The study, now in its 12th year, measures customer satisfaction of vehicle owners who visit a dealer service department for maintenance or repair work during the fourth or fifth years of ownership, which is when the warranty expires. Overall customer satisfaction is based on six factors (in order of importance): service initiation; service advisor; service quality; user-friendly service; service delivery; and in-service experience.
Among the 34 dealer brands included in the study since 2007, nearly seven in 10 have improved since the previous year. Satisfaction is higher when customers visit the dealer for maintenance work than it is when customers visit the dealer for repair work, per the firm.
"Improvements in automotive product quality have resulted in the reduced need for repairs over time, which ultimately helps improve customer satisfaction with service, since customers are able to avoid unexpected and potentially inconvenient service visits," said Tom Gauer, senior director of automotive retail research at J.D. Power and Associates. "In addition, dealers have also improved their efforts to provide knowledgeable and courteous staff and a comfortable service experience."< p>