Napa Autopro ranks highest in satisfying automotive service customers in Canada, according to the most recent J.D. Power Canadian Customer Commitment Index (CCI) Study.
With an overall satisfaction score of 861, this is the fourth consecutive year the Autopro brand has topped the list.
Lexus dealerships rank second at 860, and Great Canadian Oil Change ranks third at 849.
This year’s CCI study also revealed that when it comes to customer satisfaction, the number of service visits per vehicle, per year is an important factor. Vehicle owners in Canada who take their vehicle in for maintenance or repairs twice a year or less pay more per visit and are less satisfied with their service experience than owners who have three or more service visits annually.
The study, which measures the service behaviours, satisfaction, and loyalty of owners of vehicles that are 4 to 12 years old, analyzes information from various points in the ownership cycle of a vehicle for both warranty and non-warranty service occasions.
Overall satisfaction is based on the combined index scores of five factors that comprise the overall service experience (in order of importance): service quality (30%); vehicle pick-up (21%); service advisor (18%); service initiation (18%); and service facility (14%). Scores for each factor are reflected in an index based on a 1,000-point scale.
On average, owners of 4- to 12-year-old vehicles visit a service facility (at either a dealership or other service facility) 2.6 times per year in 2014, consistent with the findings of the 2013 study, but a decrease from 2.9 visits annually in 2010.
While fewer visits to service facilities improves customer convenience, it often means that the same amount of vehicle service work needs to be completed during each service occasion, which generally lengthens the time of service and drives up the price of each service visit.
Among the 12 percent of vehicle owners who make one service visit per year, the average spend is $248 per visit; among the 26 percent who have their vehicle serviced twice per year, the average spend is $212. In comparison, the average spend among the 21 percent of owners who have their vehicle serviced three times per year is $208 per visit, and the amount drops to $200 for the 18 percent who have four service visits annually.
The higher per-visit cost has an impact on overall satisfaction, which averages 813 among those who have one service visit per year; 827 among those with two visits; and 836 among those who make three visits.
“Better vehicle quality and longer recommended maintenance intervals mean owners are taking their vehicles in less often but paying more each time they go,” said J.D. Ney, manager of the Canadian automotive practice at J.D. Power. “Satisfaction improves among customers who make more service visits in a year because they judge the charges on a per-visit rather than a per-year basis.”
The study also confirmed that OE dealers’ service departments are starting to take back some of the market share when it comes to vehicle maintenance in the 4-12 year old range. Since 2009, OE dealers have seen a 9% increase the market share at the expense of aftermarket service providers. As Ney explains, “Even a 1% increase equates to just under $74 million.”
*Overall customer satisfaction with automotive dealerships and aftermarket shops is 830 in 2014, unchanged from 2013.
*The service advisor has a significant impact on service satisfaction, as four of the top five most important key performance indicators (KPIs) involve the service advisor: 1. Service advisor was completely focused on the customer’s needs. 2. Service advisor put the customer at ease. 3. Customer was greeted immediately upon arrival at the service facility. 4. After arrival, the customer was able to speak to a service advisor immediately about service needs.
*The two KPIs with the greatest room for improvement are: After arrival, the customer was able to speak to a service advisor immediately about service needs and After service was completed, the customer was able to finish paperwork and pick up their vehicle in five minutes or less, which are fulfilled only 51 percent and 70 percent of the time, respectively. Service occasions in which these KPIs are completed have, on average; overall index scores 86 and 80 points higher, respectively, than service occasions in which these KPIs are missed.
*Owners who purchased a used vehicle engage aftermarket facilities for their most recent service visit more often than owners who purchased their vehicle new (65% vs. 35%). In addition, owners who purchased used vehicle are more satisfied with the service they receive at the aftermarket facilities compared with the dealership facility (839 vs. 810, respectively).
The 2014 Canadian Customer Commitment Index (CCI) Study is based on responses from more than 19,000 owners in Canada whose vehicle is between 4 and 12 years old. The study was fielded in February-March and May-June 2014.