J.D. Power has released its 2019 Malaysia Customer Service Index (CSI) Study, which measures overall aftersales service satisfaction among vehicle owners. For a second year in a row, Mitsubishi has topped the rankings by scoring 791 points (on a 1,000-point scale), although this is less than the 814 points it received last year.
Just below Mitsubishi is Toyota, which climbed several spots from last year’s study to claim second place with 788 points. Meanwhile, Mazda dropped down to third place (785 points), and is followed by Honda (768 points) that also gained position from 2018 to take the fourth spot.
The 2019 study also sees a higher mass market average of 761 points, which is seven points more than what was recorded last year. Non-national car brands that were at or beneath this mark include Nissan (761 points) and Volkswagen (755 points).
As for national car brands, both Perodua (752 points) and Proton (747 points) improved by a few points from 2018, taking the seventh and eighth spots in the rankings respectively.
According to J.D. Power, dealers have stepped up their game to improve several aspects of the customer journey that drive satisfaction. For instance, more customers (80% versus 75% in 2018) were notified of upcoming routine maintenance, with a 60-point difference in satisfaction between those who are notified compared with those who were not.
More customers were also kept informed of their vehicle status during the service process (86% versus 74% in 2018), which was highly valued given the 119-point difference in satisfaction between those who were informed and those who were not.
Even having a vehicle returned with control and settings unchanged was appreciated, as satisfaction was 43-points higher in such instances – more customers experienced this for the 2019 study (71% versus 64% in 2018). However, service turnaround time is an area that requires improvement, as fewer customers had their vehicle serviced within two hours (52% vs. 62% in 2018), even though a majority of customers (89%) had their vehicles serviced on the same day.
Obviously, satisfaction among customers is higher (776 points) for those who have their service completed sooner than the opposite (748 points). The proportion of customers who are not told when their vehicle would be ready has also increased (12% vs. 6% in 2018).
The study also found that more service/dealership facilities are offering amenities like complimentary refreshments and workspaces, as well as using digital channels (WhatsApp, official website and SMS) to make service scheduling more convenient for its customers.
The functionality of these digital channels has also improved, as 28% of customers who went through this avenue indicated they are able to enter all required information and complete service scheduling online without follow-ups, up from 18% in 2018.
The J.D. Power 2019 Malaysia Customer Service Index Study is based on responses from 2,644 vehicle owners, who took delivery of their new vehicle between February 2016 and June 2018, and took their vehicle for service to an authorised dealer or service centre between February 2018 and June 2019.
The study was fielded from February through June 2019, and measures overall service satisfaction among owners by examining dealership performance in five factors (in order of importance): service quality (25%); vehicle pick-up (21%); service initiation (20%); service facility (17%); and service advisor (16%).