Technology and service advisor training keys to customer satisfaction

by | May 2, 2024 | 0 comments

Key takeaways from the current J.D. Power U.S. customer service satisfaction survey point to where independent aftermarket facilities should focus on to win customers.

The J.D. Power 2024 U.S. Aftermarket Service Index (ASI) Study, which includes more than 10,000 survey respondents, also highlighted areas where franchised dealers outpace their independent competitors for service customers and dollars.

In addition, it provides some insights into how demographics are playing a role in how everyone tackles cusotmer service.

“This is a key opportunity for aftermarket providers to not only compete with franchised dealers on price, but also to add customer value with a quicker and easier service experience,” said Leonard Martin, director of automotive retail at J.D. Power. 

Following are key findings of the 2024 study:

Younger customers are harder to please

 J.D. Power defines generational groups as Pre-Boomers (born before 1946); Boomers (1946-1964); Gen X (1965-1976); Gen Y (1977-1994); and Gen Z (1995-2006). Millennials (1982-1994) are a subset of Gen Y.

Gen Z customers have lower satisfaction than do Gen Y customers with tire replacement (-15 points) and full-service maintenance and repair providers (-6). Service advisors are the key to turning this around.

“Younger customers are less likely to have a service provider with whom they are familiar, and they may need more guidance from advisors in order to build a trusting relationship,” Martin said. “This is an opportunity for aftermarket providers to create new long-time loyal customers when they have been provided with satisfying experiences.”

Photo/video documentation for recommended repairs

Multi-point inspections (MPI) are routine, but fewer than one-fourth (23%) of customers receive any kind of accompanying photo or video documentation. While doing so is more time-consuming for service staff, providing photo/video evidence of recommended repairs has a significant payoff, especially for tire replacement providers.

Of the customers who receive an MPI with photo/video, 51% have the recommended work done.

Without photo/video, only 24% of customers who receive an MPI have the work done.

Franchised dealerships more trustworthy in some areas

Dealerships have a higher level of customer trust than do aftermarket service facilities.

For example, ratings by dealership customers for the use of technology to make service more efficient average 6.09 (on a 7-point scale), compared with ratings by tire replacement customers, which average 5.90. Ratings by dealership customers for the ability to perform complex repairs on the vehicle average 6.12, while the average by customers of full-service maintenance and repair providers is 5.83.

Across each segment in the study, aftermarket service customers continue to find their provider easier to do business with (average of 6.26), while franchise dealer customers rate their service provider an average of 6.09.

“Aftermarket service providers should continue to focus on service advisor performance, courtesy and creating a welcoming environment for customers who wait at the facility,” said Martin.

“In addition, technology utilization can inspire transparency, trust and strong advocacy for the service provider.”


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