Use of non-dealer ser­vice dur­ing war­ranty pe­riod up

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By WANG ZHUOQIONG wangzhuo­qiong@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

Ve­hi­cle own­ers in China of­ten turn to non-deal­ers for ser­vice in the early stages of own­er­ship, even when most ve­hi­cles are still un­der war­ranty, ac­cord­ing to an in­dus­try re­port.

Own­ers of one- to four-yearold ve­hi­cles have made an av­er­age of 3.2 vis­its to deal­ers and 0.9 visit to non-deal­ers for ser­vice in the past year, ac­cord­ing to the 2017 China Cus­tomer Ser­vice In­dex Study.

The CSI study was re­leased on July 27 by J.D. Power, a Cal­i­for­nia-based firm that pro­vides con­sumer in­sights, ad­vi­sory ser­vices, data and an­a­lyt­ics.

Among new-ve­hi­cle own­ers who in­di­cated ex­penses on non-dealer ser­vice, 71 per­cent have vis­ited non-deal­ers for ser­vice over the past 12 months in spite of war­ranty.

Their ex­pen­di­ture on ser­vice at deal­ers and non-deal­ers in the past year is very close — an av­er­age of 2,450 yuan ($362) and 2,098 yuan.

Ser­vice chains and street­side quick-ser­vice cen­ters, which ac­count for a com­bined 66 per­cent of all non-dealer ser­vice, have be­come the pri­mary com­peti­tors to deal­er­ships, said the re­port, now in its 17 th year.

The study, which ex­am­ines 71 pas­sen­ger-ve­hi­cle brands, is based on on­line panel sur­veys and face-to-face in­ter­views with 42,561 new-ve­hi­cle own­ers who pur­chased their ve­hi­cle be­tween De­cem­ber 2012 and May 2016. The study was con­ducted be­tween De­cem­ber 2016 and May 2017 in 62 ma­jor cities in China.

In ad­di­tion to con­ve­nience of lo­ca­tion (43 per­cent), other top rea­sons for vis­it­ing non­deal­ers for ser­vice in­clude open­ing on con­ve­nient days/ hours (23 per­cent); rec­om­men­da­tion from a friend or rel­a­tive (23 per­cent); and speedy ser­vice (21 per­cent).

New-ve­hi­cle own­ers visit non-deal­ers mainly for such ser­vices as lube, oil, fil­ter change (40 per­cent); other rou­tine main­te­nance (33 per­cent); emer­gency re­pairs (24 per­cent); and non-emer­gency re­pairs (22 per­cent).

“These rea­sons are closely as­so­ci­ated with ser­vice qual­ity and cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion,” said Ann Xie, se­nior re­search di­rec­tor at J.D. Power China.

“For deal­ers, the bat­tle for cus­tomer loy­alty and pocket now starts right from the be­gin­ning. New-ve­hi­cle war­ranties may help en­sure deal­ers re­tain a rel­a­tively high vol­ume of vis­its, but it is still not a guar­an­tee of mar­ket share.”

The study shows new-ve­hi­cle own­ers’ over­all rat­ing on deal­ers’ ser­vice is “out­stand­ing”, while non-deal­ers’ ser­vice is rated as “av­er­age”, with the rat­ing for their non-dealer vis­its de­creas­ing as the length of own­er­ship grows.

“A lower level of sat­is­fac­tion at non-deal­ers among new-ve­hi­cle own­ers pro­vides deal­ers an op­por­tu­nity to win over these cus­tomers at the time their war­ranties just be­gin to ex­pire,” said Frank Hu, gen­eral man­ager of auto re­tail at J.D. Power China.

AN XIN / FOR CHINA DAILY

A me­chanic re­pairs a four-wheeler of a cus­tomer at a car com­pany’s 4S shop in Nan­jing, Jiangsu province.

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