When it comes to repairs and maintenance, J.D. Power and Associates said dealerships are doing better at getting the work done correctly the first time and meeting the deadline. J.D. Power and Associates just announced its 2006 Service Usage and Retention Study, reporting that 86 percent of owners who took their vehicle to a dealership for repair said the work was done right the first time, up from 72 percent in 2001. Moreover, 87 percent of consumers said their dealership had the vehicle ready when promised, up from 8 percent half a decade ago. "Time is important in every aspect of consumers' lives, and auto service customers, especially younger customers, are very sensitive to time," explained Jeff Zupancic, director of automotive retail research at J.D. Power. "Any dealership process or event that extends the service visit or causes repeat dealer visits significantly erodes satisfaction," he continued. "Despite the importance of time to customer satisfaction, this has been a difficult challenge for dealerships to overcome." The survey found that many dealerships' personnel are working hard to get the repairs done correctly the first and their hard work is paying off. Overall, customer satisfaction with the dealer service experience increased seven index points from 2005 to 825, out of a possible 1,000. A total of 89 percent of consumers questioned who have used a dealership service report said they were able to get a service appointment on the day they wanted. When arriving at the dealership, 48 percent of respondents said they were greeted immediately by a service advisor, while another 38 percent said they had to wait less than five minutes. Moreover, of those surveyed who had their vehicle repaired at a dealership, 85 percent said the vehicle was fixed the same day they dropped it off. Only 6 percent of customers reported they had to wait three or more days for their vehicle to be ready. When the work on their vehicle was completed, 67 percent of those questioned said it took five minutes or less to fill out the appropriate paperwork and drive off with their vehicle. When it comes to premium brands, J.D. Power said Lexus, Cadillac and Acura perform particularly well in satisfying a customer with the service experience after four or five years of ownership. As for non-premium brands, Buick and Saturn took top marks. Moreover, J.D. Power executives said Goodyear Tire and Firestone Tire service centers perform well among non-dealer service facilities. The study was based on responses from 11,596 owners of 2001 and 2002 model-year vehicles, executives said.
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