Motor Brands Need To Up Their Customer Service Game

Tue 13th Jul 2021

The last 12 months have not been the easiest for the motoring sector, and now they have received another blow after a customer service champion rated the industry as being on the slide.

The Institute of Customer Service (UKCSI) have published their latest in-depth report and revealed that customer service levels in the car retail sector have fallen to their worst score ever. With UKCSI polling 10,000 consumers every six months, their reports are a good indicator of which brands are getting customer service right. This year we see first direct and John Lewis occupying the top two places on the customer service rankings, and in what might be a major coup for automotive, Suzuki actually rank equal third with Amazon to find a place in the top ten of the index. The Japanese brand has jumped an incredible 76 places on its 2020 rank, but consumers are less complimentary about the rest of the industry, with not one single other car brand appearing in the top 25 and only Dacia and Nissan (equal 29th) squeezing into the top 30.

The UKSCI analysis found that 12.8 per cent of customers in the automotive sector had issues with the brand’s customer services in the last six months - the highest level ever on record and up 0.7ppts on the year before.

In explaining the issues, UKCSI chief executive Jo Causon said that Covid should not be used as an excuse.

“Organisations must not hide behind this blanket statement,” she said.

“We are at a critical juncture for the UK economy. As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, customers have become ever more discerning with where they spend their money and it is critical that automotive organisations in particular, pay close attention to their full service offering.

“Whilst we have seen improvements in complaint handling, it is evident that too many brands are failing to get to grips with the root causes of their customer service issues.

“Customer satisfaction is intrinsically linked to strong business performance. For the UK economy to move forward as a true service leader, we need a broader focus on all dimensions of the customer experience.”