Satisfaction Surges if Dealers Use Mobile Devices to Enhance Sales Process

Chris Sutton

Chris Sutton

Satisfaction is highest among new-vehicle buyers who are presented with pricing/payment options on a computer screen or a tablet (833 on a 1,000-point scale) during the sales process, according to our 2013 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study, which is based on responses from 29,040 new-vehicle buyers or lessees, who completed their transaction in April or May 2013.

Using technology continues to make a major difference in enhancing the buyer’s or lessee’s sales experience at the dealership. Specifically, when a dealership salesperson uses a tablet device during the sales process with new-vehicle buyers, satisfaction is 52 points higher on average (844) than when a salesperson does not use a tablet during the sales experience (792). Satisfaction with a salesperson using a computer printout (820) receives the next highest score, followed by verbal price quotes (792); and lastly, written figures (780).

Our 2013 U.S. SSI Study finds that tablets are proving to be particularly versatile and effective tools and may help maintain consistency during the sales process, while providing accessible and dynamic product information. Yet, we also see that tablet usage among dealership salespeople remains relatively limited—only 10% of dealership salespeople use these devices. On a positive note, that’s still up from 7% in 2012. Continue reading ›

Overall Rental Car Satisfaction is Not Only About Price

 Rick Garlick

Rick Garlick

Although more than one-third (35%) of rental car customers at airport locations mention low price as the top reason for selecting their rental car company, those business and leisure/personal customers who select a rental car agency based on price are the least satisfied with their overall rental car experience, according to our 2013 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study.

The study finds that satisfaction among those customers who choose a rental vehicle based on price averages just 756 (on a 1,000-point scale), which is 72 points lower than the average satisfaction score of 828 among customers who choose a rental car company based on good customer service.

There is some good news about customer satisfaction in this year’s study. Customer satisfaction with the rental car experience among more than 12,382 customers averages 775, which is the highest average index since the study’s methodology was redesigned in 2006. The overall satisfaction score also is 6 points higher than in 2012. Continue reading ›

Thorough Explanations Enhance After-Sales Service Satisfaction in Vietnam

Vietnam01New-vehicle owners in Vietnam prefer to have the type and scope of maintenance or repair work explained prior to their service visit and after the work is completed at the dealer or authorized service center, according to our 2013 Vietnam Customer Service Index (CSI) Study. When a service advisor provides explanations at the beginning and completion of work, satisfaction improves significantly—by 24 points (on a 1,000-point scale). Continue reading ›

J.D. Power Roundtable Speaker Defines “Connected Auto Consumers”

Arianne Walker

Arianne Walker

Today’s digital lifestyle has a growing impact on the auto industry. Understanding how consumers who are in the market for a vehicle are “using digital information and how they are connected,” was a key focus in speeches and discussions at the recent J.D. Power Automotive Marketing Roundtable at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, NV.

Arianne Walker, senior director of media and marketing solutions at J.D. Power, introduced the October conference with highlights of trends in automotive Internet usage based on J.D. Power research. She also spoke about the rise in digital media consumption and identified how different devices—smartphones and tablets—are being used to gather information mostly at home, but also on the go—smartphones are also used for auto shopping on the dealer lot. Walker also discussed trends in content with social media and video and how traditional companies are reformulating automotive content in new ways. Continue reading ›

Faster Claims Settlement, Better First Notice of Loss Explanation Drive Satisfaction

Jeremy Bowler

Jeremy Bowler

Overall customer satisfaction with handling of auto insurance claims rises three points to 855 (on a 1,000-point scale) from 852 in 2012, mainly due to higher scores in managing the first notice of loss (FNOL) process and also providing quicker payments to claimants, according to the J.D. Power 2013 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.SM

Among factors evaluated, overall satisfaction with first notice of loss improves by four points due to insurers providing better explanations to claimants of both the policy coverage and claims process, the study finds. Satisfaction with claims settlement improves by three points as insurers are paying faster—over half (51%) of claimants received their payment within eight days of the FNOL in 2013, which is up from 45% in 2012.

