Cars.com may have recently had a string of less-than-pleasant dealership experiences, but according to the results of a J.D. Power study released today, customers are generally happy with the way they're being treated at car dealerships. On top of the luxury brand list is Lexus for the fifth year in a row; GMC ranks the highest out of mainstream brands.
The 2013 U.S. Customer Service Index Study reports that overall customer satisfaction with service at dealerships has gone up 10 points this year (797 points on a 1,000-point scale) and 29 points since 2011. J.D. Power reports that out of the 30 brands ranked, 28 have improved in service satisfaction.
To determine the scores, J.D. Power polled more than 91,000 owners and lessees of model-year 2008-2012 new vehicles who take their vehicle to the dealership for maintenance or repair work. The study examines five areas of customer service: service quality, service initiation, service advisor, service facility and vehicle pick up.
Lexus' score of 862 puts it at the top of the luxury brand list, and J.D. Power reports that the automaker's dealerships perform particularly well in the areas of service initiation, service facility and service quality. At the bottom of the luxury-brand heap is Land Rover with a score of 825, which is up 29 points from its score last year.
In the mainstream brand category, GMC is on top with a score of 819, with strong performances in the areas of service initiation, service advisor, service facility and service quality. Jeep brings up the rear with a score of 752 points.
According to the study, owners visit a dealer service department about 2.6 times per year, and the agency reports that overall satisfaction with dealer service facilities averages 44 points higher than satisfaction with independent service facilities. It correlates that satisfaction to loyalty: 79% of owners said they'd definitely return to their dealership for service covered under warranty, and 64% said they'd also come back after the warranty expired.
Check out the charts below for the full brand breakdown.