J.D. Power 2017 India Tractor CSI Study: Tractor Service Satisfaction Improves In India

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Customer satisfaction with tractor after-sales service in India has improved year over year, while tolerance toward substandard service experience has declined, according to the J.D. Power 2017 India Tractor Customer Service Index (CSI) Study.

Currently in its third year, the study examines satisfaction among tractor owners who visited an authorized service centre for maintenance or repair work in the last 12 months. Overall customer satisfaction is based on a combined score of the service satisfaction and parts operation indices. The service satisfaction index measures overall satisfaction across four factors: service quality; service engineer; service initiation; and service handover. Overall customer satisfaction is measured on a 1,000-point scale, with a higher score indicating higher satisfaction.

Solis 120 HP tractor

Tractor owner satisfaction with after-sales service climbs to 784 in 2017 from 751 in 2016. The improvement is attributed to gains in all four service satisfaction index factors as well as a 60-point increase in the overall parts operation index score.

The study finds that a higher proportion of customers who are ‘disappointed’ with the service experience (scores of 701 and below) are inclined to get their tractor serviced at a non-authorized service facility, compared to customers who are ‘delighted’ (scores of 901 and above) who say the same. Of those owners whose overall service experience was worse than expected, 58% had their tractor serviced by a local mechanic in the past 12 months against 41% of those whose service experience exceeded expectations. Moreover, the loss of after-sales business to non-authorized service facilities due to unsatisfied customers is much higher this year compared with 2016, when 36% of tractor owners whose service experience was worse than expected visited an unauthorized dealer for service or repair.

The study shows that the service engineer’s knowledge of a tractor’s service history, as well as attention to customer requirements and attentiveness in providing explanations of the work performed enhances customer satisfaction with the quality of work done, and helps build appreciation of the time taken and charges paid for service. One-fourth (25%) of tractor owners who did not receive an explanation of service work done and 15% of owners who received an explanation either before or after the work was completed indicate disappointment with the fairness of the charges. This is in contrast to only 4% of those who received explanations both before starting and after completing the work.  Of those owners who say their service engineer knew their tractor’s service history and was completely focused on their needs, 96% report that all the work was completed on their first visit. However, just 85% of owners that say the engineer did not know their tractor’s service history and 77% of those who observed that the service engineer was not fully focused on their needs indicate the same.

Solis 120 HP tractor

Following are additional findings of the 2017 study:

  • Lack of parts availability for urgent repair work prolongs machine downtime, thereby resulting in loss of crucial time for tractor owners, especially during peak seasons. Satisfaction with parts availability at the dealer is significantly lower when the tractor is taken for repair work or at the time of breakdown, compared with satisfaction with parts availability when regular servicing work is done. Nearly one-third (30%) of owners who took their tractor for repair are disappointed with the parts availability at their dealer, compared with only 8% of those who went to the dealer for routine service work.
  • Satisfaction drops below average when less than 90% of needed tractor parts are available at the dealer when ordered. Parts availability continues to be worst in the East region (Bihar, Odisha and West Bengal), where only 16% of tractor owners say that 90% or more of tractor parts were available at the dealer when ordered. On the other hand, 33% of tractor owners in the West region (Gujarat and Maharashtra) indicate more than 90% parts availability at their authorized dealership, the highest proportion across regions and consistent with the trend in 2016.

Study Rankings

New Holland ranks highest in satisfaction with the after-sales service experience with a score of 842, a 74-point improvement from 2016. John Deere (803) ranks second and Mahindra (801) ranks third among the eight brands included in the study.

The 2017 India Tractor Customer Service Index Study is based on evaluations from 3,440 tractor owners across 14 states. The study was fielded from December 2016 to April 2017 and includes owners who purchased a new tractor between December 2014 and March 2016 from an authorised dealership.

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