Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Ford service centers fall short of JD Power rankings

JD Power released its 2022 U.S. Customer Service Index (CSI) study on March 9, and the rankings revealed Ford fell short of most recent model year vehicle owners. Ford scored 838 points out of a possible 1,000, beating brands like Honda, Kia and Volkswagen. The segment average for consumer brands was 844.

What factors influence Ford's low ratings in after-sales service? JD Power does not provide specific brand-by-brand details, but does provide comprehensive views of the automotive service industry.

Why are Ford service customers dissatisfied?

There are a variety of valid reasons why Ford service customers might be unhappy with their experiences scheduling and receiving service and repairs for their cars. Ford has had major recalls in recent years, although it touts its "built-in-hard" marketing. Recalling thousands of vehicles in one area can cause significant scheduling challenges for dealers and frustration for customers.

Recent supply chain issues have also caused problems for dealers needing to order parts. JD Power reports that average wait times for auto service scheduling have increased by almost a full day, possibly due to improved Covid protocols. Many of these factors are beyond the control of dealers, but JD Power's rating scale covers more than just satisfaction with planning.

JD Power bases its 1,000-point scale on five categories, weighted in order of importance:

  • service quality (32%)
  • service advisor (19%)
  • vehicle pick-up (19%)
  • service establishment (15%)
  • commissioning (15%)

RELATED: First There's A Shortage Of New Cars, Now There's A Shortage Of Auto Parts

Ford service is below average, but improved from last year

While the Ford brand ranked 12th this year, that's up from last year's 14th place in the same survey at 833 points with a segment average of 843 points. Top customer service scores this year can be linked to improvements to the FordPass app, which helps customers schedule appointments directly from their phone and speed up the service process.

Modern service offerings like valet parking, app-based payment options, and the convenience of remote service (having a technician come to your home or office for vehicle maintenance) have changed the service experience. and the JD Power Customer Service Index study was updated this year to reflect this.

Is this an indication of an upward trend for Ford?

RELATED : FordPass Could Change the Way We Own and Drive Cars

Overall, JD Power finds that customers consistently trust good service

JD Power shared key findings, including strong customer preferences for SMS reminders, valet or mobile service, and photo or video communication related to recommended or needed repairs.

One of the most positive lessons for Ford and new car dealerships in general is that people always have faith. The average score for the statement “I trust the dealership to perform complex repairs on my vehicle” is an astonishing 6.16 out of 7 points. This means Ford dealerships can focus on the factors they can control and improve the overall customer experience for their new car drivers.

It will be interesting to see how the JD Power customer service ranking changes next year, with more dealerships embracing online and app-based communication, remote services and the unique challenges of EV servicing.

Can Ford climb into the Top 10?

Closeup of a Ford logo nameplate on the front grille of an unidentified vehicle
 
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