From offering deals to free gifts, car dealers in China have gone all out to please their customers. According to a recently released study, however, many dealers are not maximizing their potential. The car sales satisfaction study finds that as more advanced technology—such as a tablet device—is used in the sales process, the higher the customer satisfaction. Audi tops the rankings for luxury cars, while Hyundai Motors and Citroën lead the charts in the regular passenger car segment.
Global market research company JD Power Asia Pacific released a study on June 30 titled “The 2014 China Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study.” It is based on responses from 15,388 vehicle owners who purchased or leased their new vehicle between July 2013 and February 2014. The study was fielded from January through April 2014 in 51 major cities in China.
The study found out that sales satisfaction is significantly higher for new vehicle buyers when their salesperson uses a tablet or smartphone during the sales process, according to the press release. Despite the reported higher satisfaction gained from tablet use, salespeople still prefer traditional sales tools such as product brochures, DVDs, and laptop computers, and only 9 percent of dealership salespeople use tablets. The study also says that catalogs and brochures yield the least satisfaction among sales tools.
“The study finds that tablets and smartphones are very effective tools in helping consumers understand vehicle features during the sales process,” said Dr. Mei Songlin, vice president and managing director at J.D. Power Asia Pacific. “Providing shoppers with sales information on a single platform that allows them to easily browse options and features creates an opportunity to improve the overall sales experience, yet dealers are still missing this opportunity.”
Luxury car buyers are on the overall more satisfied with their purchases, according to the study, where they score on average 706 points out of 1,000 on the satisfaction index for 2014. The regular passenger car segment scores 671 points comparatively. The gap between luxury car and regular car purchase satisfaction increased by 18 points, as luxury cars improved by 41 points from the previous year from 665, while regular cars stood at 647 points.
According to car news site Rush Lane, Audi outperforms other brands with the new vehicle buying experience, earning a rating of 793 points, higher than the average of 706 in the luxury car segment. A chart from the study also shows that on the overall, the delivery process is the most important factor is ensuring customers’ satisfaction (23 percent). It is then followed by the sales initiation process of the salesperson (21 percent), the price deal of the car itself (20 percent), the dealership facility (19 percent), and lastly, the actual salesperson (17 percent).