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Mazda on top for customer satisfaction: J.D. Power survey

The J.D. Power survey saw a big shift in 2018's rankings when compared with last year's scores.
Matt Campbell
Senior Editor
CarsGuide

30 Aug 2018 • 4 min read

Mazda has come out on top in an annual customer service survey by J.D. Power.

The 2018 Australia Customer Service Index Study interviewed 4586 owners of cars purchased between March 2013 and July 2018 who had taken their car to be serviced at an authorised dealership between March 2017 and July 2018.

From those results, J.D. Power calculated rankings for 12 of the country’s most popular mainstream car brands, with each brand scored out of 1000 points. This survey didn't include luxury brands, and another notable omission was Isuzu Ute, which outsells a couple of inclusions on this list.

The J.D. Power survey saw a big shift in 2018's rankings when compared with last year's scores. The J.D. Power survey saw a big shift in 2018's rankings when compared with last year's scores.

Mazda was on top, with 789 points, with Toyota just behind, at 783 points. These two brands were the only ones to get the maximum J.D. Power five-out-of-five 'Power Circle Rating', which translates to a ranking of "among the best".

Below were another two Japanese brands, Nissan (779) and Suzuki (772), both of which scored four out of five on J.D. Power’s own scale - which puts them "better than most".

Hyundai ranked fifth with a score of 769, just above the Mass Market Average of 764. Hyundai and Holden, which ranked sixth (759), were both given a score of three Power Circles, or "about average".

At the lower end of the scale, and all scoring two Power Circles, rather dismissively classified as "the rest", were Subaru (751), Honda (750), Kia (749), Ford (746), Volkswagen (737) and Mitsubishi (728).

The rankings for 2018 are quite different to 2017: Mazda came out on top then, too, but in second spot was Hyundai, Kia came third, and Mitsubishi fourth. Suzuki came second-last in 2017, but was vastly improved this year. J.D. Power says the study underwent a slight change, so the results aren't directly comparible.

The J.D. Power survey showed rather different rankings in 2017. The J.D. Power survey showed rather different rankings in 2017.

Further insights offered up by the survey suggested customers liked to see what was happening to their car. While 81 per cent of customers didn’t have the chance to see their car being worked on, those who did were found to be more satisfied.

And simple things like a quick wash and vacuum could prove vital for brands who want to see their customer satisfaction rating increase: just 35 per cent of survey respondents said their vehicle was tidied up before they got it back, and those owners were more satisfied.

Perhaps leading on from that point is the next finding - customers who had a personalised vehicle handover after their car had been serviced were happier than those who were simply shown where their car is parked.

The survey also found that just 10 per cent of owners used online booking systems to schedule a service with a dealership, and 34 per cent of customers were unaware that online bookings were possible.

Are you satisfied with your dealership? Let us know in the comments section below.