South Korean multinational automotive manufacturer, Hyundai, recently ranked highest in Customer Service for the 3rd consecutive year in India. According to JD Power 2019 India Customer Service Index (Mass Market) Study, India is experiencing a decline in sales volume and a drop in average after-sales spend. This decline is seriously affecting automotive dealers, as they are feeling the effects of the most difficult year in the Indian automotive industry. The automotive slowdown in the Indian industry might be the one to blame, as study finds a 10% drop in the average amount spent per service visit compared to 2018. Which means on an average, customers now only spend over Rs 5,000 per service visit, compared to Rs 5,600 in 2018.
This decline is the greatest among after-sales customers who are 39 years or older and whose spend declined 17% per year. On the other hand, this decline in service revenue is also significant for dealers as 31% of their profits are generated from after-sales as compared to 25% from sales. Customers have rated their experience in the top quartile of satisfaction, that is 929 points and above on a 1,000-point scale. Out of these, only 89% of customers are more likely to return for post-warranty service work. Similarly, 90% of customers in the top quartile will recommend the service centre to a friend or relative.
The highest-ranked manufacturer in this list is Hyundai, as the South Korean company managed to rank the highest in overall service satisfaction with a score of 903. While Tata ranked second with a score of 870 and Mahindra came third with 863 points. This entire study is based on responses from over 7,177 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle between March 2016 and August 2018. The study was conducted from March through August 2019. The dealership performance was examined in five factors: Service Quality (30%); Service Initiation (18%); Service Facility (18%); Service Advisor (17%) and Vehicle Pick-up (17%). This study also examines service satisfaction in the mass market segment.
Here are some additional key findings of the 2019 study:
- Reluctance to go digital: After-sales customers rarely use digital channels to set appointments despite indicating higher satisfaction when used. Satisfaction is 875 among the 1% of customers who use a manufacturers’ app and 868 for the 2% who use a dealer’s website. For the majority (81%) who still prefer to call a dealer, satisfaction is 831. Customers who walk in without an appointment (14%) are the least satisfied (786) across all appointment types.
- Fewer customers stay at the dealership: More than one-fifth (21%) of customers stay at the service centre during their visit, a decline of 10 percentage points from 2018. However, satisfaction is typically higher among customers who wait for their vehicle service to be completed (837) vs. those who opt to leave and then return (821).
Speaking on the report, Kaustav Roy, Director and Country Head for India, J.D. Power said, “Typically, dealers rely on service work to keep their businesses profitable especially during a downturn in new-vehicle sales. A drop in average service spends bodes negatively for overall dealer profitability. More than ever, dealers need to focus on delivering an excellent service experience to retain customers and encourage loyalty and advocacy.”