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Customer Satisfaction with Automotive Service Has Steadily Increased

(CNW) OK Tire ranks highest in satisfying automotive customers in Canada with the service establishment experience, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Canadian Customer Commitment Index Study released Aug. 6.

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The study provides a measure of the service satisfaction and loyalty of owners of 2- to 12-year-old vehicles. Overall customer satisfaction with vehicle service providers is determined by examining five key factors: appointment/check-in, service advisor, work quality, after-service and customer orientation. The study examines customer satisfaction with both dealerships and after-market facilities.
    
OK Tire achieves an overall index score of 902 on a 1,000-point scale and performs particularly well in work quality and customer orientation-two of the most important drivers of customer satisfaction. Petro-Canada (Certigard) follows OK Tire in the rankings with a score of 886, while Autopro ranks third overall with 881.

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The study finds that customer satisfaction with the service experience has risen steadily-up from 826 points in 2004 to 850 points in 2008. The improvement in 2008 is driven by increased satisfaction in the customer orientation, service advisor and work quality factors.

"In addition to improvements in various measures of dealer performance, satisfaction with service delivered by new-car dealers in particular also increased," said Adrian Chung, manager of automotive syndicated research at J.D. Power and Associates. "This suggests that service centers across the industry are listening to their customers, and putting more focus on improving the overall service experience."

The study finds that 2- to 12-year-old vehicles account for nearly 70% of all vehicles in Canada in 2008. Owners within this category spend an average of $860 annually on service and repairs, creating substantial revenue potential for all types of service establishments.

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"Satisfaction with the service experience is essential to increasing customer loyalty, which can have considerable impact on the bottom line for a service establishment," said Chung. "In fact, with more than 13 million 2- to 12-year-old vehicles on the road in Canada and vehicle owners spending an average of $860 per year, a one-percentage-point increase in share of service visits for either after-market or new-car dealers can potentially lead to a $110 million increase in annual revenue."

The study also finds that share of service occasions accounted for by the various types of service establishments-including new car dealerships, independent repair shops, quick lubes, tire specialists, auto specialists and mass merchants-shifted slightly in 2008 compared with 2007, with new-car dealers losing market share. The most noteworthy drop in share for new-car dealers was among owners of 2- to 3-year-old vehicles, declining from 75% in 2007 to 73% in 2008. (Tire Review/Akron)
 

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