Mercedes-Benz continues its stellar run in 2018 by successfully defending the top spot in the J.D. Power 2018 India CSI Luxury Study.
After claiming top honours in the previous study, Mercedes-Benz India has repeated the feat this year by securing the top rank in the J.D. Power 2018 India Customer Service Index (CSI) Study for luxury brands. The German marque achieved a score of 903 out of 1,000 in this year's study, a straight-forward improvement over its previous score of 862. Just 19 points behind Mercedes-Benz, BMW India continues to retain the second spot in the rankings with a score of 884, also improving over its last score of 849. Audi claimed the third spot with a score of 851. While the group of top three performers happens to be of German-origin, Audi's score remains below the 'luxury average' of 882. Mercedes-Benz India also secured the highest rank in the J.D. Power 2018 Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) for the second year on the trot, after topping the study in 2014 and 2015 as well.
The J.D. Power CSI Luxury Study measures new-vehicle owner satisfaction (in the luxury segment) by examining the dealership performance across five after-sales touchpoints: Service initiation, service quality, service facility, service advisor and vehicle pick-up. This year's study was based on responses from 301 new-vehicle owners in the luxury segment who purchased their vehicle between March 2015 and August 2017. The study was fielded from March through August 2018.
Besides identifying top-performing brands, this year's study also revealed that luxury car owners in India prefer non-intrusive and digital methods when scheduling future appointments, making payments and when receiving post-service follow-up from dealers. While a majority of customers prefer booking service appointments over the phone, 16 per cent of them prefer using the brand's web/digital platform to do so. Also, 61 per cent of luxury car customers prefer choosing digital methods when it comes to receiving updates about their vehicle's service progress.
However, brands need to keep their digital platforms as user-friendly, easy to use and error-free at all times as any glitch or technical difficulty faced by the customers on the platform deters them from using the online methods in the future. Also, luxury car owners assess brand loyalty on the basis of premium services offered by dealerships such as vehicle drop-off after service and same-day express service options.
Expressing his views on this year's study, Kaustav Roy, Regional Director at J.D. Power stated, 'While personal interaction is still the most common way for customers to communicate with their service dealer, premium automotive manufacturers need to incorporate more digital methods that are transparent and time-efficient in order to engage with customers. With more younger buyers considering luxury models, the rules of doing business are rapidly changing. Luxury car manufacturers will have to continue to extend the focus on the brand-customer relationship and stay ahead of the curve by leading in areas of digital convenience.'
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