Dr Andrew Skelhorn, Research Director of APD Global Research Ltd, looks at how volume brands trump prestige manufacturers compare in keeping business customers happy.
The days of enhanced customer satisfaction being the reserve of prestige brands is over as far as fleet drivers are concerned.
Volume brands have demonstrated comprehensively their ability to deliver better customer satisfaction at the point of vehicle delivery than their prestige rivals and as a result recommendation of these volume brands has risen significantly.
The results follow research from APD’s 2016 Voiceback 360 fleet driver surveys and saw Mazda and Toyota top; Jaguar and MINI last.
Net Satisfaction Score (NSS) Results
Although prestige brands have fallen behind, nevertheless overall satisfaction has continued to increase by 1.3% from 2015 and is at a record high of 87.9%, with drivers of volume brands rating their experience 4% higher than prestige brand drivers for the first time.
Mazda (92%), Toyota (92%) and Kia (90.8%) topped the vehicle delivery satisfaction chart, with Citroen (83.5%), Jaguar (82.8%) and Mini (81.6%) occupying the bottom three places.
Fleet drivers identified poor pre-delivery communication, vehicles not delivered at the agreed time, and cleanliness and presentation of the car as the biggest areas for improvement, whilst explanation of controls by delivery drivers was also a concern.
Net Promoter Score (NPS) Results
- The Net Promoter Score is an index ranging from -100 to 100 that measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company’s products or services to others. It is used as a proxy for gauging the customer’s overall satisfaction with a company’s product or service and the customer’s loyalty to the brand.
The importance of the delivery experience on fleet drivers’ rating of their leasing companies and brokers is clearly shown when comparing their Net Promoter Score (NPS) where drivers were asked whether they would recommend their leasing company or broker based upon their car delivery experience.
The decrease in prestige brand drivers’ overall satisfaction has had a dramatic impact on this sector’s NPS score with a nine point fall to 55.2, a 14% reduction between 2015 and 2016. Volume brand drivers’ NPS score (65.2) has improved marginally and continues to trend upwards.
Kia (88.0), Toyota (77.8) and DS (75.0) drivers top the results, with Land Rover (49.4) Mini (43.5) and Jaguar (28.4) being the least likely to recommend these brands to family, friends, or colleagues.
The downward trend seen in overall satisfaction and NPS for prestige brands has been heavily impacted in 2016 by the performance of the JLR brands and Mini.
In Jaguar’s case this could be a consequence of their success with significant growth in sales of XE product type and high demand for the F Pace. Likewise, Land Rover continues to thrive and for both brands’ networks this has meant coping with expectant drivers and how to balance supply and demand from retail and fleet customers.
In other areas, an analysis of verbatim comments from the research indicates that prestige brand drivers’ delivery experience expectations continue to rise faster than their network can deliver, whilst at the same time many of the value-added items which were first introduced in the prestige sector have now been embraced by the volume networks and are responsible for the higher scores seen in 2016.
For further information on Voiceback 360 results contact email@example.com