Need to service or buy a car in SA? New vehicle buyers have their say on top customer service in Mzansi
In August 2018, Ipsos announced its Competitive Consumer Experience which focuses on the ownership experience following the purchase of new vehicles in South Africa.
More than 20 000 new car owners were interviewed during the course of 2017 and the results of those findings were announced at a conference in Cape Town earlier in August.
Of all the automakers currently operating in South Africa, only 76.9% them take part in Ipsos’ quality surveys, while others, such as Hyundai, Kia, and BMW, are not involved.
Improving the customer experience
With this survey, Ipsos hopes to help improve the customer experience by giving automakers and dealerships vital feedback from car-buyers.
Interviews are conducted between 10 and 35 days after the purchase of a vehicle, as well as 90 days into the ownership experience. However, it is not guaranteed that the same person will be contacted in both regards.
Ipsos notes that the majority of scores have been positive. The difference between an automaker being accredited a gold and silver score has been 0.1%, and it just some automakers missed out on bronze accreditation by that mere less than 1%.
In the event, Audi, Nissan, and Volkswagen were awarded gold for customer Purchasing Experience in the passenger vehicle market. These automakers scored in the region of 95.7 - 97.3%. In the silver category, it was Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz, Opel, Toyota, and Volvo.
Ford, Honda, and Renault each scored bronze.
Patrick Busschau, business unit director at Ipsos, commented: "Volkswagen and Audi brands continue to maintain particularly high levels of customer satisfaction in terms of both the buying and servicing of new passenger vehicles, year after year, despite facing very tough opposition in the local market.
"What is also pleasing to note is that a number of other brands are also upping their game to challenge for the gold medal position, as well.
"Nissan is now seeing the fruits of their labours in all categories, while Toyota can also see a reward for their consistent effort in the Passenger Car Servicing and both Sales and Servicing for light commercial (vehicles)."
For light commercial vehicles (LCVs), Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen achieved gold medal positions (88.7 - 91.3%), while Chevrolet, Ford, and Isuzu achieved silver.
The other important part of the purchasing experience is servicing your vehicle; a major deciding factor as to whether a client will continue their relationship with a dealership.
While they did not achieve gold for Purchasing Experience, both Toyota and Lexus join Audi, Nissan, and VW as gold-medal winners for Servicing Experience. The margins for achieving gold is 88.7 - 91.3%.
Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz, Opel, Renault, and Volvo achieved silver medals, while Honda was the only manufacturer to achieve bronze. For LCVs, Isuzu, Nissan, Toyota, and VW to achieve gold (87.2 - 90.6%), followed by Chevrolet (silver) and Ford (bronze).
It is interesting to note that in 2017, the now-departed Chevrolet brand was one of the top performing automakers in South Africa, at least in terms of servicing and purchasing.
"These latest results underline the fact that the custodians of these brands are certainly not sitting back and resting on their laurels, but rather use the customer feedback from our ongoing surveys, as well as other sources to improve areas of weakness.
We, at Ipsos SA, are proud to have been able to continue our relationship with the local motor industry for more than a quarter of a century. We believe the companies that are successful in the field of customer service are those that make use of our detailed research of their brand to fix any shortcomings for the ultimate benefit of their customer," Busschau concludes.