The 2013 Australia Customer Service Index (CSI) Study ranked Mazda at the top of the 12-brand list with a score of 804 points out of 1000.
Japanese manufacturers filled the top five positions, with Toyota (802), Subaru (801), 2012 leader Honda (798) and Nissan (787) joining Mazda, which returned to first position three years after claiming top honours in the inaugural Australian JD Power CSI ranking in 2010.
Ford (785) was the only other manufacturer to rank above the industry average (783), which was down eight points compared with last year following a drop in customers’ satisfaction in the vehicle pick-up (down 10 points), service quality (down nine points), service facility (down eight points) and service advisor (down eight points) categories.
Volkswagen (743) was the lowest-ranked brand for the second consecutive year, down 14 points from 2012. Holden (758) fell 21 points from last year – more than any other brand – and finished second from the bottom, below Mitsubishi (779), Kia (773), Hyundai (768) and Suzuki (764).
JD Power Asia Pacific director Gordon Shields said the results of this year’s study revealed it is becoming increasingly important for dealers and service centres to be sensitive to owners’ time constraints.
“Delivering on promised service times, providing quicker service options, as well as better amenities and facilities, will ensure customers are able to be more productive during their service visit and, in turn, further enhance the customer experience,” Shields said.
The study revealed that 52 per cent of customers who received capped-price servicing said they would return to the same dealership for future services, seven per cent higher than for those manufacturers that do not offer capped-price programs.
Twenty-eight per cent of owners said their vehicle was both washed and vacuumed during their service visit, and the average satisfaction of those customers was 829 points – 46 points above the industry average, 72 points ahead of customers whose cars were not cleaned, and a whopping 242 points ahead of customers whose cars were returned dirtier than they were before the service.
The 2013 CSI study – conducted between August and September this year – was based on the responses of 4421 owners who purchased a new vehicle between August 2008 and September 2013.
Audi, BMW, Great Wall, Jeep, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot and Volvo were included in the study but were not ranked due to insufficient sample size.