- APD Global Research data shows volume brands offer better customer care than premium
- This is the first time volume brands have come out ahead
- Mazda and Toyota topped the 2016 business driver survey
- Jaguar and MINI fell behind on customer service
IT CAN be a bit too easy for us to get carried away with power, performance, handling, and all those other things that can make cars so exciting. Sometimes it’s worth reminding ourselves that for normal people basics like customer care are more important when choosing a car.
Quite often, and understandably so, people are more interested in the customer experience, and according to data compiled by automotive research company APD Global Research the best experience can often come from unexpected sources.
APD tracked feedback from business users with the UK’s leading lease companies, and it turns out that if you want the best customer care experience then the volume brands are much better than those we might consider premium names. This isn’t an issue of quality but a question of who has put the effort and focus into customer care and whether it has paid off.
APD research shows that among business users it is issues like poor pre-delivery communication, late deliveries, cleanliness and presentation of the car, and explanation of the controls that gives customers most cause for concern.
When asked if the delivery experience would lead them to recommend that particular brand of car it was the premium names that fell while the volume manufacturers saw their ratings trending upwards.
We all lead busy lives and given that time is our only real commodity it stands to reason that the manufacturers who make the most effective use of it will leave the most favourable impressions.
The results of the survey show that in 2016 the top three slots in the delivery satisfaction table went to Mazda, Toyota, and Kia. Least favourable were Citroen, Jaguar, and MINI.
In terms of driver recommendation it was Kia, Toyota, and DS sitting at the top of the tree with Land Rover, MINI, and Jaguar down at the bottom. It should be obvious from this that the likes of Kia and Toyota have reaped the benefits of their customer focus while MINI and Jaguar aren’t quite living up to expectation.
Rob Whalley, CEO of APD Global Research, summed up the results: “The data reveals volume brands are consistently delivering better customer satisfaction at the point of vehicle delivery than their prestige rivals and as a result recommendation of these vehicles has risen significantly.”
With customer service levels fast becoming the main differentiator between brands in a highly competitive industry it appears the premium marques need to up their game if they aren’t to lose market share.
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Maybe they’ve become complacent but if this research indicates a growing trend then those premium brands need to take a lesson from their peers and re-focus on the customer. When it comes to vehicle choice a growing number of company car drivers and fleet managers are placing increasing emphasis on customer service.