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 ›

Sales Satisfaction Up in Vietnam Market; Test Drive Can Make a Difference

Traffic on Vietnamese StreetOverall satisfaction with the new-vehicle purchase experience at the dealership has improved by 4 points in 2013 to an average 850 points (on a 1,000-point scale) from 846 points in 2012, according to our 2013 Vietnam Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study. Yet, even with this year’s higher satisfaction score, the study finds areas where dealers can improve sales satisfaction, including offering customers a test drive and spending more time with the buyer during the delivery process.

Offering a test drive—which averages 17 minutes in 2013, compared with 19 minutes in 2012 and 21 minutes in 2011—to new-vehicle buyers who visit a dealership in Vietnam can increase customer satisfaction with the sales process, the study finds. Slightly more than one-third (36%) of buyers actually test drive a vehicle. Continue reading ›

Sales Growth in the Philippines May Hinder New-Vehicle Sales Satisfaction

Mohit Arora

Mohit Arora

Despite the positive news of strong first-half new-vehicle sales gains in the Philippines—one of Southeast Asia’s smaller automotive markets—overall satisfaction with the new-vehicle purchase experience has declined by nine points from 2012, to 846 (on a 1,000-point scale), according to the 2013 Philippines Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study.

All factors measured in the study post lower index scores than in 2012 with the most notable dip being in the salesperson factor. Continue reading ›

Shorter Delivery Times in Japan Increases Sales Satisfaction Levels

Kimoto Taku NEW_C_Lg

Taku Kimoto

Customer satisfaction with the new-vehicle sales experience in Japan has improved as delivery times are nine days shorter on average than in 2012 when there were longer delays in delivery due to the initiation of an eco-car subsidy program, according to our 2013 Japan Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study.

This year, the average time for delivery to buyers of non-hybrid vehicles declines to 28 days from 34 days in 2012, and the delivery time for hybrids drops by 23 days and averages 50 days instead of 73 days. Among Japan’s domestic brands, Toyota—the largest seller of hybrid vehicles in Japan—and Honda, which had its production in 2012 negatively affected by flooding in Thailand, achieve notable reductions in delivery times. Continue reading ›

Sales Satisfaction in Taiwan Remains Flat Even with Market Inducements

TaipeiWEBA majority (85%) of new-vehicle buyers in Taiwan indicated that they received discounts on price, and a higher percentage of buyers also received free accessories and extended warranties from their selling dealer this year compared with 2012, according to our 2013 Taiwan Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study. At the same time, sales satisfaction in 2013 averages 890 points (on a 1,000-point scale), which is unchanged from 2012.

Inducements appear to be more popular this year as new-vehicle sales declined during the first half of the year, mostly driven by an uncertain economic climate, which caused customers to defer their purchase and wait for price cuts and possible government incentives. This year, satisfaction with the deal, one of the seven factors* contributing to satisfaction with the new-vehicle purchase and delivery experience that are examined in this study, has increased the most—up 12 points from 2012. Continue reading ›

Internet Plays a Major Role in Brazil’s New-Vehicle Sales Process

Jon Sederstrom-Final

Jon Sederstrom

New-vehicle shoppers in Brazil rely the most on information from their friends and relatives (45%), followed by research on the Internet (43%), to help them decide which make and model of vehicle to purchase, according to our 2013 Brazil Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study.* These two sources are cited more often than traditional information sources such as owners of the same vehicle (27%) or the salesperson or dealership owners (23%), based on our study, which evaluates more than 3,000 online interviews with Brazil’s new-vehicle owners one to seven months after their purchase.

A Little Background about Brazil as an Auto Market

Brazil is the fourth-largest new-vehicle market in the world, behind China, the United States and Japan. The country’s auto market is expected to grow by 3% in 2013 from 2012, when 3.6 million new light vehicles were sold in the country.

In addition to experiencing strong sales and growth, nearly one-half of consumers in Brazil have access to the Internet and nearly 55 million smartphones are in use in the country, which means that information gathered online is becoming a powerful and influential resource for new-vehicle shoppers. Continue reading ›

Overall Sales Satisfaction Improves Significantly from 2011

Chris Sutton

Overall sales satisfaction among both new-vehicle buyers and rejecters in 2012 averages 664 (on a 1,000-point scale), which is an improvement of 16 points from 648 in 2011, according to our 2012 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study. In addition, satisfaction with the selling dealer also advances by 5 points from 771 in 2011 to 776. Among the four measures* evaluated, satisfaction with the salesperson achieves the highest score this year.

Understanding Customer Needs Improves Satisfaction

Perceived pressure decreases when sales consultants establish a business relationship and understand customer needs. Among buyers whose salesperson asked them questions to determine their vehicle needs, only 21% perceive some or too much pressure from dealer sales staff, compared with 32% among those whose salesperson did not ask questions about their needs who perceive some or too much pressure. Continue reading ›

Lexus and Mini Again Rank Highest in Brand Sales Satisfaction

For a second straight year, Lexus ranks highest among luxury brands in satisfaction with the new-vehicle buying experience, and for a third consecutive year, Mini receives the highest satisfaction score among mass market brands, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study.SM

Rankings are based on evaluations of . . . Continue Reading Lexus and Mini Again Rank Highest in Brand Sales Satisfaction

Online Ratings/Review Sites, Social Networking Sites Influence Dealer Selection

Chris Sutton

New-vehicle buyers, 80% of which use the Internet during the shopping process, are much more likely to use an online ratings/review site than a social networking site to select a dealer, according to our 2012 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study. Yet, our study finds that satisfaction with the dealership experience is significantly higher among new-vehicle buyers who consult social networking sites than among those new-vehicle buyers who use ratings/review sites.

For years, a majority of new-vehicle buyers have accessed the Internet to research model information, vehicle features, configurations and pricing. However, this year’s study also finds that nearly one-third consult online ratings/review sites. These neutral online ratings/review sites are playing a key role in whether a buyer will be willing to visit a dealership. Continue reading ›

New-Vehicle Sales Satisfaction in Malaysia Declines; Nissan Ranks Highest

Mohit Arora

Although new-vehicle owner satisfaction with service at authorized service centers in Malaysia—especially for national makes Perodua and Proton—increases 22 points (on a 1,000-point scale) from 2011, satisfaction with the new-vehicle sales and delivery process declines by 18 points from a year ago, to an average of 781, according to our 2012 Malaysia Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study.

Highlights of findings from the 2012 Malaysia SSI Study, which is based on responses from 2,451 new-vehicle owners who made their purchase between August 2011 and April 2012, are as follows:

• Fewer new-vehicle owners are highly satisfied with their purchase experience in 2012, in spite of an increase in the implementation of sales standards across the industry.

• Satisfaction is down especially for first-time new-vehicle owners, and these owners account for a majority of new-vehicle owners. Continue reading ›