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J.D. Power Customer Service Index reveals declining satisfaction, names Lexus as top brand

Analysts attributed the declining satisfaction to longer wait times, more recalls, and inadequate training on EVs for service technicians

In the latest J.D. Power Customer Service Index study, buyers again reported declining satisfaction, the first year-over-year drop since 1995.

The negative trend in the consumer experience is echoed in other studies, such as Cox Automotive’s Car Buyer Journey study published in January. However, while year-over-year declining satisfaction is rarely seen in the modern automotive industry, J.D. Power reports that, overall, dealers are holding steady in the face of economic headwinds, with scores only dropping by 3 points on a 1,000 point scale, from 789 to 786.

However, while the change is minuscule, the study did note important shifts which could have contributed to the declining satisfaction. J.D. Power noted that wait times at dealerships had “increased 1.9 days for premium vehicles and 1.3 days for mass market vehicles,” bringing the average duration to 5.6 days for premium and 4.8 days for mass market. The analysts also cited a stagnation in EV service improvements. “As training programs for service advisors and technicians evolve, EV service quality and customer experience must address both the vehicle and the unique customer needs,” explained Chris Sutton, vice president of automotive retail at J.D. Power. “The EV segment has the potential to spur massive convenience improvements in how customers service their vehicles–but we’re not seeing the benefits yet.”

J.D. Power continued to note automaker brand rankings among consumers. Lexus not only lead the industry in both premium and overall ratings for the second consecutive year, but also increased its score from 2022. In the mass market segment, Subaru ranked first, followed closely by Mazda then Honda. Ford continued to place lower on the list, coinciding with declining satisfaction over the company’s struggle to keep up with manufacturing and service. Hyundai came in either second to last or last place on all market segments.

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Colin Velez
Colin Velez
Colin Velez is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. After obtaining his bachelor’s in Communication from Kennesaw State University in 2018, he kicked off his writing career by developing marketing and public relations material for various industries, including travel and fashion. Throughout the next four years, he developed a love for working with journalists and other content creators, and his passion eventually led him to his current position. Today, Colin writes news content and coordinates stories with auto-industry insiders and entrepreneurs throughout the U.S.

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