Lexus and Mini came out as the big winners in this year’s JD Power and Associates Customer Service Index study. This award represents a three-peat for Lexus, which also took top billing in 2009 and 2010. Mini’s score represents a 19-point improvement over the brand’s 2010 performance.
A key factor in this year’s ratings was consumer perception of service department up-selling, which had a negative effect on manufacturer’s ratings. Customers that reported feeling pressure for what they felt was unnecessary work gave a lower satisfaction score. Few owners reported upselling on vehicles one year-old or less, although nine percent of owners of four year-old cars reported being up-sold by the service department.
CSI rankings are based on dealer performance during the first three years of ownership. Five measures are examined to determine overall customer satisfaction with dealer service; service quality; service initiation; service advisor; service facility; and vehicle pick-up.
Authors of the study noted that dealerships need to adequately train their service staff to properly educate customers on the benefits of non-mandatory services, without coming across as too pushy.
Top 4 Luxury Brands, Customer Service Index
- Lexus – 846
- Jaguar -837
- Cadillac – 830
- Acura – 828
Top 10 Mass-Market Brands, Customer Service Index
- Mini – 805
- GMC – 803
- Buick – 799
- Chevrolet – 792
- Kia – 784
- Hyundai (tie) – 783
- Smart (tie) – 783
- Volkswagen – 779
- Ford – 773
- Honda – 765
The most improved brands for 2011 were Mazda and Suzuki.
Source: JD Power and Associates