Continue reading ›

J.D. Power’s Founder Focuses on Speed of Change during Casual Q&A

Jessica Migdol Garcia and founder J.D. (Dave) Power, III

Jessica Migdol Garcia interviews founder J.D. (Dave) Power, III, during a McGraw-Hill WINS Follow the Sun event in Westlake Village, CA.

In a recent Q&A interview at the J.D. Power office in Westlake Village, CA, founder J.D. (Dave) Power, III, spoke with Jessica Migdol Garcia, senior manager, business development, about a few memorable moments from the research firm’s history. He talked about the impact J.D. Power has had in improving the quality of products—especially cars and trucks—and said that a key challenge will be to manage consumer-focused digital research with the lightning speed of change due to the Internet. Continue reading ›

Reliability and Price are Key Priorities for Mexico’s New-Vehicle Owners

Gerardo Gomez

New-vehicle owners in Mexico say the most important reasons for choosing their car or truck are a vehicle’s durability and reliability and its purchase price, according to our 2013 Mexico Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study (VOSS). Fuel efficiency is the third most important, according to the study.

The 2013 Mexico VOSS, which is based on responses from 5,497 vehicle owners in major auto markets throughout Mexico, finds that consumers want extra assurance that their vehicle will be dependable. More than one-half (60%) of owners say their 2011 and 2012-model year vehicles are covered by the original manufacturer’s warranty. Another 16% of owners say their vehicle is covered under an extended warranty, and 9% say their vehicle is covered under a pre-paid service agreement.

Price is particularly important to Mexico’s vehicle owners since, on average, the purchase price of a new vehicle may be equal to 1-2 years of disposable household income. In addition, the average annual price of insurance may be high for many consumers in Mexico—sometimes it may be equal to as much as a month’s salary. Continue reading ›

Luxury Brands in India Must Reinforce a Premium Image During Sales Experience

Mohit Arora

Mohit Arora

The luxury vehicle market in India has grown in recent years, with premium sales reaching 26,000 units in 2013. This number is expected to triple to 84,000 units by 2020, according to our strategic partner LMC Automotive. In addition, an increase in the number of luxury models available in India, coupled with attractive financial options that enhance affordability, has helped the luxury market to grow.

Success, however, brings with it additional challenges for premium brands. Sales growth adds pressure for luxury brands to differentiate themselves from the mass market brands. According to findings in our 2013 India Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study, overall satisfaction with the sales experience in the luxury segment averages 873 points on a 1,000-point scale. Although the luxury segment average is 31 points higher than the massmarket segment average (842), this index score is not a major differentiator for these brands, based on study results.

The price of luxury vehicles is much higher than the price of mass market vehicles. We see that customers expect luxury brands to provide a truly differentiated experience to enhance the value of ownership of these vehicles. The current network of dealers does not provide the level of differentiation expected to reinforce the premium image of luxury brands among these more demanding customers. Continue reading ›

Superior Website Experience in China Boosts Test Drive, Purchase Intent

Dr. Mei Songlin

Dr. Mei Songlin

When new-vehicle shoppers in China have a satisfying experience using a manufacturer’s website for research, there is a higher chance that they will take a test drive and purchase a particular brand vehicle, according to the 2013 China Brand Website Evaluation Study (BWES).

The inaugural online study measures the usefulness of automaker websites at the brand level during the new-vehicle shopping process, based on four key factors (in order of weight or importance): information and content (27%); appearance (25%); speed (24%); and navigation (23%). All scores in this study are based on a 1,000-point scale.

China New-Vehicle Buyers More Satisfied with Website Speed

Speed achieves the highest satisfaction score (730) among the four factors measured, while information and content receives the lowest score (720). We observe that new-vehicle shoppers indicate a strong need for sufficient information related to entertainment systems and fuel efficiency. Continue reading ›

New-Vehicle Buyers in Thailand are More Informed Before Showroom Visits

Traffic on Thai StreetNew-vehicle buyers in Thailand use an average of three sources to gather information before visiting a dealership—up from an average of 2.5 sources in 2012, according to the 2013 Thailand Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study. A larger percentage of Thai new-car buyers also use the Internet (45%) than in the previous year (33%).

A few more highlights from this year’s study:

• Overall sales satisfaction averages 904 (on a 1,000-point scale), a 4-point improvement from 2012. Continue reading ›