Subaru Significantly Improves their Customer Satisfaction; How Did they Jump Ahead of Toyota?
Subaru has significantly improved their Customer Service Index (CSI) rating with new Outback, Forester and Crosstrek owners. J.D. Power says the small Japanese automaker is now ahead of Toyota in their latest 2017 study. Last year, Subaru was below the Mass Market Brand average with a score of 793. This year, Subaru is eleven points higher (818 points) and is 3 points higher than Toyota (815) which is surprising. In 2016, Toyota was much higher (16 points) than Subaru. How did Subaru improve so much in one year?
What the CSI study measures
What the J.D. Power Customer Service Index indicates is the quality of customer service owners of a brand experience when they take their car in for service at the dealer. The study shows customer satisfaction in five areas: service quality, service advisor, service initiation, service facility and vehicle pick-up. It measures customer satisfaction with the service they received for maintenance or repair work among owners and lessees of 1- to 5-year-old vehicles.
How Subaru improved their CSI rating
Subaru dealers in the U.S. have been receiving large incentives from parent company Fuji Heavy Industries to expand and renovate their service-shop capacity in a new program called Fixed Operations Expansion, or FOX. The program started in late 2013, and around two-thirds of its U.S. dealerships have used the money to expand their service-shop capacity. Subaru of America has been growing so fast, many dealers outgrew their facilities, and the expansion was vital to keep Outback, Forester, Crosstrek, Impreza, WRX/STI, BRZ and Legacy customers happy and coming back. What are customers experiencing now?
In 2014, customers were waiting anywhere from 3-5 days to get an appointment to get their Outback, Forester, or Crosstrek serviced. In 2017, Subaru customers are experiencing much less or no wait time and are having a better overall experience. The FOX money was well spent and it’s helping the small Japanese automaker improve their CSI rating in a big way. In 2017, Subaru has significantly improved their customer satisfaction in the service area, and even jump ahead of Toyota. Subaru knows, happy customers turn into loyal customers.
Photo credit: Subaru