At a time when the automotive aftermarket is churning out unprecedented business, consumers in the U.S. are less satisfied than they used to be with the service they’re getting.
The J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Aftermarket Service Index (ASI) found that overall satisfaction declined year-over-year in the three segments that make up the report.
On a 1,000-point scale, satisfaction with quick oil change dropped 18 points, full-service maintenance and repair fell seven points and tire replacement took a six-point fall. The study further observed that customer satisfaction is lower when grading service advisor performance, noting increased wait times, fewer advisors providing helpful advice and a decrease in service advisor courtesy.
The study measures the ease of scheduling/getting vehicle in for service; fairness of charges; service advisor courtesy; service advisor performance; service facility; time to complete service; and quality of work.
For quick oil change, which saw declines in all areas, the biggest pain point for consumers was the service facility. Full-service shops saw just one increase, that being ease of scheduling. Tire replacement shops saw their only positive score in time to complete service.
“Independent service providers must remain focused on retaining their customer base,” said Leonard Martin, director of automotive retail at J.D. Power. “Aftermarket service facilities can increase customer loyalty and revenue by taking advantage of what they do best — being easier to do business with. Convenience, speed and price are very attractive to today’s vehicle owners who are looking for excellent service, and aftermarket service providers can leverage those factors to stem the tide of owners going to dealerships.”
The study noted several ways the aftermarket can improve satisfaction quickly, such as complimentary snacks or electrical power for customers’ electronic devices. Satisfaction rose for those facilities that offered such options. As another example, giving customers a workspace to plug in computers is another easy way to boost satisfaction, J.D. Power noted, but is currently provided only 7 per cent of the time.