Test drive delivers customer satisfaction

Saturday, Nov 02, 2013 10:17

HCM CITY (Biz Hub)  — Offering a test drive to people visiting a dealership to buy a new vehicle significantly increases customer satisfaction with the sales process, according to results of a Viet Nam Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) study released last week.

The J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2013 Study identifies and examines seven factors that contribute to overall satisfaction with the purchase experience.

In order of importance, they are: delivery process, delivery timing, sales initiation (including test driving), paperwork, salesperson, dealer facility, and the deal itself (price discounts, warranty etc.).

The study reports SSI performance as an index score based on a 1,000-point scale, with a higher overall score indicating higher satisfaction with the new-vehicle sales and delivery process. Overall sales satisfaction averages 850 this year, a four-point increase from last year, the study found.

Among the six brands covered by the study, Hyundai ranked highest in overall sales satisfaction with a score of 856, up eight points from last year. Hyundai performed particularly well in the sales initiation, deal, salesperson and delivery timing factors.

Honda came in second (853), followed by Toyota (852).

The survey found that only 73 per cent of new-vehicle buyers are offered a test drive by the dealer, and among them, just 36 per cent actually take up the offer.

"It is important that dealers encourage customers to test drive their new-vehicles in order to familiarise themselves with the various features and benefits of the car," said Rajeev Nair, director at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Singapore.

"A test drive is a great opportunity for the salesperson to demonstrate and highlight vehicle's features to customers, answer any queries that customers may have and help to differentiate their brand from those of competitors."

With 84 per cent of new-vehicle buyers in Viet Nam purchasing a new vehicle for the first time, the study finds that satisfaction is higher among new-vehicle buyers when their salesperson spends more than 30 minutes to conduct a thorough handover of the new vehicle to the customer, 15 points higher than among buyers whose salesperson spends 15 minutes or less with them at the time of delivery.

According to the study, friends and family are the most popular sources of information for new-vehicle shoppers. However, it also found that 78 per cent of new-vehicle shoppers in Viet Nam were using the Internet to research vehicle makes and models, up from 61 per cent last year.

"The importance of the Internet in Viet Nam underscores the need for brands and dealerships to provide a strong Web presence that both informs and attracts customers," said Nair.

"Brands that can leverage the Internet to extend and complement their physical dealerships stand to benefit from engaging customers across multiple contact channels."

The 2013 Viet Nam Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study was based on responses from 922 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle between October 2012 and July 2013. The study was fielded between May and August 2013 and measures new-vehicle owner satisfaction with the sales and delivery experience from authorized dealers in Viet Nam.

J.D. Power is a global marketing information services company whose Asia Pacific offices are located in Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai and Bangkok. — VNS

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