J.D. Power study says customer satisfaction increases during peak months
Considered by many dealers to be a customer service nightmare, tire season is the epitome of a capacity crunch, wherein busy customers swarm dealership service bays at double, even triple the typical rate. Given the intense volume pressure, many dealers and manufacturers have come to expect significant slippage in both overall CSI scores andmore importantlythe completion rates of many critical Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
With the changing of the season from fall to winter, and the inevitable cooler temperatures that come with it— and the converse from winter to spring—dealerships across the country are (or should be) gearing up for the bi-annual ritual that is tire season.
Considered by many dealers to be a customer service nightmare, tire season is the epitome of a capacity crunch, wherein busy customers swarm dealership service bays at double, even triple the typical rate. Given the intense volume pressure, many dealers and manufacturers have come to expect significant slippage in both overall CSI scores and—more importantly—the completion rates of many critical Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
However, recent research casts significant doubt on this long-held belief.
The 2014 Canadian Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study finds service occasions that include tire replacements spike significantly in October, November, March, April and May.
Based on conventional thinking, if traditionally busy dealership months produce subpar customer experiences, it is logical to predict considerably lower satisfaction scores during the peak tire-changing season. However, when examining overall service satisfaction during all non-peak months, the industry average is 829 (on a 1000-point scale), compared with 834 during peak months. The negligible difference in satisfaction renders that viewpoint unfounded.
An analysis of KPI completion rates can determine whether critical service activities are being ignored—as would likely be expected—during busy service intervals. In actuality, service advisors are completing critical KPIs with a close consistency regardless of the time of year. This finding points to a more systemic performance problem rather than one that is situational.
A common industry complaint is there is no time to perform multi-point inspections when the service department is swamped during peak tire replacement months. However, the study finds that advisors perform multi-point inspections at almost the same rate during peak tire replacement months as they do during non-peak months (62% vs. 63%, respectively).
Regardless of the season, dealers should perform multi-point inspections at a higher rate, as the opportunity for additional revenue is clear. When a multi-point inspection is performed, 86% of customers are advised of other service needs for their vehicle, compared with only 39% when a multi-point inspection is not performed.
During peak tire-changing months, dealers should be mindful of when customers are notified if their vehicle will not be ready when promised. During peak months, 47% of customers discover their vehicle is not ready once they have already arrived to pick it up vs. 39% during non-peak months. Only 21% of customers who arrived to find their vehicle was not ready say they “definitely will” return for paid service work vs. a more substantial 34% of customers who were given at least an hour’s notice.