After-Sales Service Satisfaction in Malaysia Remains Flat as Satisfaction with Service Advisors
Declines, J.D. Power Study Finds
Toyota Ranks Highest Among Mass Market Brands
KUALA LUMPUR: 29 July 2016 — Car owners intolerant of service advisors not tending to their needs
personally and quickly at service centers can significantly lower customer satisfaction levels, according
to the J.D. Power 2016 Malaysia Customer Service Index (CSI) Study SM released today.
When a customer is greeted by someone other than the service advisor, satisfaction scores decline by as
many as 26 points. Furthermore, when service advisors take 15 minutes or more to complete the
process of vehicle handover (discussion of service work, vehicle inspection and paperwork),
satisfaction scores decline by as many as 29 points. This year, the percentage of customers who
completed the drop-off process in 14 minutes or less has declined to 58% from 67% in 2015.
The study, now in its 14th year, measures overall service satisfaction among owners who took their
vehicle to an authorized service center by examining dealership performance in five factors (in order of
importance): service quality (32%); service initiation (22%); vehicle pick-up (18%); service advisor
(15%); and service facility (13%). Brand service performance is measured on a 1,000-point scale.
Overall customer service satisfaction averages 751 points this year, up 2 points from 2015. While all
factors have improved in the low single-digit figures, satisfaction with service advisors has declined by
“The saying, ‘You only get one chance to make a good first impression,’ is a very accurate description of
the customer-service advisor interaction,” said Rajaswaran Tharmalingam, the country head of
Malaysia for J.D. Power. “With the stresses of modern living, Malaysian car owners are clearly more
time-constrained and demand to complete this important but time-consuming errand in a hassle-free
manner. Hence, it is critical for dealerships to ensure they have the right ratio of service advisors who
exhibit high quality customer-handling skills to meet customers’ expectations.”
Additionally, customers expect to be personally managed by their service advisors at the end of the
service experience. For example, when the task of locating and picking up the vehicle is delegated to
someone else, or if no assistance is rendered, satisfaction levels drop to 734 points as opposed to 762 if
the service advisor does it himself.
“From beginning to end, the service advisor is the person with whom customers want to interact,”
Tharmalingam said. “Service centers are wise to recognize this and to equip their advisors the skills to
deal effectively with customers.”
Toyota ranks highest in overall service satisfaction among mass market brands, with a score of 763.
Toyota performs particularly well in the service initiation, service advisor and service quality factors.
Mazda ranks second with a score of 760 and Mitsubishi ranks third at 758.
Following are additional key findings of the study:
Malaysian National Brands Show Improvement: Overall customer service among the
Malaysian national brands within the mass market segment averages 747, up 5 points from
Service Centers Sending More Service Reminders: More customers indicated they received
routine maintenance notification (41% vs. 30%) from the previous year. An increase of 4
percentage points (26% vs. 22%) was seen in customers’ specific service needs being discussed
with the service center prior to taking the vehicle in.
Longer Waiting Time for Service by Appointment: Customers waiting three or more days for
an appointment (31% of respondents) average an overall satisfaction score of 743.
Furthermore, the percentage of customers who waited three days or more has increased by 10
percentage points. Customers waiting two days or less for an appointment (69% of
respondents) average an overall satisfaction score of 768.
Delighted Customers Raise Loyalty and Advocacy: Among customers who are highly
satisfied with their dealer service (overall satisfaction scores of 823 and above), 46% say they
“definitely would” return to their dealer for post-warranty service and 50% “definitely would”
recommend their dealer to friends and family. In contrast, among customers who are less
satisfied (scores of 690 and below), only 15% say they “definitely would” return to the dealer
for post-warranty service, and only 11% say they “definitely would” recommend the dealer to