CSI Study Yields Interesting Results

CSI StudyThe experts at JD Power recently released the results of their annual US Customer Service Index Study (CSI Study). It is based on 72,000 owners and lessees of 2011 to 2015 model-year vehicles, and was fielded between October and December 2015. We’ll sum up the results of the CSI Study quickly, because that’s not the goal of this particular blog.


Overall scores were down, coming in at 781 on a 1,000-point scale (from 789 last year). This was due largely to the high number of recalls. In the luxury car category, Audi finished first at 874, followed by Lexus at 869, Cadillac at 863, Mercedes-Benz at 857 and Jaguar at 856. The national luxury brand average was 854.


In the “mass market” segment, MINI topped the charts at 858. Trailing them were Buick (849), GMC (830) Chevrolet (818), Hyundai (814), Nissan (813) and Kia (811). The mass market average was 797.


CSI Study Takeaways

Now for the real reason of the blog, the key findings of the CSI Study. It doesn’t matter what brand(s) of vehicle you sell, it’s all about taking care of your customers … and the study clearly shows what service department visitors like and don’t like. Here are some of the most important findings.


∙ Most customers (about 70%) don’t have an issue waiting between one and two hours for their vehicles to be serviced. When the wait time is less than one hour and 40 minutes, the score averages 835. If they are not able to leave the dealership before that, the score plummets to 756.


∙ When a service advisor makes contact with a customer within two minutes of their initial arrival, the score goes up by more than 40 points.


∙ When the time comes for a customer to purchase new tires, 40% said they will purchase the same brand and type of tire they currently have. However, tires are a component of a car that is very likely to be replaced at a non-dealer facility. Many dealers could make more of an effort to keep this service in-house.


∙ 94% of respondents say their car was fixed correctly the first time. That’s the good news. The bad news is that you will typically get a pretty low score from the other six percent, as the average number for them was just 611. The most common issues among the unsatisfied customers? First was “the work didn’t correct the problem”; and second was “the dealership could not find the problem.”  


No matter which category your dealership falls into, it’s pretty hard to argue with 72,000 responses. Customers know what they want; it’s up to you to give it to them. When you provide award-winning service, you’ll end up with a CSI score that makes you – and your employees – proud.


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