Dealers closing gap on aftermarket for service

Vehicle owners in Canada still favour aftermarket auto service providers over dealerships, but dealers are doing better, according to J.D. Power’s 2017 Canadian Customer Service Index Long-Term (CSI-LT) Study. Dealerships are closing the gap with scores showing an average increase of 30 points over 2016.

Non-dealer auto service providers have a higher average of customer satisfaction, including areas like service initiation (797 vs. 778 on a 1,000-point scale), service advisor (798 vs. 781), vehicle pickup  (773 vs. 751) and service quality (765 vs. 745).

Dealers are not far behind in these categories. Their scores have improved by an average of 30 points over 2016. They also provide a better facility experience.

Overall, the study shows how customer satisfaction is at the core of every viable business — including both dealer and non-dealer auto service providers.

“The study clearly demonstrates the importance of maintaining high satisfaction levels in retaining loyal customers who also act as brand ambassadors and recommend their vehicle service provider,” said J.D. Ney, senior manager of the Canadian automotive practice at J.D. Power.

“The higher the customer satisfaction score, the higher the likelihood of the vehicle owner returning to the facility for paid work,” he said.

The report also points out the importance of service advisors and their role in improving business performance by providing the customer with a positive experience. Service providers that are equipped with the right tools, training and knowledge can help drive satisfied and returning clients, according to Ney.

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Canadian auto dealer