Mitsubishi Motors’ third-place ranking in the latest J.D. Power Customer Service Index (CSI) indicates the brand is trying harder to improve the experience for service done under warranty and or customer pay. Up one spot from 2020 among non-premium, mass-market nameplates, Mini ranked the highest with a score of 864, Buick ranked second at 859, followed by Mitsubishi at 857, GMC at 856, and Kia in fifth at 855.
Vehicles one- to three-years-old that required service in 2020 were a part of this survey. Stay-at-home orders and working from home caused owners to drive fewer miles, thus extending the service interval. J.D. Power reported that service visits were only down six-percent from the previous year, and satisfaction rose by ten points to 847 on a 1,000-point scale.
Customer satisfaction was measured at both franchised dealers and independent service facilities for maintenance or repairs. This provided a numerical index of the automotive brands in the U.S. that performed well, as measured by service quality, service facility, service initiation, service advisor, and vehicle pick-up.
Significant among the survey’s findings were that those who used contactless payments were more satisfied at vehicle pick-up, 44-points more so among premium customers, and 69-points for mass-market owners. While only six-percent of premium and one-percent of mass-market owners used this option, going forward dealers may decide to keep it if the trend grows after the virus has subsided.
While express service users were more satisfied by ten points, only 54-percent of battery electric vehicle (BEV) owners took their cars in for service, and when they did, BEV owners were 69 points lower in service satisfaction than the average, and 76 points lower in service quality. Power attributes this to the difficulty in servicing BEVs versus regular vehicles with internal combustion engines, and fewer visits that equated to fewer opportunities for dealers to make a good impression on these owners. On average, twice as much maintenance is being done on a service visit than repairs, while with BEVs, the ratio is nearly even. The complexity of BEVs is in part why BEV owners are 2.5 times less likely to have service completed correctly the first time.
The survey, conducted from July through December 2020, was based on 62,519 responses from owners and lessees of 2018-2020 model-year vehicles.
[Images: Mitsubishi Motors, J.D. Power]