It takes a special breed of person to work in customer service, and that goes double for the automotive industry. The general public expects to hop into their vehicles every morning, turn the key, and go off on their merry ways. Most don’t realize that by turning that key, you set 20,000 parts into motion. In fact, it’s safe to say that the general public doesn’t fully grasp what kind of upkeep is required for today’s vehicle. Nevertheless, customer satisfaction with major automakers is at its highest point in 20 years, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index. The American Customer Satisfaction Index collects data by interviewing more than 70,000 customers to gauge if they’re happy with more than 225 companies across 47 industries.
At the top of the ACSI’s index stands Lincoln, Ford’s luxury arm, with a score of 90. Lincoln has just begun down the road of reshaping its brand to appeal to a wider audience to combat slipping sales over the past few years. Speaking to the Detroit Free Press, David VanAmburg, managing director with ACSI attributes Lincoln’s top spot to a shrinking customer base and slumping sales. It sounds contradictory, but the high score comes from a small, loyal, and most importantly, satisfied consumer pool. Coming in second right behind Lincoln is Lexus, Toyota’s luxury branch, with a score of 89, up 2 points from the year before. Subaru checked in third with 87 points followed by BMW (86), Hyundai (85), Mercedes-Benz (85), Toyota (85), and Volkswagen (85). In total, six of the nine major stateside automakers saw an improvement from 2011 to 2012.
At the bottom of the index sits the Chrysler brand with 78 points, up 2 points from the year before. Dodge follows with 81 points (up 2 points from 2011), Mazda (82), Jeep (83, up from 79 the year before), Kia (82), Nissan (83), Ford (83), Chevrolet (84), Cadillac (86), and Buick (87, up 2 points from the prior year).
Overall, the automotive industry earned a score of 84 out of 100 which was better than the United States government (67), banks (75), hospitals (76), newspapers (64), and computer software (77). However credit unions (87), consumer electronics (85), and soft drinks (85) beat the automotive industry’s score for customer satisfaction. Still, it’s the best score for the automotive industry since 2009 when prices were at an all-time low thanks to the economic downturn.
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Source: Detroit Free Press