If the findings of the JD Power 2015 India Customer Service Index Study are anything to go by, then India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki also ranks highest in customer satisfaction with aftersales service among mass market brands for a record 16th consecutive year. This is also reflected in Maruti Suzuki’s glowing fiscal numbers – its net profit has risen 42% in Q2 FY2016. The carmaker, which launched the new Baleno earlier this month, has sold 628,963 units in April-September 2015, a 12.7% year-on-year growth, which points to customers’ satisfaction with owning a Maruti car.
The study measures overall customer satisfaction on a 1,000-point scale, with a higher score indicating higher satisfaction. Maruti Suzuki, with a score of 906, performs well across all factors, with the greatest improvements in service initiation followed by service facility. Honda Cars India ranks second with a score of 880. These are the only two carmakers in the country which have performed above the industry average score of 866. All the other OEMs including Hyundai Motors, Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, Nissan Motor India, GM India, Ford India, Renault India, Fiat Chrysler Auto India, Volkswagen India and Skoda India rank below the industry average.
Going the extra mile pays dividends
The study’s findings released today, point out that rigorous implementation of processes, faster vehicle turnaround and enhanced customer facilities at service workshops by auto manufacturers have resulted in an increase in customer satisfaction with aftersales service.
The study, now in its 19th year, examines satisfaction among vehicle owners who visit an authorised dealership service centre for maintenance or repair work between the first 12 to 24 months of vehicle ownership. The study measures overall satisfaction in five factors (listed in order of importance): service quality (43%); vehicle pick-up (17%); service advisor (14%); service facility (14%); and service initiation (11%). Overall, service satisfaction in the mass market segment improves by 10 points to 866 in 2015 from 856 in 2014. The increase is attributed to strong improvements across all factors, with the greatest improvement in service initiation (+14 points).
“Vehicle manufacturers aren’t just servicing cars today; they’re going the extra mile to provide an aftersales experience that is truly memorable and satisfying for their customers,” said Mohit Arora, executive director, JD Power. “We’re seeing an increase in manufacturers that are focused on delivering a high-quality after-sales experience to customers. With enhanced dealership facilities, better network reach and rigor in process implementation, dealerships have been able to effectively manage and deliver on customer expectations.”
Interestingly, just one in six customers indicates their dealership picked up and dropped off their vehicle from their desired location. Providing the pick-up and drop-off service has a significant impact on satisfaction, rising 20 points above the overall mass market average when this occurs (886 vs 866, respectively).
Additionally, dealerships are offering more amenities at their service centres for their customers’ convenience, including air-conditioned waiting lounges, Internet access, TV, comfortable seating space, refreshment counters and valet parking. Satisfaction among customers who experience one or more of these amenities increases by 42 points to 908, compared with 852 when they don’t, the study showed.
The study finds that 85 percent of customers receive their vehicles back on the same day of service, up from 70 percent in 2014. Same-day delivery also has a significant impact on satisfaction. Satisfaction among customers who receive their vehicle on the same day of service is 873, compared with 822 among those whose vehicle is not delivered on the same day.
The 2015 India Customer Service Index Study is based on evaluations from 7,468 vehicle owners. The study was fielded from May through August 2015 and includes owners who purchased their vehicle between May 2013 and August 2014.
More from JD Power Study:
- Luxury car buyers in India happiest with Audi
- New Indian buyers increasingly considering bigger cars
- Mahindra and Toyota best at keeping customers happy