Automotive industry ranks poorly for customer service

Car dealers are among the worst professions when it comes to customer service.

This is according to a new study carried out by service design consultancy Engine. The company's second annual customer experience survey asked consumers which industry provided them with the best service – only 12.2 per cent of respondents selected the automotive industry, which was the second lowest figure behind the insurance industry (11.4 per cent).

Indeed, whether they are getting an online road risks insurance quote or purchasing a combined motor trade insurance policy, car dealers would expect a high quality customer experience. They themselves must be constantly evaluating ways they can improve the car buying process for their customers to make it as simple and stress-free as possible.

Of the 14 sectors included in the survey, the insurance and automotive industries were followed by utilities (12.4 per cent) and public transport and trains (13.5 per cent). Conversely, retail (38 per cent), hotels and hospitality (37 per cent) and restaurants (35 per cent) were rated as the top three for customer service.

However, the automotive sector was also found to be the industry where people’s choice of provider is least influenced by customer experience – selected by only 11.8 per cent of respondents.

Oliver King, co-founder of Engine, commented on the findings: “It’s certainly a cause for concern that automotive ranks behind even public transport/trains and utilities in terms of quality of customer service.

“Although figures suggest the experience isn’t a strong influence on customer choice, this is because in sales, by the time people reach a dealer, they’ve pretty much decided exactly what they want to buy, so the interaction is much more about ratifying and confirming the product meets their needs.”