Malaysian Car Owners Less Satisfied With (But Expects More) From Service Centres

Local brands fared poorly.

The authorised vehicle service centres in Malaysia had better buck up! A recent study has found that their customers are increasingly dissatisfied with the service that they provide. The J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2014 Malaysia Customer Service Index (CSI) study measures the overall satisfaction level of new vehicle owners who had experienced the service of authorised service centres, whether maintenance or repair works, within the first two years of purchasing their cars.

Satisfaction were determined based on five areas: service quality (38%), vehicle pick-up (20%), service initiation (14%), service advisor (14%) and service facility (14%).

The study found that the overall satisfaction of new car owners in the country dropped by three points from last year, to 754 out of 1000. Worse news still for domestic brands, Perodua and Proton, which earned low ratings of 750 and 735 respectively.

The top four marques which scored the highest in overall customer service satisfaction were all Japanese: Toyota came out on top with the highest score of 777; in second place is Nissan with 776, and sharing the third spot are Isuzu and Mazda with 775. The other “mass market brands” included in the survey and in descending order of ratings are Honda, Mitsubishi and Suzuki, and the rest which were rated below average are Kia, Perodua, Ford, Hyundai, Proton and Volkswagen.

Rajaswaran Tharmalingam of J.D. Power said, “Brands need to focus on the entire process – from helping customers secure service appointments, to providing top-quality services, to faster service turnaround times, to having friendly and knowledgeable service advisors – all of which contribute to overall customer satisfaction.”

Additional services, besides the ones that the customer went in for, helped to improve customer satisfaction; for instance, washing and vacuuming the vehicle before handing the keys back to the customer and following-up with a post-service call. However, only 14% of the customers surveyed enjoyed these add-ons.

If one was to look for an excuse for the decline in satisfaction, the study also found that customers’ expectations had expanded. Last year’s study showed that customers expected service centres to meet only 17 out of 22 service standards to have what is considered a positive experience; this year’s study found that customers expected 19 standards to be met.

“Customers have higher expectations, so it’s vital that the automakers’ service centres strive to not only meet, but also exceed those expectations to deliver a satisfying experience for their customers,” Rajaswaran said.


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