JD Power has released its 2017 India Tractor Customer Service Index (CSI) Study, which revealed that customer satisfaction with tractor after-sales service has improved year-on-year, while tolerance toward substandard service experience has declined. The JD Power study reported New Holland as ranking the highest in tractor after-sales service satisfaction, followed by John Deere and then Mahindra.
The study finds that a higher proportion of customers who are ‘disappointed’ with the service experience are inclined to get their tractor serviced at a non-authorised service facility, noted JD Power. It said that the loss of after-sales business to non-authorised service facilities due to dissatisfied customers is much higher this year compared with 2016. The study showed that 36 % of tractor owners whose service experience was worse than expected visited an unauthorised dealer for service or repair. The service engineer’s knowledge of a tractor’s service history, as well as attention to customer requirements and diligence in providing detailed explanations of the work performed greatly enhances customer satisfaction, the study showed.
Additionally, the 2017 study found that lack of parts availability for urgent repair work prolongs machine downtime, resulting in loss of crucial time for tractor owners, especially during peak seasons. About 30 % of owners who took their tractor for repair are disappointed with the parts availability at their dealer, compared with 8 % of those who went to the dealer for routine service work. Parts availability continues to be worst in the East region, where only 16 % of owners say that 90 % or more of tractor parts were available at the dealer when ordered.
Yukti Arora, Manager, JD Power, said unauthorised servicing alternatives are increasingly preferred by tractor owners who are disappointed with the authorised service channels. She added that this is even within the warranty period, which emphasises the growing disapproval of owners on lagging service standards of the authorised network. In a market flooded with local and cheaper service options, greater attention to customer expectations is imperative to gain confidence in the OEM dealer network, noted Arora.
The study, in its third year now, examines satisfaction among tractor owners who visited an authorised service centre for maintenance or repair work over the last 12 months. Overall customer satisfaction is based on a combined score of the service satisfaction and parts operation indices. The service satisfaction index measures overall satisfaction across four factors, namely service quality, service engineer, service initiation and service handover. Meanwhile, the parts operation index captures satisfaction across five attributes. The 2017 India Tractor CSI Study is based on evaluations from 3,440 tractor owners across 14 states.