra Swaraj (825) and John Deere (822).

The JD Power 2018 India Tractor Customer Service Index (CSI) Study was based on responses from 3,835 tractor owners across 14 states. The study was fielded from January 2018 to May 2018 and includes owners who purchased a new tractor between January 2016 and May 2017 from an authorised dealership. The study now in its fourth year, examined satisfaction among tractor owners who visited an authorised service centre for maintenance or repair work in the last 12 months.

The overall customer satisfaction is based on a combined score of the service satisfaction and parts operation indices. The service satisfaction index measures overall satisfaction across four factors (listed in order of importance): service quality; service engineer; service initiation; and service handover. The parts operation index captures satisfaction across five attributes: availability of parts; speed of parts delivery; parts value for money; quality of parts; and correct identification of parts required.

According to the study customer satisfaction with tractor after-sales service is higher (up 28 points on a 1,000-point scale) when owners choose to have their tractor serviced at their own premises, compared to when they would have liked but are not offered this door-step service option by their dealer, according to the study.

The study found that 58 percent of tractor owners received offers from their dealer to service their tractor at the owner’s premises, with 41 percent of customers selecting this service. Additionally, around 34 percent of customers opting for the door-step service had a better-than-expected overall service experience than those who would have liked but were not offered the service (20%).

Commenting on the findings, Yukti Arora, practice lead, Agriculture and Construction Equipment, JD Power said: “In a rapidly transforming sector influenced by growing innovation, customer expectations of what defines an exceptional service experience keep changing. Customers expect a convenient and personalised service from their dealer network that is accessible to them through multiple channels. While the industry is making consistent efforts to improve the customer experience, current service offerings are often seen as inconsistent and disjointed. Manufacturers and dealers need to shift the focus from transactional sales and service practices to initiatives that meet their customers’ unique requirements in the most timely and cost-efficient way.”

 The study also found that satisfaction with service increases when tractor owners receive proactive reminders from their dealers about routine maintenance appointments, compared to when customers have to visit the dealer for arranging their service or repair work (827 vs. 807, respectively). However, only 1 in 5 tractor owners were contacted by their dealer to arrange for their service visit.

The study highlighted that:

  • Focus of after-sales services differs by region: Western states have the highest proportion of dealerships proactively contacting their customers for service. Southern states have the highest percentage of customers whose tractor was serviced at the customer’s premises during their most recent service. Northern states have the highest proportion of customers indicating that their tractor was returned to them cleaner after servicing. And Eastern states have the highest percentage of customers saying their service engineer was courteous and attentive to their requirements. 
  • Wait time for parts impacts service satisfaction: Customer satisfaction is 73 points higher when the dealer supplies parts on the same day or immediately when ordered, compared to when dealers take three or more days (838 vs. 765, respectively).
  • Dealer loyalty is up: Overall dealer loyalty and advocacy rates increase in 2018, as 62 percent of tractor owners say they “definitely would” revisit their authorised dealer for maintenance or repair work, compared with 53 percent in 2017. Furthermore, 64 percent say they “definitely would”, recommend their authorised dealer to a colleague or friend, compared with 54 percent last year.