Servicing vehicles within three hours and having vehicles ready when originally promised have a significant positive impact on overall satisfaction with after-sales dealer service, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2010 Philippines Customer Service Index (CSI) Study released recently.

Now in its tenth year, the study measures new-vehicle owner satisfaction with the after-sales service process by examining dealership performance in five key factors: service quality; vehicle pickup; service initiation; service advisor; and service facility. Customer service performance is reported as an index score based on a 1,000-point scale. Overall customer satisfaction averages 795 in 2010, and has declined by seven points from 2009.

The study finds that 85 percent of vehicles taken to the dealer for service are serviced within the same day. Among customers whose service was completed within one day, 43 percent had service completed within three hours, a decline of 4 percent from 2009. Among customers whose vehicles are serviced within three hours, satisfaction averages 21 points higher than the industry average. However, among customers who wait six or more hours, satisfaction averages 20 points below the industry average. "Dealerships that reduce the amount of time that customers must wait for service to be completed may benefit not only from increased customer satisfaction, but also improved cost efficiency of their operation and enhanced service throughput," said Taku Kimoto, general manager for the Philippines at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Singapore.

The study also finds that having the vehicle ready at the promised time contributes positively to customer satisfaction. Among customers whose promised delivery times are not met, satisfaction declines considerably, to 72 points below industry average. Approximately one in 10 customers report they did not receive their vehicle at the promised time.

In addition, among customers whose vehicles were washed and vacuumed, satisfaction averages 813.

Conversely, satisfaction averages just 763 among customers who say their vehicles were not washed and vacuumed when returned. More than one-third of customers report their vehicle was not washed and vacuumed after service.

Among the 11 brands included in the study, Toyota ranks highest, achieving an overall score of 805. Toyota performs particularly well in the two most important factors-vehicle pickup and service quality-as well as service facility. Isuzu improves more than any other brand in 2010, achieving a score of 791, compared with 764 in 2009.

The study finds that advocacy and loyalty are closely related to satisfaction levels with the overall service performance of the dealer. Nearly 60 percent of highly satisfied customers (service satisfaction scores averaging above 852) say they "definitely will" return to the same dealership for post-warranty service. In contrast, only one-fourth of highly dissatisfied customers (satisfaction scores averaging 753 and lower) say the same.

The 2010 Philippines Customer Service Index (CSI) study, now in its tenth year, measures the overall satisfaction of vehicle owners who visit an authorized dealer/service center for maintenance or repair work during the first 12 to 24 months of ownership.

The study is based on responses from 1,612 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicles between January 2008 and March 2009 and took their vehicle for service to an authorized dealer or service center between July 2009 and March 2010. The study was fielded between January 2010 and March 2010.