American Marketer


Mercedes-Benz boasts top dealer service satisfaction among premium automakers

June 10, 2016

Video still from Mercedes' "Date" Video still from Mercedes' "Date"


A dealership’s service department can make or break consumer loyalty and satisfaction, according to a new report from J.D. Power.

A survey of approximately 8,500 UK consumers found that 78 percent of those who said they were highly satisfied with their service experience said that they were certain they would be buying or leasing from the same dealership again. Overall, customer satisfaction with their dealership service centers within the first three years of ownership averaged 761 among premium makers, the same score as 2015.

Customer retention
Of those who ranked their satisfaction as 800-899 on a 1,000 point scale, only 44 percent show an intent to purchase again from the same dealership.

Small additions can boost satisfaction. For instance, 61 percent of consumers say they had to wait to be greeted at the door by a service advisor, while an improved and speedier interaction can raise satisfaction points by 48 points.

Other areas where improvement can have a big impact include a service advisor knowing about the history of the owner’s car and the point person’s use of a tablet.

Reducing the pick-up process, including paperwork, from the average nine minute wait to under five minutes is another opportunity to make owners more satisfied with their service.

Consumers who feel they have experienced transparency about costs are also more apt to rate their dealership service center highly.

Land Rover Manhattan

Land Rover dealership in New York

“When auto dealerships manage to get the service department’s customer service equation right, they earn incredibly loyal customers,” said Dr. Axel Sprenger, senior director of European automotive operations at J.D. Power, in a statement. “The service event is also instrumental in driving sales, as it is likely the most recent experience the customer has had at the dealer prior to shopping for a new vehicle.”

Among premium automakers, Mercedes-Benz holds the top spot for satisfaction, rising from fourth place in 2015 and gaining 18 points. Land Rover and Audi come in second and third, respectively.

Germany’s Audi led all automakers in dealer service satisfaction, according to J.D. Power’s 2016 U.S. Customer Service Index Study.

The study measures the service satisfaction levels of owners and lessees as it relates to a variety of factors, from wait time to communication. Poor maintenance, repairs and handling of recalls will likely steer a consumer to a different brand when they are next on the market, so it is essential to continue to demonstrate great service even after the sale is made (see story).