It may be the frequent butt of jokes, but a new study shows that the auto industry outperforms several other industries, including retail and wireless services, when it comes to providing a quality customer service experience. Savvy dealerships have discovered that delivering good customer service has a direct impact on their bottom line.
A Maritz Research benchmark study compared customer service expectations across 11 industries and 34 types of transactions. Specifically for automotive transactions, customers were asked about experiences purchasing or leasing a vehicle from new car dealerships and having their vehicles serviced there.
Three in four customers rated their experience among the highest ratings on a 10-point scale when purchasing a vehicle or having it serviced.
"With so many dealerships vying for business with increased competition, ensuring quality customer experience during the buying and servicing process is incredibly important," said Scott Pimley, strategic consulting director of Maritz Research’s Automotive Research Group. "Our findings demonstrate that personnel at automotive dealerships recognize how providing a good experience can create loyal customers and benefit the dealership’s bottom line."
When asked more detailed questions about their automotive sales experience, 74.5 percent of customers said they were satisfied. The study also identified key factors in driving this customer satisfaction. Customers rated their experience with the sales process as the most important aspect, followed by dealership honesty, the dealership keeping promises, vehicle delivery process and financing/paperwork process as additional indicators of satisfaction.
When it came to automotive service, 74.9 percent of customers said they were satisfied, citing dealership honesty as the most important factor in driving their satisfaction. Additional key factors included quality of repair, timeliness of service, drop-off and service write-off process, vehicle pickup process and vehicle fixed right the first time.
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