General Motors’ mass-market Chevrolet and Buick brands performed average in the recent 2021 J.D. Power China Customer Service Index study.
J.D. Power’s Customer Service Index Study, now in its 21st year in the Chinese market, measures the level of customer satisfaction with automakers’ after-sales service at authorized dealers in the past 12 months. Owners of one- to four-year-old vehicles are asked to score their vehicle brand based on six key service-related factors: service reservation, service team, welcome and diagnostic, service quality, service facility and service value. J.D. Power then uses these responses to award brands a score based on a 1,000-point scale, with a higher score reflecting a higher level of customer satisfaction.
Buick achieved a score of 760 out of 1,000 in this year’s edition of the study, while Chevrolet was slightly lower at 759 out of 1,000. The average score among mass-market brands was 757, so while the two GM brands lagged behind some of their key rivals, they still performed marginally above average. Dongfeng Yueda Kia and GAC Honda were first among mass-market brands, tied at 775, while Geely trailed close behind in third with a score of 770.
Ann Xie, general manager of the digital retail consulting practice at J.D. Power China said some dealers in the country still do not utilize the digital tools at their disposal to help make scheduling service appointments and interacting with customers easier. Those that do use items like an official WeChat account, website or dedicated app saw higher levels of customer satisfaction.
“Most OEMs and dealers have realized the importance of digital tools for improving the customer experience and have accelerated the deployment of such tools, which is just the first step,” said Xie. “Next, they must continue to optimize these digital tools to improve the efficiency, flexibility and timeliness of services, which will determine the level of customer satisfaction.”
J.D. Power’s study also found female vehicle owners in China were often “less satisfied with unexpected charges and prefer professional service advice,” when at the dealer.
“When service charges are not communicated in advance, satisfaction among female vehicle owners is 15 points lower than among male vehicle owners,” the research firm said. “Additionally, female owners say they are more willing to obtain professional advice during the repair/maintenance process than are male owners.”
The Buick and Chevrolet brands in China are operated by GM’s local joint venture partnership with SAIC. The joint venture company recently introduced a new logo, which incorporates the lowercase GM logo with a revised version of the SAIC “S” logo.