Mazda has topped the JD Power Customer Service Satisfaction survey for the third year running in Australia, edging Toyota and Nissan for the crown.
There were a few trends throughout the survey, most notably that transparency and ease of service booking were key. The 19 per cent of customers able to watch their vehicle being serviced were more satisfied than those who couldn't, while people who could book the service online were happier than their phone-toting counterparts.
“Brands that have a strong online platform have the added advantage of engaging with their customers before they even walk into the dealership, offering an enhanced customer experience early on,” said Bruce Chellingworth, director and Australian manager at JD Power.
“Brands should not only actively communicate and promote the usage of the online channel, but also compliment their outreach by using offline tools for a smoother transition to the online platform and to ensure a cohesive customer experience."
"This becomes increasingly relevant as customers across all age groups, and not just from the younger demographic, are going online to book their service,” he added.
Mazda scored 789 out of 1000 in the survey of 4586 car owners, narrowly edging Toyota (783) and Nissan (779). Suzuki and Hyundai were both above the mass-market average of 764, while Holden (759) and Subaru (751) couldn't quite hit that mark.
Mitsubishi was bottom of the charts with 728, just below Volkswagen (737) and Ford (746). Proving a long warranty doesn't necessarily guarantee long-term owner satisfaction, Kia barely scraped above Ford, scoring 749/1000.
Little things played a big role in customer satisfaction: cars that have been washed and vacuumed generally have more satisfied owners, for example. Owners who were walked to their vehicles were also more likely to rate their service highly, as were those who were directed to the service department upon arrival at the dealership.