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Aftermarket Satisfaction: J.D. Power finds key service in customer satisfaction 

Toronto, Ontario — Acknowledging customers upon arrival at an aftermarket service facility can significantly improve customer satisfaction scores; specifically those for full-service maintenance and repair or quick repair jobs, said a recent J.D. Power study.

“Satisfaction is highest in all three segments among customers who receive recommendations for—and accept—additional work,” J.D. Power wrote.

Satisfaction scores decline when customers wait more than three minutes before being acknowledged, according to the 2021 U.S. Aftermarket Service Index (ASI) StudySM fueled by SurveyMonkey, which was released on January 14 and initially launched in 2019. 

“Simple things—like explaining to customers about the facility’s cleaning protocols—can make the difference between whether or not they willingly plan to return for future business or will recommend it to others,” Sutton said in a statement. “Aftermarket service providers should pay special attention to simple actions that can enhance the customer experience,” according to Sutton.

One of every 10 customers waits more than five minutes before speaking with someone at a service facility,” said Chris Sutton, vice president of automotive retail at J.D. Power. “Seeing as how the pandemic has affected service volume, it’s really important to do a great job with the customers who do come through the door. Not being acknowledged can make customers feel that their time isn’t valued. Aftermarket service providers need to ensure someone is available to greet customers when they arrive, even if it’s just to say, ‘hello.’ Otherwise, they run the risk of losing out on return business.”

And now, in the study’s second year, the focus is on measuring customer satisfaction with aftermarket service facilities, providing a numerical index ranking of the highest performing U.S. aftermarket service facilities. 

Performance in three segments–full-service maintenance and repair, quick oil change; and tire replacement, is based on the combined scores for seven measures that comprise the vehicle owner’s experience. 

The measures, according to Sutton, are ease of schedule/getting vehicle in for service, service advisor performance; service advisor courtesy, service facility; time to complete services; fairness of changes; and quality of work. 

In all three segments, customers indicate how often they were greeted immediately: 42% of the time for full-service maintenance and repair; 53% of the time for a quick oil change; and 34% of the time for tire replacement. 

However, among customers in each segment who say they waited for three minutes or more—which ranges from 27% to 39%—satisfaction scores decline as much as 219 points (on a 1,000-point scale).

Some of the key finding of the 2021 study included: 

  1. It is important  to recommend additional service right away 
  2. Fix it right the first time 
  3. Attention to detail boots customer satisfaction

“Even with many Americans having reduced their travel because of the pandemic, many still require automotive service, and their service expectations remain high,” said Timothy Gravelle, senior manager of research science at SurveyMonkey. “This research confirms that quality work done promptly, explained clearly, for a fair price, and delivered with excellent customer service is what leads to customer satisfaction among American drivers.

Some of the more key rankings include; Christian Brother Automotive Corp. ranking highest in satisfaction for full-service maintenance and repair with a score of 898. Big O Tires ranked second (778), and Goodyear Tire & Auto Service ranked third (775). 

Take 5 ranked highest in satisfaction for a quick oil change with a score of 810. Valvoline Instant Oil Change ranked second (784), and Kwik Kar ranked third (775). 

Les Schwab Tire Centers ranked highest in satisfaction for tire replacement with a score of 820. Discount Tire ranked second (792) and Costco ranked third (780).

The 2021 U.S. Aftermarket Service Index (ASI) Study is based on responses from 8,148 vehicle owners. Survey data collection was conducted online between July and October 2020. 

Survey respondents were initially selected from the more than two million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day, and from the SurveyMonkey audience market research panel. Respondents were then screened for having aftermarket service performed in the past 12 months.

For more information about the 2021 U.S. Aftermarket Service Index (ASI) Study, visit https://www.jdpower.com/business/automotive/us-aftermarket-service-index-asi-study.

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