Rise in luxury car sales impact dealer service centres and owner satisfaction

As the sales of luxury cars have proliferated in India in the past year, creating fresh set of challenges for the dealer service centres to keep up with burgeoning demand for maintenance repairs, according to JD Power 2014 India Customer Service Index Study on luxuy segment released today.

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Now in its second year, the study measures satisfaction among luxury vehicle owners, who vsit an authorised dealership service centre for maintenance or repair work between the first the first 12 to 24 months of vehicle ownership. The study measures overall satisfaction in five factors (listed in order of importance): service quality (43%); vehicle pick-up (17%); service advisor (14%); service facility (14%); and service initiation (11%). Overall customer satisfaction is measured on a 1,000-point scale, with a higher score indicating higher satisfaction.

Luxury new-vehicle sales in India have increased 112 percent to 35,541 units in 2014 from 16,804 units in 2013. As a result of the surge in new-vehicle sales, luxury vehicle manufacturers’ workshops are finding it difficult to align their service levels with customer expectations.

Overall luxury customer satisfaction with their dealership service experience averages 843 in 2014, a significant 33-point decline from 2013. Satisfaction drops in all factors in 2014 with the largest decrease of 36 points each in service initiation and service facility.

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“With the increase in the volume of luxury segment cars in India, there is inherent pressure being exerted on the workshops’ infrastructure and processes,” Mohit Arora, executive director at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Singapore said and added: “The key to maintaining a consistent performance will be the speed and adaptability with which the automakers and their workshops align to this changing market condition.”

The study identifies 22 service standards that enhance the overall customer service experience. Satisfaction among the 22 percent of luxury owners who indicate all 22 service standards were met averages 890. When 21 or fewer service standards are implemented, satisfaction falls to 849.

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