Dubai: Toyota owners in the UAE had the highest sales satisfaction among mass-market auto brands, with Ford coming in second and Chevrolet in third spot, according to the latest J.D. Power rankings.
Among luxury car brands, the highest score was given by Mercedes-Benz buyers, with Infiniti and Lexus taking the next two spots.
Dealerships, which have been investing heavily on tech to aid their sales processes, need to commit resources to the human factor as well. “While digital tools help streamline some of the day-to-day processes, dealerships need to consider that not all customers may be comfortable or can appreciate the benefits of such tools,” said Shantanu Majumdar, Region Director of Automotive Practice at J.D. Power. “Human interaction will continue to be critical in crafting a memorable customer experience at the dealership, which can be complemented by a judicious use of digital tools.”
Need for improvement
One area that will need some improving is selling to women buyers. While they made up almost one-fourth of new-vehicle buyers in this year’s study, they voiced less satisfaction compared with their male counterparts.
“Some of the challenges women face at the dealership include attempts to change the originally promised price, or having to return to the dealership to fix issues with paperwork,” the report says.
The 2019 UAE Sales Satisfaction Index Study measures satisfaction with the sales experience among new-vehicle buyers. Buyer satisfaction is based on six measures - dealer sales consultant (24 per cent weightage); dealership facility (18 per cent); delivery process (17 per cent); dealership website (15 per cent); paperwork completion (15 per cent) and working out the deal (11 per cent).
The study polled responses from 1,884 buyers who purchased or leased their new vehicle between June 2018 through September 2019.
Interestingly, despite the increased use of digital resources, a large portion of new-car customers still engage with dealers via a physical visit (92 per cent) or a phone call (77 per cent). Recommendation from family and friends is the most widely cited reason (44 per cent) influencing a customer’s decision to visit the dealership from where they purchased a vehicle.