Volkswagen, Audi and Nissan last year delivered the best vehicle buying and servicing experience in South Africa, says the Ipsos 2017 Competitive Customer Experience survey.
The research report, released on Thursday, is based on telephonic interviews with more than 20 000 South African customers in 2017, who had either bought a new car or light commercial vehicle (LCV), or had their vehicles serviced. Interviews are conducted within 10 to 35 days of the buying or servicing event.
The sample of participating vehicle brands (15) in the survey represents more than three out of every four new cars and LCVs sold through dealership channels in South Africa in 2017.
Audi, Nissan and Volkswagen were the only brands which received gold awards for the passenger car purchasing experience, with several brands – Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz, Opel, Toyota and Volvo – collecting silver, and Ford, Honda and Renault receiving bronze in this category of the survey.
Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen were also the only three gold award winners in terms of the LCV purchasing experience, with Chevrolet, Ford and Isuzu collecting silver.
Five brands – Audi, Lexus, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen – earned gold awards for the passenger car servicing experience, with another five – Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz, Opel, Renault and Volvo – receiving silver. Honda was the sole recipient of a bronze award in this category.
Isuzu, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen all earned gold awards for the LCV servicing experience, with Chevrolet receiving silver and Ford bronze.
Some of the issues flagged by customers in the passenger car and LCV purchasing experience report include the failure of dealer personnel to contact them after the purchase has been made.
“Lessons learned from the research are that when customers buy a vehicle, having an effective post-sale contact and complaint management process is absolutely essential,” says Ipsos South Africa business unit director Patrick Busschau.
The biggest negatives in the servicing experience in 2017 related to cleanliness of vehicles after servicing, not making the customer feel important and not taking ownership of queries or complaints.
The picture was similar regarding owners’ impressions after having their LCVs serviced.
Busschau says complaints about the cleanliness of the vehicle may be linked to the recent drought in the Western Cape, during which time vehicles could not be washed when serviced.