Car dealerships are improving their customer service across the country, according to a new survey.
J.D. Power and Associates released its annual Customer Service Index earlier this week and customers report feeling, on the whole, happier with the service provided than ever. The index rose 20 points this year to a score of 797 on the consumer organization’s 1,000-point scale.
Customers of luxury brands are particularly happy with their dealerships, as three of the 11 luxury brands improved their index scores by 20 or more points. One luxury brand in particular scored an overall score of 862 – the highest recorded. It’s the fifth consecutive year the popular brand has reigned atop the J.D. Power rankings.
The study is based on responses from more than 91,000 owners of vehicles in the 2008 to 2012 model years.
Click through below to see how the brands ranked:
11. Land Rover
Land Rover earned the dubious distinction of finishing in last place among luxury brands for the second year in a row in the J.D. Power Customer Service Index.
Look on the bright side: There's nowhere to go but up. Look on the bright side again: The brand actually improved more than any other luxury carmaker, improving a whopping 29 points this year, the best jump of any auto manufacturer, luxury or mass market.
For the second year in a row, Volvo retains its second-to-last position in the J.D. Power survey.
We applaud Volvo's safety efforts. The company is pursuing a goal of ensuring no motorists are killed in its cars over the course of an entire year by 2020.
Now … if they can also working beefing up their customer service.
Mercedes-Benz falls from seventh place to ninth overall. It's a bit of disappointment for the iconic carmaker. It fell from three overall stars to two.
It should be noted that its service actually improved five points in the survey, jumping five points from its 827 mark in 2012. The challenge: Mercedes' competition improved more.
Say what you will about the brand's flailing sales performance or scatterbrained Super Bowl advertising, its service is improving by a respectable margin. Lincoln posted a 23-point improvement, the third-best jump among all luxury brands.
Its score of 840 is still below the luxury-brand average of 846, but hey, Lincoln should take a win however it can get one. It particularly stood out in the "vehicle pick-up" category, earning four stars.
In its neck-and-neck competition with Mercedes-Benz, every little survey counts. This one is a win for BMW. Not only does the company improve its score by 19 points, but it beats its German arch rival.
It's a flip-flop for the two brands. Last year, Mercedes held seventh place and BMW tagged behind in ninth. This year, it's reversed. BMW beats Mercedes.
Audi's sales have skyrocketed over the past year across North America. Its performance has been a major success story for parent company Volkswagen.
It's customer service, on the other hand, is just about average. It gets three stars from J.D. Power, and its score of 846 is precisely the luxury brand average.
Infiniti's sales numbers have gone horizontal over the past year. Prospective buyers should know that the brand’s service has been improving.
Infiniti's score rose by 24 points this year, the second-highest rise recorded among luxury brands. It's enough to give Nissan's luxury brand three stars, and a spot that ranks just above average among its luxury competitors.
Acura was one of three luxury brands to earn four stars in the J.D. Power customer service index. It's a notable accomplishment for a brand that often gets lost in the shuffle.
Which makes us lament: We wish their cars stood out like their service.
On one hand, Jaguar owners apparently wind up at the shop a lot. The elite brand was the worst-ranked brand in Consumer Reports reliability ranking, 28th out of 28th.
On the other, Jaguar owners really like the service they're getting once they’re at the shop. The brand recorded the third-highest score in the J.D. Power CSI at 856.
Finishing in second place is a moral victory for Cadillac, which a decade ago found itself floundering against European competition. Now? It's captured second place for the second straight year.
That's a sure sign the brand is on the right track in keeping its current customers happy, and its overall score of 858 is only four points behind the winner.
Lexus ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction among all brands, not just luxury ones, for the fifth consecutive year.
It received an overall CSI score of 862 and is the only luxury brand to receive five overall stars. It performed particularly well in service initiation, service facility and service quality.