Proactive Insight Competitive Customer Satisfaction Index January – December 2002
27 March 2003
Once again, the automotive manufacturers of South Africa have demonstrated their commitment to customer satisfaction. Significant improvements in performance have occurred between 2001 and 2002 with satisfaction levels advancing strongly. South African vehicle owners can therefore purchase new vehicles with confidence that every effort is being made to provide them with service of the highest level.
Customer satisfaction with the purchasing experience is measured over a 12 month period and the scores reflect each brand’s performance between January and December of 2002. New vehicle owners are interviewed shortly after they have taken delivery of their vehicle and are asked questions about their purchasing experience. Every aspect of the sales transaction is measured using a questionnaire that has been derived from customers themselves.
The industry scores reflect a significant improvement in performance on every aspect of the purchasing experience and the manufacturers and their respective dealer networks should be commended for this excellent performance. Over the last few years, both manufacturers and dealers have invested substantial time, effort and resource to ensure that customers enjoy exceptional levels of satisfaction. The results reflect this investment and also demonstrate the intensely competitive nature of the market.
On the Passenger Car side, the industry average has broken through the 90.0% barrier for the first time. Chrysler / Jeep has emerged as the leader of the rankings with a score of 92.0% and Toyota is in a close second position. Audi, VW, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Mazda and Ford are the remaining brands that have topped the 90.0% mark.
In the Light Commercial Vehicle market, Ford tops the rankings for the first time. Whilst the average scores in the light commercial vehicle market are not as high as those in the passenger car market, it can be anticipated that the 90.0% mark will soon be reached and exceeded. Certainly, the improvements that have been evident in this market over the last two years would support this contention.
As with the purchasing experience, customers are reporting improved levels of satisfaction in the servicing experience. This improvement is encouraging and a number of brands have either managed to exceed the 80% barrier or to get very close.
The measurement is conducted over a 12 month period and customers who have recently serviced their vehicles at a franchised outlet are surveyed. As with the purchasing research, the questionnaire has been scientifically derived based on actual customer expectations. The questionnaire therefore focuses on those aspects that are most critical to the customer.
Whilst the industry average score has improved, it has been at a lesser rate than in the sales environment. This is largely due to the complex nature of the servicing transaction and the fact that the customer sees the transaction quite differently from the purchasing experience. Whilst additional effort and progress will be required to reach the levels that have been achieved in the purchasing environment, it is encouraging to see that steady progress has been made.
In the passenger car market, a new entrant, Renault has emerged at the top of the ranking. BMW and Toyota are the only other two brands that are above the 80.0% mark with Mazda and VW following closely behind.
The LCV ranking is headed by Toyota, with Ford and Isuzu sharing a relatively close second place.
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