Hands-Free Device Owners More Satisfied Despite Problems

David Amodeo

New-vehicle owners and lessees who have hands-free communication devices in their vehicles are more delighted with their vehicle’s audio/entertainment/navigation (AEN) systems than those who do not have hands-free communication devices in their vehicles, according to findings in our 2012 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study.

This contrasts with results in our 2012 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS), in which the audio/entertainment/navigation (AEN) system category, which includes evaluation of hands-free communication devices, has the highest average problem count among all categories analyzed, and is linked to lower vehicle quality. In fact, the number of problems in this category has grown during the past few years, partly due to a higher number of problems reported for hands-free communication devices. Continue reading ›

Four Auto Brands Recognized as J.D. Power 2012 Customer Service Champions

Gina Pingitore

Four automotive nameplates—Cadillac, Jaguar, Lexus and MINI—are among 50 brands that stand out in customer service excellence this year and are recognized as 2012 J.D. Power 2012 Customer Service Champions in the second annual cross-industry special report, “Beyond Satisfaction: Brands that Deliver Service Excellence to Maximize Business Results.”

To be identified as a J.D. Power Customer Service Champion, each of the auto brands had to achieve among the highest customer satisfaction levels in their own industry, as well as across multiple industries, in five key areas (the J.D. Power 5Ps) that include Presentation, Price, Process, Product and People. These drivers of excellence* in customer satisfaction are proven to influence key outcomes during the purchase and post-purchase (vehicle service) experiences.

Service Excellence Hinges More on People than on Price

It’s noteworthy that since the onset of the recession in 2008, the importance of using People to ensure real-time response, personalized service and problem resolution continues to be more important than Price as a driver of satisfaction.While value for the price paid is still important, it’s the service experience delivered by an organization’s people that can truly differentiate a brand and foster customer loyalty and advocacy.

The four auto brands that stand out in customer service this year recognize the importance of People in the service experience. Each provides a level of sales service that is significantly above industry average, as identified in our 2011 Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study. It’s notable that each brand applies less sales pressure than the industry average, while at the same time thoroughly explaining the vehicle’s features to the new owner. Continue reading ›