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National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa
Leading Authority and information provider for the South African Motor Industry

NAAMSA AND PROACTIVE MEDIA RELEASE
PUBLICATION OF YEAR 2000 CUSTOMER SATISFACTION RESEARCH 
Explanation and Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Introduction 
            
    In a bid to demonstrate the industry's commitment to their customers, the motor manufacturers who are members of Naamsa have taken a decision to publish Year 2000 competitive customer satisfaction results. Whilst many of the manufacturers have been measuring customer satisfaction for as long as fifteen years, this decision reflects a laudable move towards transparency and will surely encourage healthy competition in the industry to both win and keep customers.

    The results of the Year 2000 Competitive Customer Satisfaction Index are attached. In addition, the following explanatory notes and frequently asked questions are relevant.
               

  2. Who conducts the research?
              

    The Centre for Proactive Marketing has been measuring customer satisfaction in the motor industry since 1989 and is currently the primary supplier of satisfaction research to the industry. The Competitive Customer Satisfaction Index (CCSI) has been in place since 1991 although the results have never been shared in a public forum before.

    The research methodology and statistical sampling techniques used have been verified by recognised independent institutions and conform to international best practice. The customer satisfaction research results to be published therefore represent the official, unbiased results - recognised by the players in the motor industry - obtained through suitable methodology and based on adequate samples. The results of any other customer satisfaction survey will not be recognised by NAAMSA as being representative of the industry.
                

  3. Who is surveyed?
                  

    This study covers the satisfaction of people who have either bought a new vehicle or those who have serviced a vehicle at a franchised dealer.
               

  4. What gets measured?
               

    In any tracking research it is crucial that the issues most critical to customers are measured on an ongoing basis. These issues and their relative importance are tested every three years using a sophisticated research method.

    Essentially, each 'moment of truth' when the customer interfaces with the dealership is tested during the interview. The sales questionnaire includes 19 questions whilst the service questionnaire is comprised of 21 questions.
                

  5. How is the research conducted?
               

    The telephonic technique is utilised. Whilst similar surveys in overseas countries apply the mail technique, the telephonic technique is more appropriate for local conditions. On average, 95.0% of drivers contacted participate in the survey, implying far higher response rates than are typically reached during mail surveys.
               

  6. How many people are researched?
                 

    In order to deliver a valid sample per nameplate, the study canvasses some 22 000 opinions per annum. The research method has been validated by academics from the University of the Witwatersrand and independently reviewed by KPMG. 
             

  7. How are the results presented?
                  

    Buying and servicing results are presented separately. This is due to the fact that the nature of the two transactions is quite different. The results are then further split by Passenger and Light Commercial Vehicle. The final split separates the different brands from one another. For example, Opel and Isuzu are represented separately although they fall under the same manufacturer and are distributed through the same dealer network.
            

  8. Results when buying a vehicle
                 

    Over the past ten years, the average industry performance in Buying Satisfaction has increased by approximately eight percentage points. Whilst this may appear to be a relatively small increase, in satisfaction terms, it is certainly significant. Further, the fact that customer satisfaction is a constantly moving target makes this improvement even more impressive.

    To contextualise the results, if a score in the high 80s is being achieved, the vast majority of customers are rating the service that they receive as "Excellent". A score in the 70s implies that most customers are rating the service as "Good".

    Whilst the graphs themselves demonstrate the relative performance of the different brands quite clearly, some comment on the figures is relevant. What can be seen is that there is a relatively tight grouping of nameplates at the top end of the scale with only one percentage point separating the top four Passenger Vehicle performers. However, there is a gap of 6.2 percentage points between the top and the bottom Passenger Vehicle performers and in satisfaction terms, this gap is a significant one.

    For Light Commercial Vehicles, the difference between brands is more significant with a clear leader emerging.
             

  9. Results when servicing a vehicle
                

    It can be anticipated that satisfaction with the servicing experience will be somewhat lower than with the buying experience. The explanation simply relates to the fact that the servicing transaction is somewhat less exciting than the 'once-off' purchasing experience and only exceptional service will deliver outstanding results.

    Similarly to the sales satisfaction trends over the last ten years, although less pronounced, industry levels of satisfaction with the servicing transaction have improved by approximately three percentage points.

    For Passenger Vehicles, whilst the individual brands cross a band of 6.7 percentage points (from top to bottom performer), a definite leader in satisfaction is apparent. In the Light Commercial Vehicle segment, only 4.6 percentage point separate the two ends of the scale although satisfaction levels are generally lower than for Passenger Vehicles. In this instance, two nameplates dominate the satisfaction ratings.
              

  10. Queries
                

    Queries relating to the research may be directed to the following persons at Proactive:

    Name

    Position

    Office Tel.

    Albert McLean

    Managing Director

    011 709 7800

    Jon Salters

    Operations Director

    011 709 7800

    Jeanette Deetlefs

    Research Director

    011 709 7800

    Richard Rice

    General Manager

    011 709 7800

This media release is being distributed via the Naamsa Offices in Pretoria as well as under the auspices of the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists.

22 March 2001

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