What makes a good – or bad – car dealer?
Buying a car should be a pleasure, but the quality service received from the dealer can make or break the experience. What Car? magazine has recently reported on the latest dealer satisfaction survey, carried out by JD Power. The 2013 survey covered customers who had purchased a car between January 2010 and December 2011 and used their dealership in the last 12 months. Respondents were asked to rate the booking process, staff, quality of any work carried out and to assess how reasonable the service charges were.
Based on just over 13,500 replies, the results revealed that top performers included Jaguar (1st) and Lexus (2nd), with results coming in at over 85.5% satisfaction each. Nipping at their heels with results in the low 80s were Honda, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota.
At the other end of the scale, Chevrolet fared badly,. only managing customer satisfaction results in the high 60s and Alpha Romeo, which barely scraped into the 70s.
Areas that impressed customers in the better performing dealers included flexibility in finding booking slots and friendly staff. Respondents also appreciated attention to details in the work carried out and efficient timing and adherence to deadlines.
On the other hand, bugbears that cost lower performing dealers a coveted place in the top ten included pricey work, inconvenient parking and lengthy waiting periods. People reported less than enthusiastic staff and a lack of support during the purchasing and servicing process.
The top ten dealers in the survey were as follows:
1. Jaguar (85.5%)
2. Lexus (85.4%)
3. Honda (84%)
4. Mercedes-Benz (82.6%)
=5. Land Rover (82%)
=5. Toyota (82%)
7. Skoda (81.4%)
8. Volvo (80.8%)
=9. Kia (80.2%)
=9. Nissan (80.2%)
Industry and consumer reaction to this survey was varied. Comments left by Telegraph readers included such points as, “what’s needed [is] not some garage that only thinks in monthly targets (and bonuses), but a family firm that’s thinking of the longer term.”…
…”The smaller dealers often seem to focus on minor brands like Subaru and Mitsubishi, presumably because they do not have the facilities or level of investment required by the big manufacturers.”…
…”The big boys have the clout to order dealers to do stuff and if they walk away then there will be no shortage of others bidding for the franchise rights in the area.”