Re­calls fail to shake loy­al­ties

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE -

DE­SPITE sev­eral Toy­ota ve­hi­cle safety re­calls this year, Aus­tralia’s top-sell­ing car com­pany has rated third in a con­sumer rec­om­men­da­tion sur­vey be­hind Subaru and Honda.

The on­line sur­vey, re­leased by Bris­bane con­sult­ing firm En­gaged Mar­ket­ing, showed the three Ja­panese com­pa­nies ‘‘sig­nif­i­cantly out­per­formed’’ Aus­tralian com­pa­nies Ford and Gen­eral Mo­tors Holden, En­gaged Mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor Chris Roberts said.

‘‘I sus­pected the Toy­ota re­calls would have had an ef­fect, but they ac­tu­ally ranked well,’’ he said.

‘‘Price is not as strong a rec­om­men­da­tion as how the prod­uct per­forms. Peo­ple want qual­ity more than price.’’

The com­pany’s first cus­tomer re­search to in­volve car com­pa­nies listed Subaru at the top with 35 per cent of its cus­tomers likely to rec­om­mend the ve­hi­cle to friends and col­leagues.

Roberts said the re­search also demon­strated the im­pact neg­a­tive cus­tomer com­ments could have on an or­gan­i­sa­tion.

‘‘Our re­search shows that for ev­ery one neg­a­tive com­ment made about a par­tic­u­lar car, it takes around five pos­i­tive re­fer­rals to negate that dam­age,’’ Roberts said.

There has never been a more crit­i­cal time to go back to ba­sics and fo­cus on the cus­tomer

Of Aus­tralia’s 12 mil­lion reg­is­tered pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cles there may be as many as 17 mil­lion neg­a­tive com­ments be­ing made by cus­tomers about their car com­pany ev­ery year.

Three com­pa­nies achieved neg­a­tive scores.

‘‘It seems cer­tain that some car com­pa­nies in par­tic­u­lar have huge po­ten­tial to grow sim­ply by fo­cus­ing on im­prov­ing their cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ences and value propo­si­tions,’’ Roberts said.

‘‘In the highly com­pet­i­tive car sales in­dus­try, achiev­ing a pos­i­tive cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence, first time, is more im­por­tant than ever.

‘‘There has never been a more crit­i­cal time to go back to ba­sics and fo­cus on the cus­tomer.’’

The sur­vey asked 1720 ve­hi­cle own­ers to rate their ex­pe­ri­ence and rank mak­ers ac- cord­ing to whether they would rec­om­mend them.

It showed rec­om­men­da­tions from friends or fam­ily — par­tic­u­larly on so­cial me­dia net­works such as Face­book— were the biggest in­flu­ence on pur­chase de­ci­sions for 45 per cent of con­sumers.

‘‘The con­tin­ued strong util­i­sa­tion of so­cial me­dia in­jects an ad­di­tional el­e­ment of ur­gency be­cause ev­ery­one knows word of mouth is the most ef­fec­tive mar­ket­ing chan­nel avail­able to cus­tomers,’’ Roberts said.

The sur­vey in­cluded other non-au­to­mo­tive com­pa­nies and only listed car com­pa­nies men­tioned by cus­tomers.

Some of the com­pre­hen­sive re­port’s find­ings are con­fi­den­tial and avail­able only to com­pa­nies that buy the in­for­ma­tion.

Loy­alty lead­ers 1 Subaru 35 per cent* 2 Honda 19 per cent 3 Toy­ota 13 per cent 4 Mazda 12 per cent 5 Hyundai 3 per cent 6 Nis­san 1 per cent 7 Holden -3 per cent 8 Ford -13 per cent 9 Mit­subishi -18 per cent

(Source: En­gaged Mar­ket­ing) * Per­cent­ages of cus­tomers who would rec­om­mend the brand

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