|SINGAPORE: 20 October 2008 - For a ninth consecutive year, Maruti Suzuki ranks highest in customer satisfaction with authorized dealer service in India, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2008 India Customer Service Index (CSI) StudySM released today.
The study, now in its 12th year, measures satisfaction among vehicle owners who visited their authorized dealership service center for maintenance or repair work during the first 12 to 18 months of ownership, which typically represents the warranty period. Overall satisfaction is determined by examining seven measures (listed in order of importance): problems experienced; service quality; user-friendly service; service advisor; service initiation; service delivery; and in-service experience.
Maruti Suzuki achieves an overall CSI score of 820 on a 1,000-point scale. Overall customer satisfaction with dealer service for the industry improves slightly in 2008-up by 3 points since 2007, with six of the 11 ranked brands demonstrating gains. While ranking below the industry average, Tata and Mahindra emerge as the most improved brands, respectively, particularly in the areas of service initiation, quality of service advisors and in-service experience.
"Maruti Suzuki has effectively implemented simple procedures that improve satisfaction with the value of work performed and perceptions of the fairness and honesty of the dealer, such as greeting service customers quickly upon arrival and fully explaining charges and repairs," said Mohit Arora, senior director at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Singapore. "Instituting these low-effort, yet high-impact practices helps to foster trust among customers, which is critical to building loyalty for future service and sales opportunities."
The study finds that the proportion of vehicles brought in and serviced within the same day has increased to 55 percent this year from 49 percent in 2007. Quick completion of service is a key source of customer delight, particularly for customers who visit the dealer for routine maintenance.
"Quick service turnaround induces a feeling of convenience and comfort for customers, especially as life styles become more fast paced," said Arora. "Dealers that provide expedient service not only delight their customers but also benefit from greater dealership profitability as a result of high levels of asset utilization."
The study also finds that customer-reported costs of operation for petrol-powered vehicles have risen by seven percent since 2007, primarily due to rising fuel costs. In contrast, owners of diesel-powered vehicles report a minimal increase in operating costs in 2008, compared with 2007. The overall cost of vehicle operation is an aggregation of three components: fuel; repair and maintenance; and tire expenses.
"Consumers in India have traditionally exhibited higher sensitivity to the costs of vehicle operation, compared with consumers in other international markets," said Arora. "In India, customer intent to recommend a model or repurchase a make is strongly influenced by satisfaction with vehicle operating costs."
The study finds that overall advocacy rates have declined, with 77 percent of owners in 2008 reporting that they "definitely would" recommend their vehicle make, compared with 82 percent in 2007. Customer loyalty rates have remained stable from 2007, with 64 percent of owners in 2008 saying they "definitely would" repurchase their vehicle make, compared with 63 percent in 2007. However, the study also finds that rates of advocacy and loyalty are much higher among highly satisfied customers (those with satisfaction scores averaging above 867) than among customers with lower levels of satisfaction. Approximately 94 percent of highly satisfied customers say they "definitely would" recommend their vehicle make, and 84 percent report they "definitely would" repurchase their vehicle make. In contrast, among customers with the lowest levels of satisfaction (averaging below 709), only 55 percent of customers "definitely would" recommend, and only 43 percent report that they "definitely would" repurchase their current vehicle make.
The 2008 India Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) study is based on responses from more than 5,594 owners of nearly 41 different vehicle models. The study was fielded from May to August 2008 and includes customers who serviced their vehicles at authorized service facilities between November 2006 and August 2007.
About J.D. Power Asia Pacific
J.D. Power Asia Pacific has offices in Tokyo, Singapore and China which conduct customer satisfaction research and provide consulting services in the automotive, information technology and finance industries. Together, the three offices bring the language of customer satisfaction to consumers and businesses in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand. Information regarding J.D. Power Asia Pacific and its products can be accessed through the Internet at www.jdpower.com. Media e-mail contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, training and customer satisfaction. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.
About The McGraw-Hill Companies
Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2007 were $6.8 billion. Additional information is available at www.mcgraw-hill.com.
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