That deal on your new or used car is important, but once you drive off your most important connection to the dealer is service. And that remains for the duration of ownership. That’s why JD Power’s Best Brands Service ratings are so important. You know the hassles associated with a bad service department. Nobody needs that. Here’s how auto brands scored in this important aspect of car ownership.
Scores were determined by multiple quality and service metrics
Scores were determined by service quality, timeliness of the drop-off, and initial service dealings. Then knowledge and courtesy of the service manager or tech, cleanliness of the facility, and ease of pick up after the service work. One service separating 2020 from 2019 was providing online payments. Contactless payment options vastly improved customer satisfaction.
For mass-market brands believe it or not it was Mini that took the top spot for best service according to actual customers. The luxury brand that topped the JD Power 2021 US Customer Service Index is Porsche. It beat out Lexus which had the top spot in 2020.
Overall dealer satisfaction actually rose 10% in 2020. With COVID-19 concerns stopping randomly showing up for service and enduring long lines scheduling and pickup made the dealer interface better. Vehicle pickup and drop-off were a favorite of respondents to the survey.
“In 2020 dealers captured an even greater share of service visits”
“When 1- to 3-year-old vehicles required service in 2020, dealers captured an even greater share of service visits, which is the highest level in at least five years,” said JD Power VP Chris Sutton. “Dealerships made the most out of a disruptively bad situation.”
Data from owners were tabulated on a 1,000-point scale. Porsche’s top-ranking came from an 899-point score. Lexus came in second at 895 points. Following Lexus is Infiniti with 887 points, Cadillac with 883 points, and Lincoln with 872 points. These scores were all above the segment average.
One of the biggest winners was Genesis which bounced 30 points above last year’s maiden appearance. It scored 864 points. At the other end of the scale was Alfa Romeo with a 797 score. It saw an increase of 10 points from last year but it wasn’t enough to keep it out of the cellar. Just above Alfa is Land Rover and then Jaguar.
“There was a general push by dealers to keep customers coming into service department
Mini’s top spot for mass-market brands scored 864 points. Mini spokesperson Andrew Cutler told Automotive News, “There was a general push by dealers to keep customers coming into the service department. A lot of them rose to the occasion knowing that in the service side of their business, there’s profit to be had.”
Mini also has what it calls its Invisible Service program. This includes showing videos of necessary work needed to remote customers. Cutler told Automotive News that the average customer-pay value increased 38% after the service video sharing was instituted.
Picking up the rear was Ram with an 817 score. Just above Ram was Chrysler and then Jeep with an 820 score. VW came in next and then Dodge picked up the next spot with a score of 824. It would seem that Stellantis will need to work on its service work going forward as each brand essentially takes up the bottom of the survey.