Overall, the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Customer Service Index (CSI) study found that more vehicle owners use dealer facilities rather than non-dealer facilities for regular maintenance, and that owners who use dealer facilities are most pleased with the service. “Among customers of dealer facilities, overall satisfaction with the service experience averages 38 points higher on a 1,000-point scale, compared with non-dealer facilities (787 vs. 749, respectively),” J.D. Power and Associates says in a press release.
“A big factor driving improvement in the way customers regard dealer service is a change in the proportion of maintenance and repair work that dealer mechanics perform,” says The Wall Street Journal. “The Power survey indicated 72% percent of car owners said their latest dealer service visit was for maintenance, not repair. That marks an increase from 63% in 2011. Customer satisfaction with maintenance visits is typically higher than with repair visits, which tend to cost more in time and money.”
If you usually have your car serviced at the dealership, the study can help you narrow down the brands with the best customer service. Lexus is the highest-ranking luxury brand, and has been number one for the past four years. Lexus is followed by Cadillac, Jaguar, Acura and Porsche, in that order. Mini ranks first among mass market brands. Buick, GMC, Chevrolet and Hyundai round out the top five mass market brands (in order) with the highest customer satisfaction.
The CSI study looked at customer satisfaction at dealerships and independent repair shops within the first three years of ownerships, which is the typical length of a new car warranty. J.D. Power and Associates used five variables (service quality, service initiation, service advisor, service facility and vehicle pick-up) to evaluate overall customer satisfaction.
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