J.D. Power and Associates’ annual survey recognized GMC as well as two other General Motors brands, as among the top five volume makes for customer satisfaction with the dealership service department. It has become apparent that as automakers and stores spend higher to improve customer service, the overall customer satisfaction with dealership service departments also improves.
For the first time ever, GMC beat all the volume brands (with a score of 819 of a possible 1,000) at J.D. Power's 2013 U.S. Customer Service Index. It did better than last year’s top-placer Mini, which now scored 810, earning it the second spot. Third place went to Buick (with an 809 score); fourth place went to Chevrolet (806); and Volkswagen (804) took fifth place.
The volume brand that improved the most from last year is Scion with a 24-point increase to 776. The lone brand to record a decline is Kia, with an eight-point drop to 774. Other brands that demonstrated significant gains in the latest survey are Nissan, Dodge, Mitsubishi, Chrysler and Volkswagen.
Ending up at the bottom are three Chrysler Group brands -- Jeep, Ram and Dodge. It should be noted that GMC, Buick and Chevrolet made it to last year’s top five. When interviewed, Chris Sutton, senior director at J.D. Power and Associates, said that GMC did “extremely well” when it comes to service quality and service initiation, which also means that customers are able to have an appointment on their preferred date.
GM, which is headed by Mark Reuss (North America President), has prioritized customer satisfaction with sales and service at the dealership in order to create brand loyalty and for its market share in the U.S. to go back to its former glory.
The additional cash from GM’s Essential Brand Elements program is funding major storefront and showroom improvements at many of GM's 4,500 Chevrolet, Cadillac and Buick-GMC dealerships. From an Automotive News estimate based on GM documents about this program, we’ve learned that GM will have expenses of over $5 billion on the improvements over seven years (or until 2016).