The NFDA Consumer Attitude Survey 2019, published on Tuesday 30 April, revealed high levels of consumer satisfaction in the aftersales sector. Overall, 83% of consumers said that they were either ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’ with their experience at a franchised dealership. The percentages of satisfaction for independent garages and high street national chains were respectively 82% and 66%.
The Consumer Attitude Survey was commissioned by the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers across the UK, and executed by Public Knowledge, a leading market research agency. This is the seventh edition of the survey, which polled 2,000 consumers across the UK in a 15-minute online survey. The main objectives are to understand the profile of consumers in the UK and their perceptions of the different aftersales servicing providers in the UK.
Franchised dealers scored extremely highly when consumers were asked who they think would be safest to get their car serviced by. 66% of respondents thought franchised dealers are the safest compared to 25% for independent garages and 9% for high street national chains. Perceptions of safety provided by franchised dealers are driven by an association with relevant technical equipment (74%) and specialist expertise in the type of work required for the vehicle (64%).
In addition to scoring highly for safety, franchised dealers are the most trusted to service all engine types. Levels of trust are very high for hybrid (55%), pure electric, (56%) and plug-in hybrid cars, (55%). These percentages were higher for those who have used franchised dealers over the last two years. Nevertheless, also those who always use independent garages or high street national chains would trust them the most for hybrid (38%) and electric cars (41%).
Sue Robinson, Director of the NFDA, said, “We are pleased with the results of the seventh Consumer Attitude Survey. This year, franchised dealers have scored highly for safety and trust, two fundamental themes in vehicle servicing and retail. What we have also seen is an encouraging gradual improvement in the satisfaction score for franchised dealers. Overall, we are delighted at the performance of franchised dealers in the latest survey and hope that these results continue to improve as a result of valuable feedback received.”
A number of NFDA members highlighted the usefulness of the survey and welcomed the improvement in score franchised dealers have been experiencing. Andy Bruce, CEO of Lookers, said “I am pleased to see that franchised dealerships are the most trusted place for aftersales service. The higher levels of trust from those who visited a franchised dealer over the last two years demonstrate the quality of the service we provide. We make significant investments to meet the fast-evolving consumer demand and our strong performance in the alternative fuel vehicles sector is a result of this”.
Daksh Gupta, CEO of Marshall Motor Group, added “It is encouraging that the majority of UK motorists see franchised dealerships as the safest place for car servicing. We invest heavily in technical equipment and specialist training to ensure the highest standards of safety. The findings of the survey are testament to the efforts franchised retailers have been making to provide our customers with the best possible experience”.
FThe Chairman of the NFDA National Aftersales Working Group, Richard Roberts, concluded, “As a body of dealers, we have continued to invest in researching what our customers think of the service we give. This evidence enables us to take consumer feedback and work as a group on continued improvements to our delivery of service to our customers, helping to differentiate ourselves in the market”.