Auto Service World
News   September 21, 2021   by Adam Malik

Where independent shops rank in satisfaction

Satisfaction overall in having vehicles serviced remains unchanged as independent shops had a strong showing in a recent study.

Satisfaction with non-dealers averages a score of 796 out of 1,000 on the J.D. Power 2021 Canada Customer Service Index—Long-Term (CSI-LT) Study. Dealerships were not far behind, coming in at 786. Overall, satisfaction with automotive service departments came in at 791.

Still, it was a dealership that came in at the top spot overall — Audi dealers ranked No. 1 with a score of 825. Great Canadian Oil Change (823) came in second. Volkswagen (817) and NAPA Autopro (815) rounded out the top four.

That said, independent garages and repair shops did record a score of 821. But because it is made up of a sector as opposed to a specific brand, it does not qualify in the rankings. Its score would have placed it third overall.

Source: J.D. Power 2021 Canada Customer Service Index—Long-Term (CSI-LT) Study

The study measures satisfaction and intended loyalty among owners of vehicles that are four to 12 years old and analyzes the customer experience in both warranty and non-warranty service visits. Overall satisfaction is based on five factors (in order of importance): service initiation (24%); service quality (23%); service advisor (20%); service facility (17%); and vehicle pick-up (16%).

Effective communication is essential to increasing satisfaction, J.D. Power observed.

“The age-old advice of effective communication being key to a successful relationship also applies to relationships between automotive service facilities and customers,” the company said in a statement. “Tracking the effect of dozens of diagnostic factors or key performance indicators (KPIs) across multiple study years reveals that actions such as keeping customers informed of the status of their repair have become much more effective over time.”

J.D. Power noted that it “has seen a rapid and significant increase in used-vehicle values” thanks to decreased vehicle supply and increased prices in new vehicles. This has pushed vehicle owners into making more significant repairs on their vehicles.

“There is evidence of more owners opting for more expensive repairs this year, ultimately choosing to keep their four- to 12-year-old vehicle on the road longer,” the company said in a statement. “Because working from home and other pandemic-related influences have had a dampening effect on average kilometres driven in 2021, this would appear to be a very pragmatic decision for owners.”

The study is based on responses of 8,101 owners and was fielded from April through June 2021.