2016_Malaysia CSI_IG_v1_072616

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According to the J.D. Power 2016 Malaysia Customer Service Index (CSI) Study, service advisors play a pivotal role in determining the level of customer satisfaction. “The saying, ‘You only get one chance to make a good first impression,’ is a very accurate description of the customer-service advisor interaction,” said Rajaswaran Tharmalingam, the country head of Malaysia for J.D. Power.

“With the stresses of modern living, Malaysian car owners are clearly more time-constrained and demand to complete this important but time-consuming errand in a hassle-free manner. Hence, it is critical for dealerships to ensure they have the right ratio of service advisors who exhibit high quality customer-handling skills to meet customers’ expectations,” he added.

The study, which now enters its 14th year, is based on responses from 3,257 new-vehicle owners who purchased their mass market brand vehicle (no premium brands) between February 2014 and May 2015, and took their vehicle for service to an authorised service centre between August 2015 and May 2016.

New-vehicle owner satisfaction with the service experience is measured 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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This year’s edition sees a slight increase in the satisfaction among mass market brands, averaging 751 points (on a 1,000-point scale) from 749 last year. While all factors have improved, satisfaction with service advisors has declined by one point.

Toyota managed to reclaim the top spot with a score of 763, a seven-point gain from last year. The study revealed that the T brand performed well in the service initiation, service advisor and service quality factors.

Coming in second place is Mazda with 760, followed by Mitsubishi in third place at 758, both of which occupied the top two spots in 2015, with a score of 774 and 773, respectively. They are followed by Kia (755), Isuzu (753), Honda (752), and Nissan (751).

Falling just below the mass market average is national carmaker Perodua with a score of 749, which also shares the same score with Volkswagen. Meanwhile, Hyundai takes the tenth spot with 748 points, trailed by another national carmaker, Proton with a score 745, and finally Ford (742).

2016_Malaysia CSI_IG_v1_072616

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The study also revealed a few key findings, where Malaysian national brands showed an improvement, averaging 747, up five points from 2015. More customers have also indicated that they received routine maintenance notification (41% vs. 30%) from the previous year. Additionally, more customers prefer to discuss their service needs prior to sending their vehicle in (26% vs. 22% last year).

Other findings showed that 31% (up 10%) of respondents had to wait three or more days for an appointment average an overall satisfaction score of 743. On the other hand, customers waiting two days or less for an appointment (69% of respondents) averaged an overall satisfaction score of 768.

Finally, customers who are highly satisfied with their dealer service (scores of 823 and above), 46% say they “definitely would” return to their dealer for post-warranty service and 50% “definitely would” recommend their dealer to friends and family.

As for customers who are displeased (scores of 690 and below), only 15% say they “definitely would” return to the dealer for post-warranty service, and only 11% say they “definitely would” recommend the dealer to others. What are your thoughts on the results of the study? Care to share your service experience?