Hyundai took out the top spot in the customer satisfaction index, an independent survey of new car buyers. The Korean manufacturer scored 827 points out of a possible 1000 in the survey which was conducted from January through June this year. The survey garnered responses from 2779 buyers of new cars from the period June 2016 to June 2017.
The independent study made a number of interesting findings. Buyers of new SUVs are typically unhappier than buyers of more traditional passenger vehicles. SUV buyers scored an average Satisfaction rating of 811 points, five points below the mass market average. On the flipside, buyers of more traditional passenger vehicles scored an SSI of 819 points, three points above the average.
“Australia is now becoming a full import car market and SUVs continue to substantially drive vehicle sales growth,” said Loi Truong, Senior Country Manager at J.D. Power. “However, customers’ needs should not suffer as a result. Understanding changing customer expectations, keeping customers updated pre- and post-sales, as well as delivering consistent customer experiences across the network are key to ensuring an elevated sales experience and can, ultimately, go a long way toward securing customer retention.”
Other findings of the 2017 SSI include:
- Satisfaction is higher among older car owners (50 years or older) than among younger owners (younger than 35 years)—849 vs. 786, respectively.
- More than 4 in 10 (41 per cent) younger owners experienced pressure from dealer staff, compared with 17 per cent of older car owners.
- More than 1 in 5 (22 per cent) customers younger than 35 years old say they felt under pressure to purchase accessories they did not want, compared with eight per cent of older car owners.
- Among the top five main vehicle purchase reasons, those that most drive satisfaction include exterior styling (+23 points); previous experience with the brand (+17); good reputation of the brand (+16); vehicle with the latest features (+7); and vehicle safety (+6).
- Among highly satisfied customers (overall satisfaction scores of 919 and higher), 84 per cent say they “definitely would” repurchase the same brand of vehicle and 90 per cent say they “definitely would” recommend the brand to family and friends.
- In contrast, among customers who are highly dissatisfied (scores of 745 and lower), only 33 per cent say they “definitely would” repurchase the same brand and recommend the brand to others.
Hyundai was, unsurpringly, delighted at the findings.
“At Hyundai we are delighted with winning the J.D. Power Sales Satisfaction Index this year after tying for a close second place last year. It is testament not only to our product but also to the Hyundai dealer staff behind this result,” Hyundai Motor Company Australia’s Chief Operating Officer, Scott Grant, said.
“We know we have an extremely good model range that is continually being improved upon and we know the quality of our vehicles is outstanding. Now, more than ever, our customers are showing their great satisfaction with our national dealer network and the overall sales experience
“Obviously, we’re thrilled with J.D. Power Australia’s findings from this all-important study. If our customers are happy with the dealership experience it shows our dealers are doing a terrific job.”
Mazda, who held the top spot last year, slipped to seventh in 2017 with a score of 813, three points below the mass market average.