According to the latest JD Power survey, customers are taking an increased number of trips to the dealer because of last year’s record tally of recalls, but even though overall service experience satisfaction has nudged below last year’s mark, customers are generally happy with their services.
General Motors, thanks to its Buick brand, managed to be the highest-ranked mass-market automaker for the second straight year when it comes to dealer service satisfaction and the Jaguar brand was tops in the luxury segment in the J.D. Power 2015 US Customer Service Index (CSI) study. The research was done at franchised dealer facilities for maintenance or repair services and measures customer satisfaction with the service for owners and lessees of vehicles that are one to five years old. Customers had to visit dealers 16 percent (the highest figure ever) because of a recall-related repair and the satisfaction with those customers also jumped from 777 last year to 789 (1,000 points was the maximum). The figures are not surprising, since last year’s record of 64 million recalled vehicles more than doubled on the previous one set back in 2004.
The increase in satisfaction in relationship with recall-related services was against the trend, as the overall satisfaction dipped across service departments. “Manufacturers have shown that it is possible to turn a potential negative into a positive when it comes to recalls if they’re done in a way that doesn’t inconvenience the customer,” comments Chris Sutton, vice president at JD Power. Additionally, while GM recalled a total of 27 million vehicles last year, the Buick brand was not part of the recalls related to its scandalous ignition switch issue, nor was it tied to the Takata airbag debacle in any way.