Auto Service World
News   April 20, 2023   by Adam Malik

Recalls drive down EV service satisfaction

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An increasing number of battery electric vehicles are being serviced at dealerships, leading to a decrease in overall customer service satisfaction, a study recently found.

Overall customer satisfaction with the service experience dropped, according to the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Customer Service Index (CSI) Study. But the drop was led by owners of BEVs — owners of internal combustion engines were more satisfied.

Recall rates are more than double for BEVs compared to their ICE counterparts. Service advisor knowledge is also not as strong when it comes to electrics. Both were reasons for customer service satisfaction among owners of BEVs being 42 points lower than among owners of ICE vehicles.

Overall satisfaction sits at 846 on a 1,000-point scale in this year’s study, a drop of two points.

A recent study by CAA of Canadian EV owners found overwhelming happiness with their vehicles, however, it measured concerns around battery range, cold weather performance and other factors. It didn’t look at recall or service satisfaction.

A leading factor is that recall rates are more than double for BEVs than their gas/diesel counterparts. Additionally, service advisor knowledge continues to be a major satisfaction issue among BEV owners who provide a rating of 8.01 (on a 10-point scale) compared with 8.59 among owners of ICE vehicles.

“As the electric vehicle segment grows, service is going to be a ‘make or break’ part of the ownership experience,” said Chris Sutton, vice president of automotive retail at J.D. Power. “The industry has been hyper-focused on launches and now these customers are bringing their electric vehicles in for maintenance and repairs.

“As training programs for service advisors and technicians evolve, EV service quality and customer experience must address both the vehicle and the unique customer needs. The EV segment has the potential to spur massive convenience improvements in how customers service their vehicles — but we’re not seeing the benefits yet.”

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