India's largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) walked away with top honours at the 2016 JD Power Customer Service Index (CSI) Study for mass market vehicles. Along with Maruti Suzuki, Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) has also won this survey for the first time while Maruti has done it for the 17th consecutive time, each scoring 901 points out of 1000. Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) and Tata Motors shared third position at 888 points. Speaking on the achievement, Mayank Pareek, President, Passenger Vehicle Business, Tata Motors, said, “Service is key in the automotive industry and makes a difference in the car buying decision too. We have worked hard on our service offerings last year and are delighted today to secure the second highest score in the J D Power 2016 Syndicate Customer Service Index Study, which is also the highest increase in score in the industry, this year. This is a proof of our consistently focused efforts towards customer service. Last year, the company rolled out several new, industry leading service initiatives including the monsoon service and nationwide quarterly mega service camps. With new service programmes like Speed-O-Service and increased usage of technology like V-Tabs, our service team has strived to increase service levels and deliver vehicles within 90 minutes. Customers have recognized these efforts and are witnessing the change in the manner in which we engage with them at our touch points.” The survey conducted had feedback from 7,843 new-vehicle owners who purchased their car between May 2014 and August 2015 who were visiting workshops for their vehicle repair and part replacement needs.
The survey tracks 22 service standards that can improve the overall aftersales experience of a customer. In the southern region, more than 35 percent customers stated that all the service standards were met as compared to the 19 percent satisfaction in the North region. On the occasion, Mohit Arora, Executive Director, JD Power said, “In an astoundingly diverse market like India where every region and state has its own unique characteristics and needs, dealers need to capitalize on every customer interaction opportunity to develop points of differentiation and deliver on those expectations. By being attuned to the differing customer needs across the country, dealerships can continuously adapt their service processes to consistently deliver a superior customer experience.”
Almost 82 percent customers in the West region scheduled an appointment for a service or repair beforehand while this number was also less for the North region at 55 percent. Moreover, according to the study, vehicles in the northern region run 11 percent more than the other regions within 12 to 24 months of purchase. A number of changes in the dealership practices such as service reminder, making the customer understand the scope of work by the service advisor and when to schedule the next service also increased overall customer satisfaction.
Compared to 2015, where these parameters scored 818 points, this year it is 888 points out of 1000. “Dealers are at the frontline of interacting with customers and hence represent the automotive brand that they carry. It’s critical that every communication milestone is handled properly. Any gap in communication may have the unintended effect of lowering satisfaction, as well as customer loyalty, and the negative impact may be magnified when it gets passed on through word of mouth,” said Kaustav Roy, director at J.D. Power.
The key findings of the study also showed an increase in customer satisfaction of a clean car. This number rose from 11 percentage as compared to 2015 which was 78 percent. The study was conducted from May to August 2016.