Vehicle Owners Expecting Connected Service Experience, J.D. Power Study Finds

Lexus Dealerships Ranks Highest in Customer
Satisfaction With Automotive Service for Second Consecutive Year

TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Connected car” is the buzz phrase for the auto industry, but
connected service may soon be part of the nomenclature as well. From
scheduling a service visit to amenities available while customers wait
for their vehicle, technology and connectivity are becoming an
increasingly important part of the service experience, according to the
J.D. Power 2016 Canadian Customer Service Index Long-Term (CSI-LT) Study,SM
released today.

“Consumers are demanding a connected service experience,” said J.D.
Ney, manager of the Canadian automotive practice at J.D. Power
“From scheduling appointments to interacting with the service advisor to
staying connected via unobstructed Wi-Fi access, customers expect these
services from their local coffee shop, so why wouldn’t they expect the
same of their dealership or aftermarket service facility?”

While only 6% of service customers in Canada scheduled their last
service visit via the Internet, 14%—more than twice as many—indicate the
Internet is their preference for scheduling future visits. Currently,
74% of customers schedule their visits by phone.

Customers also like it when their service advisor is connected. The
study finds that 21% of customers say their service advisor used a
tablet device during their service visit. The use of a tablet seems to
build a level of confidence in the advisor, as among customers whose
advisor used a tablet and recommended additional work to their vehicle,
61% had the work done. When the advisor didn’t use a tablet but
recommended additional services, only 44% had the work done.

Furthermore, customers want technology such as computers and Internet
access available while they wait for their vehicle. Access to the
Internet and electronic technologies are among the least frequently
offered amenities, despite generating the highest service facility
satisfaction scores. For example, only 42% of dealerships and 14% of
aftermarket facilities currently offer wireless Internet access for
their waiting customers. Additionally, only 17% of dealers and 5% of
aftermarket facilities offer their customers computers with Internet
access, yet the amenity has the highest overall service facility
satisfaction score among dealer customers (771 on a 1,000-point scale)
and the second-highest score among aftermarket facility customers (759).

Tablet computers or video games, the least offered amenity, has the
highest service facility score among aftermarket facility customers
(772) and the second-highest score among dealer customers (770).

Technology amenities can also help build customer loyalty and advocacy.
For example, among customers of dealers that offer wireless internet
access, 53% say they “definitely will” return to the dealer for future
service that they have to pay for and 40% say they “definitely will”
recommend the dealer to others. This compares with only 42% of customers
who say they “definitely will” return and only 30% who say they
“definitely will” recommend the facility, when Wi-Fi is absent.

“Customers want, and frankly expect, to stay connected while they wait
for their vehicle so they can either be productive or entertained,” said
Ney. “Simple Wi-Fi access requires the service facility to make a small
investment, but the reward is a higher degree of customer engagement,
which leads to higher customer loyalty.”

Among delighted dealer service customers (overall satisfaction scores of
901 or higher), 84% say they “definitely will” return to the facility
for future paid service work. When customers are merely pleased with
their dealer service experience (751-900), intender service loyalty
drops to 59%. For aftermarket facilities, 92% of delighted customers say
they “definitely will” return to the facility for future paid service
work, compared with 73% of pleased customers who say the same.

The study, which measures satisfaction and intended loyalty among owners
of vehicles that are 4 to 12 years old, analyzes the customer experience
in both warranty and non-warranty service visits. Overall satisfaction
is based on the combined index scores of five measures that comprise the
overall service experience (in order of importance): service initiation
(24%); service quality (23%); service advisor (20%); service facility
(17%); and vehicle pick-up (16%). Scores for each measure are reflected
in an index based on a 1,000-point scale.

Other key findings of the study include:

  • Overall Satisfaction with Dealer Service Dips: Overall customer
    satisfaction with automotive dealerships is 729 in 2016, down from 731
    in 2015, while satisfaction with aftermarket shops remains at 749.
  • More Visits, More Money: On average, customers make 2.5 service
    visits per year, up very slightly from an average of 2.4 visits per
    year in 2015. Customers make an average of 1.1 visits per year to a
    dealer for service and 1.4 visits per year to an aftermarket service
    facility. Overall, the average amount spent per service visit
    increases to $241 in 2016 from $232 in 2015. The average amount spent
    per service visit at a dealership in 2016 is $297, compared with $200
    per visit at an aftermarket service facility.
  • Service Advisor Can Make or Break Satisfaction: When a customer
    says the service advisor is completely focused on their needs, overall
    satisfaction can increase by as much as 82 points. When the service
    advisor offers the customer helpful advice, it can boost overall
    satisfaction by as much as 48 points. And when the service advisor
    greets customers immediately upon their arrival, it can improve
    overall satisfaction by as much as 44 points.

Study Rankings
Lexus Dealerships rank highest in
satisfying automotive service customers in Canada for a second
consecutive year, with an overall satisfaction score of 819. Great
Canadian Oil Change
ranks second (789), followed by Fountain Tire
(786), NAPA AUTOPRO (768) and Volkswagen Dealerships (758).

Overall Satisfaction Rankings

Overall Customer Satisfaction Index Scores


J.D. Power Circle Ratings

(Based on a 1,000-point scale)

For Consumers

Lexus Dealerships 819   5
Great Canadian Oil Change 789 4
Fountain Tire 786 4
Volkswagen Dealerships 758 4
Acura Dealerships 753 3
Jiffy Lube 752 3
Audi Dealerships 748 3
Mazda Dealerships 746 3
GM Dealerships (Chevrolet/Cadillac/Buick/GMC) 740 3
Industry Average 739 3
Ford/Lincoln Dealerships 738 3
Mercedes-Benz Dealerships 736 3
Nissan Dealerships 735 3
Kia Dealerships 732 3
Midas 731 3
Toyota Dealerships 730 3
Mr. Lube 725 3
Honda Dealerships 721 3
BMW Dealerships 718 3
Hyundai Dealerships 714 3
Mitsubishi Dealerships 701 2
Canadian Tire 700 2
Subaru Dealerships 700 2
Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Ram/Fiat Dealerships 698 2
Costco 681 2
Wal-Mart 651 2
Independent Garage/Repair Shop1 775

Note: Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size
are Active Green & Ross; Goodyear Auto Centre; Infiniti Dealerships; Kal
Tire; Ok Tire; Speedy and Volvo Dealerships.

1. Independent Repair shop has sufficient sample, but cannot be

Power Circle Ratings Legend
5 – Among the best
– Better than most

3 – About average
2 – The rest

The 2016 Canadian Customer Service Index Long-Term (CSI-LT) Study is
based on responses from 12,340 owners in Canada whose vehicle is between
4 and 12 years old. The study was fielded from March through June 2016.

For more information about the Canadian Customer Service Index Long-Term
(CSI-LT) Study, visit
See the online press release at

About J.D. Power and Advertising/Promotional Rules


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