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More vehicle owners getting dealer service

Posted Wednesday, Feb 25, 2009, 2:34 pm in Company News

The J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Customer Service Index (CSI) Study released today showed that more Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge owners took their vehicles to a Chrysler LLC brand dealership rather than an after market shop for discretionary service last year than in 2007.

About 69 percent visited a dealership in 2008, compared with 63 percent in 2007 for an improvement of 6 percent. In the same measure, the industry average increased 4 percent.

“Customers have many choices when it comes to servicing their vehicle, from the local oil change place to the ‘mom and pop’ shop to the dealership,” Doug Betts, Vice President and Chief Customer Officer, said. “To see that the number of our owners who made the choice to visit the dealership for service grow in 2008 is an important vote of confidence for Chrysler and our dealers. Ultimately, our goal is to provide service that people want to use because it helps build the relationship with that customer and provides our dealers with a way to grow their business, an important opportunity in these very challenging times.”

The J.D. Power study, now in its 29th year, examines satisfaction among vehicle owners who visit the dealer service department for maintenance or repair work during the first three years of ownership, which typically represents the majority of the vehicle warranty period. The 2009 CSI Study is based on responses from 106,059 owners and lessees of 2004-2008 model-year vehicles. The study was fielded between October and December 2008.

With regard to the overall score on the 2009 CSI, the Chrysler LLC brands remained flat year over year.

“The index score on its own is less important than what the study’s findings tell us about the customers’ behaviors,” Betts said. “We see the findings as an important opportunity to learn and we will be digging into the details in pursuit of more ways to increase our share of the business through more satisfying experiences at the dealership level.”

To further track a customer’s experience with the dealer, Chrysler launched the Customer Promoter Score (CPS) tool in January. Customer feedback is measured in three different areas—the brand, the vehicle and the dealer—at different points throughout five years of the ownership experience. Calls are recorded and can be replayed the following day. As a result of real-time feedback, Chrysler and its dealers can respond quickly to address a customer’s concerns.

“As independent business people, we know that our dealers want to provide their customers with a positive service experience, but in some cases they may not be aware that a customer had any issues during their visit,” said Betts. “Through the feedback gained with CPS, we can help dealers understand what they’re doing or possibly not doing to satisfy the customer, so immediate action can be taken to resolve the matter. This will go a long way in helping our dealers and the company earn the trust of our customers.”
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