The dealer service departments of Lexus and Mini offer the best overall dealer service satisfaction, according to a new J.D. Power and Associates study. Customers are also more impressed with car dealerships compared to their nondealer competitors. In a statement, Chris Sutton, senior director at J.D. Power and Associates, said that overall dealer service satisfaction is higher when there are “steady improvements in vehicle quality, longer intervals between recommended service visits and a higher mix of maintenance service events.”
Sutton also said that to raise satisfaction with the purchase experience as well as the after-sales service, manufacturers and their dealers have established broad-based customer service improvement initiatives.
Under the latest J.D. Power's annual U.S. Customer Service Index study, the dealer service departments achieved an average of 787 points on a 1,000-point scale – higher by 19 points compared to the previous year. On the other hand, the nondealer facilities had an average of 749 points.
J.D. Power analyzes how satisfied vehicle owners are when they visit a service department for maintenance or repair work. These rankings are based on dealer service performance for the first three years of ownership. The satisfaction with dealer service is measured using five factors: service quality, service initiation, service adviser, service facility and vehicle pickup.
For the fourth consecutive year, Lexus scored the highest score in customer satisfaction with dealer service. For this year, it took 861 points. Lexus was followed by Cadillac (with 852 points), Jaguar (with 849 points), Acura (with 838 points) and Porsche (with 836 points).
Audi improved the most from 2011, increasing by 34 points to 828. The mass market brands had much lower scores than the luxury automakers. In this segment, BMW's Mini took the top spot for the second straight year with 809 points. Trailing Mini were Buick (805), GMC (803), Chevrolet (801) and Hyundai (791). The companies that improved the most were Nissan (with a climb of 43 points to 774) and Toyota (which had 31 points more to 766).