jd power csi 2015 msia 01

Findings from the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2015 Malaysia Customer Service Index (CSI) Study show a trend – Malaysian vehicles owners are expecting more out of their dealer service experience, but authorised service centres are struggling to keep pace with their rising demands.

The study, now in its 13th year, measures overall service satisfaction among owners who took their vehicle to an authorised service centre for service maintenance and/or repair work during the first 12 to 24 months of ownership. Service satisfaction is rated for mass market brands, so the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus are not included.

The study evaluates new-vehicle owner satisfaction with the service experience by examining dealership performance in five factors (in order of importance): service quality (32%); service initiation (22%); vehicle pick-up (18%); service advisor (15%); and service facility (13%).

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Satisfaction among mass market brands averages 749 index points (on a 1,000-point scale) in 2015, which is a five-point decline from 2014. Customers are expecting to receive a higher level of service, overall satisfaction averaging 815 among the 12% of customers who indicate they had a “better-than-expected” service experience, compared with 842 in 2014.

The greatest drop in satisfaction is in service facility, where satisfaction has declined to 773 in 2015 from 785 in 2014. Ease of approach to and convenience of service centres contribute to the decline in satisfaction in the service facility factor. Among the 3% of customers who indicate having a “worse-than-expected” service experience, overall satisfaction is 558, down from 590 in 2014.

“Clearly, customer expectations are on the rise; hence, it is critical for service centres to provide a positive experience throughout, from service initiation, which is gaining importance, to delivering the vehicle back to customers, while remaining focused on delivering service quality,” said Rajaswaran Tharmalingam, Malaysia country head at J.D. Power Asia Pacific.

The study also demonstrates the importance of satisfying customers to improve loyalty and repeat visits. Among mass market brand owners who are highly satisfied with their service experience (815 points up), 42% say they “definitely would” revisit their dealer for post-warranty service, compared with 12% of those who are highly disappointed (698 or lower).

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“Service centres must strive to always enhance their service standards, specifically in offering the value-added standards to their customers. This is precisely what delights customers with their service experience,” Rajaswaran added.

Now, how did each brand do? Top of the league is Mazda at 774 points, just one point ahead of Mitsubishi at 773. J.D. Power says that Mazda performs particularly well in the service initiation and service quality factors. Honda completes the podium with 760 points, ahead of fellow Japanese big boys Nissan (758) and Toyota (756). As for national brands, Perodua is above the 749-point mass market average at 753, while Proton is far behind with 726.

The 2015 Malaysia CSI Study is based on responses from 2,812 new owners who purchased their mass market brand vehicle between February 2013 and May 2014 and took their vehicle for service to an authorised service centre between August 2014 and May 2015. The study was fielded between February and May 2015. Agree with what you see?