After sales service makes or breaks a product, especially when it comes to complicated machinery such as the modern day automobile. To win in India, good after sales service is a must and this is one factor that every car brand operating in India must take note of. The brands which ensure consistently good service are rewarded at the hustings while others, which choose to take the customer at the ride, are delivered debilitating body blows, some so severe that it could eventually lead to the automaker shutting shop in India. It is another year and the time for the latest findings from J.D. Power 2014 India Customer Service Index (CSI) Study —Mass Market.
J.D. Power is a prominent survey agency that frequently releases findings related to the Indian automotive industry. The latest study related to mass market car brands’ after sales performance throws up some interesting observations. First things first, Maruti Suzuki has yet again managed to win the stakes in the customer service index, and has done it for the 15th consecutive year. In a nutshell, Maruti Suzuki customers are the happiest when it comes to the customer service rendered by the automaker to them. On the other end of the spectrum is Skoda, which continues to face flak for shoddy customer service, with customers least satisfied with the Czech car maker.
The study has considered five major areas to measure overall customer satisfaction of a car brand’s after sales service. These areas are – service quality (43%); vehicle pick-up (17%); service advisor (14%); service facility (14%); and service initiation (11%). Car brands in India have been rated on a 1,000 point index, with the best brands scoring the most points, and the worst brands scoring the least points.
Here are the highlights of the J.D. Power Study:
- Overall customer satisfaction with customer service, measured across all brands increased by 22 points. The national average score now rests at 856/1000.
- Three brands, Maruti Suzuki, Honda and Hyundai, in that order, have managed to score above the national average in the customer service satisfaction index.
- Nine other car brands – Tata Motors, Mahindra, Toyota, Nissan, Ford, Volkswagen, Renault, Chevrolet and Skoda, have scored below the national average in the customer service satisfaction index.
- Maruti Suzuki, with a score of 890/1000, is the brand whose customer service has been rated the best by customers and Skoda, with a score of 772/1000, is the brand whose customer service has been rated the worst by customers.
- The best three performers, Maruti Suzuki, Honda and Hyundai have remained consistent, year on year.
- Tata Motors has made the biggest gains, from languishing in second from last in 2013, to now bagging 4th place.
- Volkswagen has also made improvements, hitting 9th position in 2014, from the 13th and last position in 2011.
- Skoda’s performance has worsened with the brand, slipping to last (13th) place in 2014, from last year’s 10th place.
- Fiat has not been included in this year’s survey give the automaker’s separation from the joint sales and service venture with Tata Motors. Fiat is likely to be back next year, with its independent service centers being measured.