What is Subaru's customer service like after driving a 2022 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, or Ascent off the retailer's lot? The 2022 J.D. Power Customer Service Index Study (CSI) is out, and Subaru improves again.
J.D. Power says the study measures customer satisfaction for maintenance or repair work among owners and lessees of one- to three-year-old Subaru vehicles. The CSI study measures five areas, with weighted scores combined into a composite number for each brand. The five weighted areas are service quality, service adviser, vehicle pickup, service facility, and service initiation.
photo credit: Michael's Subaru
How is Subaru doing in customer service?
You can have the best car, but it can ruin your new car experience if the service is lousy. Subaru moved from tenth to seventh place this year in the mainstream brand's overall customer satisfaction index ranking.
Based on a 1,000 point scale, the overall mainstream brand customer service average satisfaction score in the 2022 CSI study was 848. Subaru is steadily improving and has shown continual improvement over the past five years. Subaru of America retailers score 852 points in 2022, up from last year's 843 points. In 2020, Subaru scored 831 overall for mainstream brands, and in 2019 Subaru scored 829.
photo credit: Michael's Subaru
The top 10 mainstream car brands in customer service
Mini ranks number one among mainstream automakers, followed by Buick, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and GMC, making up the top five brands. Chevrolet, Subaru, Nissan, Toyota, and Dodge finish out the top 10 brands. They are followed by Ford, Ram, Honda, Jeep, Kia, Volkswagen, Hyundai, and, last place Chrysler.
"Dealer service departments are in a pivotal position to improve customer satisfaction and provide greater customer convenience, even though many challenges, including the parts supply chain disruption and the availability of new-vehicle loaners, are out of their control," Chris Sutton, vice president of automotive retail at J.D. Power, said in a written statement.
Subaru is making steady progress in CSI
Subaru dealers in the U.S. started receiving significant incentives from Subaru Corporation in 2013 to expand and renovate their service-shop capacity in a new program called Fixed Operations Expansion, or FOX. Subaru says almost two-thirds of its U.S. dealerships have used the money to expand their service-shop capacity.
You would rather be enjoying your Subaru
Your time is valuable, and you want to get your vehicle in and out as fast as possible so you can enjoy your new Subaru. You want to be treated with courtesy by a knowledgeable service advisor and have a clean, comfortable waiting area where you can relax or work on your laptop. You also want to be charged a fair price for routine maintenance and repairs.
Because Subaru of America grew fast in the last twelve years, many retailers outgrew their facilities. Service department expansion was vital to keep new customers happy and returning. Subaru's FOX program paid off because Subaru just moved from tenth to seventh place overall among mainstream brands.
If a new all-wheel-drive 2022 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, Ascent, or other new model is on your shopping list, current customers are more satisfied than in previous years with their service department experience.
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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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Photo credit: Michael's Subaru