Buick top ‘mass-market’ brand for customer service – J.D. Power

The way to a vehicle owner’s heart is through …

Customer service.

High-performing dealers will tell you that a high level of service helps drive customer satisfaction and ensure a positive customer experience.

And that’s money in the bank.

Brands can be made or broken by the collective customer satisfaction.

Buick is riding high in J.D. Power customer service study.

Buick is riding high in J.D. Power customer service study.

In the case of the latest J.D. Power Customer Service Index Study, the “mass-market” standard is set by General Motors’ Buick brand, for the fourth time in five years.

Buick, which received five out of five quality circles, was one of three General Motors brands in the top four along with GMC and Chevrolet, both of which scored four of five circles.

Only MINI broke GM’s grip on the top four, finishing in a tie for second with five JDP quality circles. MINI also was the only brand that has beaten Buick among mass-market brands in the last five years.

“Buick, for the second consecutive year, ranks highest in satisfaction for dealer service among mass-market brands, with a score of 850 [out of 1,000],” according to JDP’s press release about study results. Chevrolet and Mini tied for second at 849, followed by GMC at 843.

This year’s luxury brand winner was Infiniti with 876 points, making it the fifth different winner in five years in that segment, and beating out Porsche at 874 and Audi, Cadillac and Lexus at 871.

The study, which was based on responses from more than 74,000 drivers of 2015 to 2017 model-year vehicles, measures customer satisfaction with every aspect of their vehicle shopping experience, including their satisfaction with the dealership from which they purchased a vehicle as well as the dealerships they visited but from which they did not purchase a vehicle.

JDP found that overall customer satisfaction “continues to improve,” along with gains in customer satisfaction with service adviser, service facility, service initiation and vehicle pick-up.

“When a customer is happy with the service a dealer provides them, they’re more likely to tell their friends and family members about it,” said Chris Sutton of JDP’s U.S. automotive retail practice. “This experience creates promoters for the vehicle brand who are more likely to return to a dealer for repairs and common services like oil changes and replacement of batteries, brakes and tires.”

Among other JDP study findings:

  • Customers prefer online service scheduling capability, with Internet usage increasing among all generations, although younger customers adopt it at a much faster rate.
  • Overall satisfaction improves with valet service in which a vehicle is picked up for service and returned, especially among premium-brand customers.
  • Common reasons customers choose a service provider are prior experience and convenience.
  • Younger customers seem to be influenced more than other generations by promotions, coupons and word of mouth when choosing a dealer to service their vehicles.

The results for both mass-market brands and luxury brands, as well as more details about the study are available at the J.D. Power website.

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