J.D. Power and Associates lists 3 reasons why customers love Lexus service
Drivers know that owning a car isn’t always back-roads cruising with the top down on sunny days. There comes a time when the car needs maintenance or a repair. How that service appointment goes makes a lasting impression on owners. If the experience is bad, they may reconsider buying from that automaker the next time they shop. If the experience is better than expected, brand loyalty starts to build. Since owners spend very little time in the showroom buying a new car compared to the time they spend during service appointments, manufacturers have a big interest in making service visits a positive experience.
The J.D. Power survey reveals that drivers are happier with dealer based service compared to independent garages. One reason for this is that overall there has been an increase in visits to dealer service facilities for maintenance rather than for repairs. Since maintenance visits are less stressful and more predictable, they tend to be more positive experiences overall. The J.D. Power and Associates survey found that 72 percent of visits to dealer service centers were for maintenance. This is not an accident. In order to increase happy visits by new owners, many brands, including Lexus, offer the first couple of maintenance visits at no charge.
The survey also revealed that despite the tough economy, 79 percent of cars less than 3 years old are serviced by dealers rather than local shops. That continues a 3 year increase. Overall satisfaction was found to improve in all measured areas as well. Dealers are clearly making gains.
J.D. Power and Associates calls the study the 2012 U.S. Customer Service Index (CSI) StudySM. The ratings it gives are called CSI scores. Lexus was tops again among premium automakers with the top score of 861. The reasons Lexus did well wer it had very strong scores in the areas of 1) service initiation, 2) service quality, and 3) service facility. This is no surprise. Owners of Lexus cars know that all of the dealerships which are upgraded or new have comfortable cafés. Customers are offered breakfast foods, fancy coffee, or lunch at no charge. Contrasted with many other brands who offer plastic chairs, coffee machines asking for change, and a TV blaring children’s shows, it is clear why Lexus has done well in the area of dealer facilities. Chris Norftill, the Operations Manager at Herb Chambers Lexus of Sharon, MA, summed up the philosophy of the dealership and its service area with this statement to Torque News: “Herb chambers Lexus will treat each customer as we would a guest in our home.”
J.D. Power and Associates considers MINI A “Mass Market” brand and Mini took the top spot with a CSI score of 809. Buick and GMC followed closely. Audi and Nissan were the brands from each category given kudos for “most improved.”
Lexus and MINI continue to win service awards based on a combination of great service and wise marketing practices to provide customers with a positive service experience.
Image by J.D. Power. Used with permission.