Canadian auto shops can do a much better job serving customers, according to a study released Wednesday.
The J.D. Power 2015 Canadian Customer Service Index Long-Term Study found the majority (67 per cent) rated their experience as an 8 out of 10 or below. Only 40 per cent of those customers said they 'definitely will' return to the shop for service in the future.
"This underscores the importance for Canadian vehicle service facilities to focus on providing a consistently outstanding customer experience," said J.D. Ney, manager of the Canadian automotive practice at J.D. Power, in a statement. "There is a significant opportunity to improve the service experience, as just 15 per cent of all service occasions in the past 12 months resulted in an overall customer service rating of 10."
Of those customers who rated their experience as a 10, 93 per cent say they 'definitely will' return.
Aftermarket shops performed slightly better than dealerships, scoring 749 and 731 respectively out of 1,000 total points.
Of dealerships, Lexus topped the list with 809 points, followed by Volkswagen at 772 points. Wal-Mart and Canadian Tire ranked last and second last with 681 and 698 points respectively.
The study measures service experience, satisfaction and intended loyalty to the shop among owners of vehicles that are 4 to 12 years old for work that is covered by a warranty or paid for out of pocket. Satisfaction is based on service initiation, service quality, service advisor, service facility and vehicle pickup.
Ney notes shops should focus on being more focused on the customer's needs, making an appointment on the day requested, and providing helpful advice. This includes having the customer speak to an advisor immediately when arriving, keeping the customer informed during the repair, and contacting the customer after the appointment. Satisfaction and the amount spent on a repair increase when a customer is properly educated on additional work that may be required.
Here is how different dealerships and aftermarket shops rank in the study.
- Lexus dealerships - 809
- NAPA AUTOPRO - 775
- Volkswagen dealerships - 772
- Foutain Tire - 760
- Ford Quick Lane - 757
- Kia dealerships - 751
- Toyota dealerships - 744
- Industry Average - 741
- Jiffy Lube - 739
- Nissan dealerships - 737
- Ford/Lincoln dealerships - 736
- Great Canadian Oil Change - 733
- GM dealerships - 732
- Midas - 732
- Mazda dealerships - 731
- Subaru dealerships - 728
- Mr. Lube - 727
- Honda dealerships - 723
- Acura dealerships - 720
- Mitsubishi dealerships - 719
- Chrysler dealerships - 716
- Costco - 711
- Hyundai dealerships - 705
- Canadian Tire - 698
- Wal-Mart - 681
Active Green & Ross, Audi, Goodyear, Kal Tire, Meineke, Mercedes-Benz, Ok Tire, Speedy, Suzuki and Volvo were all included in the study, but not ranked do to a small sample size.
J.D. Power surveyed more than 11,000 car owners between March and June 2015.