According to the latest Sales Satisfaction Index conducted by J.D. Power Asia Pacific, new-vehicle sales satisfaction has increased in the Philippines after two consecutive years of declines that were caused by rapid sales growth and increased customer expectations.
Overall new-vehicle sales satisfaction averages 829 on a 1,000-point scale in 2011, an improvement of 10 points from 2010. All nine brands included in the study have also improved from 2010's SSI study. Among the factors examined in the study, satisfaction is highest in the salesperson and delivery process factors, which have improved by 12 and two points, respectively.
"The study finds a strong connection between sales standard implementation and overall satisfaction," said Mohit Arora, executive director at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Singapore. "Overall improvement in the industry in 2011 is largely driven by more rigorous implementation of sales standards and processes across most manufacturers."
Nissan ranks highest in new-vehicle sales satisfaction with a score of 839 and performs particularly well in the delivery process and salesperson factors. Ford follows Nissan in the rankings (835). Although ranking below the industry average, Kia (823) improves more than any other brand in the study in 2011, a gain of 40 points from 2010.
The study finds that the percentage of customers who were offered test drives has increased to 88 percent in 2011 from 76 percent in 2010. Additionally, for a second consecutive year, the proportion of customers who actually take a test drive when one is offered has increased.
"Getting an opportunity to test drive a vehicle prior to purchase is becoming an integral part of the decision- making process in the Philippines," said Arora. "It is critical for dealers to address this evolving need by positively and promptly responding to requests for test drives, as this could become a differentiator between dealerships and brands."
The study also finds that customers whose vehicles were delivered to their home are more satisfied with the delivery process, on average, compared with customers who picked up their vehicle from the dealership. Among customers whose vehicles were delivered to their home, satisfaction averages 830. In comparison, satisfaction averages 823 among customers who picked up their vehicle from the dealership. The proportion of customers who received their vehicle at home in 2011 (50%) has more than doubled from 2010 (23%).
"The hefty growth rate of vehicle sales in the Philippines must not deter manufacturers from providing a delightful sales experience to their customers," said Arora. "In a market where a large majority of customers rely on traditional and non-digital sources of information in making a purchase decision-such as the reputation of the brand or recommendations from friends and family-providing a delightful sales experience helps to generate good word of mouth, which may translate into increased business."
The 2011 Philippines SSI Study is based on responses from more than 1,463 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle between August 2010 and February 2011. The study was fielded from February to May 2011.