Auto Service World
News   August 9, 2005   by Auto Service World

Petro-Canada Certigard Ranks Highest in Satisfying Automotive Service Customers


Petro-Canada Certigard ranks highest in customer satisfaction with automotive service, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2005 Canadian Customer Commitment Study.
Consistently building effective processes that address both technical and customer-handling areas has paid off in terms of customer satisfaction for Petro-Canada outlets under the Certigard banner.
"Part of the branded independent channel that has seen mixed success over the past few years, Petro-Canada’s Certigard operations have been promoting strong customer-handling processes at all of their outlets since 2002," said Rohan Lobo, manager of research projects at J.D. Power and Associates. "A successful implementation of this approach results in the biggest retention driver of alla relationship so strong that customers entrust their vehicle to the facility on the assumption that their best interests are being addressed, while ‘hard’ factors such as price become less critical."
The study, which measures the service satisfaction and loyalty of owners of 2- to 12-year-old vehicles, finds that increasingly, service customers are seeking a strong relationship with their service facility. Cost, which was the second most important selection criterion in choosing a service facility for off-warranty vehicle owners in 2004, has been replaced by the desire to have the mechanic who usually repairs the vehicle. Having a previous good experience continues to be the most important selection criterion.
While customer satisfaction has improved for the industry as a whole, quick lubes have the strongest showing, with a 16 index-point improvement compared to 2004. Jiffy Lube in particular has moved up 13 positions to 7th place overall, a performance based partly on the benefits associated with strong customer-oriented processes in place at its facilities.
The study also finds that the battle for share of vehicle service continues to intensify. Dealerships now account for a 45 percent share of all service occasionsup from 40 percent in 2002. Each percentage point of share translates into about $90 million in service revenue annually for dealerships, resulting in about $450 million captured annually from aftermarket providers over the past three years. This gain has primarily come at the expense of mass merchants (Canadian Tire, Costco and Wal-Mart), and independent repair shops, both of which lost share for the second consecutive year. Tire specialists have gained share by diversifying from low-margin tire sales to more routine maintenance.
"Facing a third year of flat new-vehicle sales, dealerships have continued their focus on their fixed operations in an attempt to boost their bottom lines," said Lobo. "The dealerships’ share of service has been growing steadily over the past five years, and recent numbers indicate that they are capturing share across all vehicle age groups, not just among vehicles that are still under warranty."
The 2005 Canadian Customer Commitment Study is based on responses from 14,608 owners of 2- to 12-year-old vehicles who were surveyed in December 2004 and April 2005.


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