Jaguar Tops J.d. Power Customer Service Index

By: Anthony Fontanelle

Jaguar, the luxury brand being auctioned off by Dearborn-based automaker Ford, recently received the distinction of having the highest Customer Service Index according to a study conducted by J.D. Power and Associates.

The study is undertaken to learn the level of satisfaction of customers in dealing with their respective dealerships. According to the study, 75 percent of auto owners make it a point to make an appointment before dropping by a dealership. Interestingly, the level of satisfaction of these customers is lower than the satisfaction level of those who did not bother to make reservation.

For the British luxury brand Jaguar though, both kinds of customers show a high level of satisfaction. This distinction gives the brand something to cheer about after months of declining sale. According to the study, on a scale where 1,000 is the highest possible rating, Jaguar customers rated the dealerships of the Ford-owned luxury brand at 925 points. That level of satisfaction eclipsed last year's leader by 13 points.

Surely, Jaguar is doing something right when it comes to treating their customers whether they have reserved and appointment or not. According to Tom Gauer, the senior director of automotive retail research for J.D. Power and Associates, the reason behind the low level of satisfaction for customers who have made appointments is that they more often than not find service centers catering to drop-in customers before them.

And that also explains why drop-in customers show high level of satisfaction. Usually, these customers expect that they would be turned away since they do not have reservations. But more often than not, service centers welcome them.

"Dealerships can seize this opportunity for improvement by continuing to delight drop-in customers, but also by paying special attention to customers with appointments, and greeting them promptly so that those customers know that their appointment time has been reserved especially for their vehicles," said Gauer.

Although no efficient brake components can stop the Ford Motor Company from auctioning off Jaguar, not even those found at , the customer satisfaction rating for Jaguar may attract more buyers to its dealerships. Number two on the ranking is General Motors' Buick with a Customer Service Index or CSI of 918 points. Cadillac and Lexus are tied for third place with 913 points each. Interestingly, two marques named after planets completed the top five; Mercury in fourth and Saturn coming fifth.

Gauer said that repairing or doing maintenance jobs on the vehicles of customers is not the only important aspect in keeping them satisfied. "While fixing a vehicle right the first time is important, personal interaction and communication from service staff can also be critical in keeping customers satisfied with their service experience," he said.

"Simple steps such as greeting service customers quickly upon arrival, fully explaining charges and repairs and performing visual inspections of the vehicle with the customer can go a long way toward promoting satisfaction and loyalty."

What this means is that while Jaguar may not be selling vehicles in numbers that Ford would want it to but it takes care of its consumers. But with less vehicles sold year after year, does this simply mean that Jaguar has more time on their hands in fixing the problem of their customer's cars? That does not seem to be the case since Jaguars sold in the past are numerous and these are what keeps Jaguar dealerships busy.

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