Last year, the Philippine automotive industry registered a record sales total of 320,677 units, up 20% from the previous year. And there are no signs of said industry sales abating in 2016. With all these chart-breaking sales figures from most carmakers doing business here, it's easy to imagine that overall customer satisfaction would dip: The more customers need to be served, the likelier the quality of service suffers.
Indeed, this has just been confirmed by the just-released 2016 J.D. Power Customer Service Index for the Philippine market. On a 1,000-point scale, overall service satisfaction this year has an average of 822 points, down from 837 points in 2015. Some of the major factors here are the following (in italics):
* Customers are waiting longer at every service juncture. The vehicle handover process time has increased by 5 minutes from 2015. Nearly half (49%) of customers say it took 4 hours or more to get their car serviced, up from 39% in 2015. Even the time taken to finish the paperwork and pick up the vehicle after service has increased, as 63% of customers say this process took more than 10 minutes, up from 49% in 2015.
* Service initiation is critical to overall satisfaction. Service initiation gains in importance in the study and accounts for 26% of overall satisfaction, yet it is the lowest-scoring factor in the study. Trying to arrange a service visit with ease is the main pain point for customers.
* Fewer customers are contacted to check if they are satisfied. Only one-third (34%) of customers are contacted after service to check if the work was performed up to their satisfaction. The incidence rate of this follow-up work has come down significantly from last year (45%).
The brands' customer service was rated based on these key criteria: service quality, service initiation, vehicle pick-up, service facility, and service advisor.
To cut the story short, Mazda tops this year's study with a CSI score of 845 points. Last year's best performer, Honda, is second with 831 points, followed by Nissan with 827 points. It is worth noting that Ford and Toyota are tied for fourth with 825 points.
The past few top performers in this annual study are Chevrolet (2012), Toyota (2013), Nissan (2014) and Honda (2015). The fact that there are different winners each year should tell us how difficult maintaining the consistency of one's customer service is.
According to J.D. Power: "Among customers who are highly satisfied with their dealer service (overall satisfaction scores of 870 and above), 59% say they definitely would return to their dealer for post-warranty service, and 62% definitely would recommend their dealer to friends and family. In contrast, among customers who are less satisfied (scores of 774 and lower), only 44% say they definitely would return to the dealer for post-warranty service, and only 48% say they definitely would recommend the dealer to others."
Here are the complete results: