QUINCY, Mass., March 23 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — According to a new study by J.D. Power and Associates, more customers are taking their cars back to the dealership for auto service and maintenance. Recognizing this trend, Greater Boston Mazda dealer Quirk Mazda and Mazda dealers around the country have implemented programs and policies to improve the quality of their service departments in recent years. Those efforts have paid off, as Mazda has been named the most-improved mass-market automotive brand in J.D. Power and Associate’s 2011 Customer Service Index (CSI).
The J.D. Power and Associates CSI measures five indicators of vehicle owners’ satisfaction with dealer service departments, including service quality, service initiation, service advisor, service facility and vehicle pick-up. Mazda dealers improved their proficiency in every category in the past year, resulting in a 33-point increase and an overall score of 750 out of 1,000. By comparison, MINI, which had the top score among non-luxury brands, had a score of 805.
“The relationship with a dealership should not end when a car is sold, but all too often it does,” said Phil Ternullo, general manager at Quirk Mazda. “When it comes to auto repairs and service, no one is better qualified than a factory-trained mechanic, but a lot of customers assume that going to the dealership means paying more for service or being pressured into having unnecessary work done. Mazda has heard the customer concerns, and is working very actively with its dealerships to make sure that customers have a comfortable, first-class service experience.”
Through their consistent improvements in customer service, Mazda dealers boosted the Mazda brand up 10 spots from the previous year in the overall mass market rankings. The second most-improved brand, Suzuki, rose only two spots in the 2011 CSI, which covers dealer performance during the first three years of ownership.
Mazda’s recent efforts to improve quality of service are part of a broader initiative to increase its vehicles’ residual value, the worth of a vehicle at the end of its lease, by ensuring regular and proper maintenance. Quirk Mazda takes an active role in this by holding regular New Owners Clinics that allow customers to meet with technicians and have their questions about maintenance answered by the experts. The next New Owners Clinic is scheduled for April 7.
With an expanding customer base, particularly within the rapidly growing crossover market, Mazda wants to make sure that its vehicles retain their value, a responsibility the automaker believes is shared by owners and dealers. Mazda’s crossover sales continue to be strong; the Mazda CX-9 recorded its best February ever last month, with sales up 42.8%, while the CX-7 crossover was close behind with a 31.2% increase.
“One important takeaway from the J.D. Power and Associates study is that consumer attitudes toward dealerships are changing,” Ternullo added. “Customers now recognize the value of regular auto service and maintenance, and they want dealerships that will work with them to protect their investment in a vehicle. We take a lot of pride in helping our service customers get the most from their Mazdas, and we’re constantly looking to improve the quality of our service.”
About Quirk Mazda:
Quirk Mazda offers the largest selection of Mazdas on the South Shore, and is known throughout Greater Boston for its knowledgeable and friendly sales and service staff. Quirk Mazda has an extensive inventory of new and used Mazda models, ranging from the Mazda CX-9 to the MAZDA3. For more information, you can visit them online at www.quirkmazda.com, reach them by phone at (617) 249-5805, like them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/QuirkMazda, or stop by their showroom at 111 Mayor Thomas J McGrath Highway in Quincy, Massachusetts.