Dealers ‘must be up to date with technology to draw in younger customers’

Time 10:27 am, June 6, 2017

CAR dealers will earn a higher rate of satisfaction from younger customers if they offer service appointment scheduling via the internet and text messaging, according to J.D. Power.

The newly published J.D. Power 2017 UK Customer Service Index Study found that 89 per cent of highly satisfied customers – those with a score of at least 900 out of 1,000 – said they ‘definitely will’ return to the same place for any future warranty work and 82 per cent said the same for future paid services.

When it comes to customers who gave a satisfaction score of between 700 and 899 out of 1,000, only 66 per cent were certain they would return to the same place for warranty service and 49 per cent for paid service.

The study, based on surveys of 6,678 respondents between February and April this year, revealed a series of key findings with regards to how customer satisfaction can be increased. These include offering multiple ways to schedule appointments – such as via online booking, text messaging or phone calls – and offering access to the internet in the dealership building itself, with computers for customers to use or an open wi-fi network.

The highest-scoring premium brands for customer satisfaction were Land Rover with 808 points, BMW with 796 points and Volvo with 793. Mazda topped the volume brand ranking with 800 points, followed by Toyota (792 points), Mini (785 points), Hyundai (783 points) and Honda (778 points).

Mark Lendrich, head of research at J.D. Power Europe, said: ‘Car dealers who aren’t prioritising technology options are missing out on an opportunity to connect with a younger generation of customers. As these consumers begin to account for a larger number of vehicle sales and service visits, it’s important for dealers to be able to cater to their needs to differentiate themselves from competitors and drive loyalty.’

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Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.

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