Raising the Bar on CSI Scores

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Every year, J.D. Power ranks manufacturers according to customer experiences in the service department. 

Yes, it’s the U.S. Customer Service Index Study, and the 2018 numbers have been released. The top performers in the mass-market segment include General Motors brands and feature Buick as the repeat champion. And at the bottom of the list – well, it’s the same group as last year, unfortunately. 

The point isn’t to embarrass a manufacturer nor sing the praises of one particular brand. It’s to emphasize the importance of customer satisfaction in the service department, no matter which emblem is centered in the grille. 

It’s a Volatile World

Overall, CSI scores have gone up in the past year by 12 points to an average of 820 out of 1,000. That’s fantastic. It shows that manufacturers and dealers are taking customer satisfaction seriously. But it’s always a work in progress as even the mass-market leader, Buick can attest. Their brand has slipped 10 points from last year and just barely edged out Chevrolet and MINI by a single point. In luxury brands, Lincoln slipped from third place to seventh, now sitting one position below the median score. Jaguar slipped from first place three years ago to second last in the luxury category. 

It proves two things: 

•    Customer satisfaction is a top priority. Whether the brand you represent is high-volume mass-market or niche luxury, it must be a constant focus to provide the best experience possible for customers. These J.D. Power scores are calculated based on the first three years of ownership, making the warranty period even more important. 
•    CSI ratings are closer than ever. The bottom brands have closed the gap significantly in the past twelve months. With increases of 20 points and more, hard work in the past year has been productive for those rated at the bottom. It’s now just 106 points that separate the top position from last place, down from 120 a year ago. 

Customer satisfaction has never been more important than today. Shoppers have access to more research, information, and ratings than ever. Make no mistake – it plays a role in which brand they buy. 

If customer satisfaction has been a struggle, act now. Be the success story for the 2019 J.D. Power CSI Study. Choose the Center for Performance Improvement to engage in provocative training based on the real world, not just statistics.  

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