The Japanese, led by Guangqi Honda, took the top three ratings in the 2012 China Customer Service Index. Honda – and its government-mandated local partner – was followed in a tie for second by Dongfeng Honda Automobile and GAC Toyota. Dongfeng dealerships took five out of the first ten spots in the latest quality survey. Guangqi Honda did particularly well in three of five measures in the study: service initiation, service advisor and service facility.
Overall customer satisfaction with dealer service in China declined to 832 points on a 1,000-point scale in 2012, from 833 points in 2011. After years of posting substantial annual gains, this year’s result marks the industry’s first decline, albeit minor, in satisfaction since 2006.
“Our research has shown that customer satisfaction with the dealership has a significant impact on owner loyalty and brand advocacy,” said Justin Min, senior automotive analyst for J.D. Power Asia Pacific Shanghai.
Power’s analysis claims, this slight satisfaction decline in is likely a result of the industry’s inability to keep pace with China’s explosive vehicle sales pace in recent years, which saw nearly 40 million new passenger vehicles added to China’s roads in just the last four years.
As China’s passenger vehicle sales increase, the total number of vehicles on the road may be increasing faster than the industry’s capacity to add qualified dealers to service these vehicles at levels that consumers have come to expect. This market dynamic has led to lower levels of customer satisfaction with service advisers, and service facilities, in particular.
After-sales service currently accounts for 44% of dealer profit, according to the 2012 J.D. Power China Dealer Attitude Study. The percentage is expected to continue to increase as new-vehicle prices decline and profit shrinks.
The 2012 China Customer Service Index (CSI) Study is based on street intercept and face-to-face interviews with 14,657 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle between February 2010 and May 2011, and examines 68 passenger vehicle brands. The study was fielded between February and May 2012 in 37 major cities in China.