TORONTO — NAPA AutoPro, a network of 600-plus affiliated auto repair businesses across Canada, earned the highest customer service satisfaction rating for the nation’s aftermarket service segment recently by JD Power Canada.
The Canada Customer Service Index–Long-Term (CSI-LT) Study measures service usage and satisfaction among owners of vehicles that are 4 to 12 years old and analyzes the customer experience in both warranty and non-warranty service visits.
Overall satisfaction is based on five factors: service quality (32%); vehicle pick-up (20%); service facility (17%); service initiation (16%); and service adviser (15%). The study is based on responses from 8,605 owners and was fielded from April through June 2022.
NAPA Auto Pro earned a score of 868 out of 1,000. Other aftermarket service providers ranked by JD Power include:
- Great Canadian Oil Change (826);
- Midas International/Car Care (813);
- Jiffy Lube (810);
- Costco (802);
- Kal Tire (784);
- Mr. Lube (784); and
- Canadian Tire (764);
NAPA AutoPro centers are staffed with trained technicians who provide top-quality repairs, expert maintenance, quality customer care and a wide range of services, NAPA said.
Overall, JD Power estimates the value the auto service industry in Canada in 2022 at $10.9 billion, up from $6.6 billion in 2021 and $10 billion in 2019.
The rebound in the Canadian auto maintenance and repair business is driven primarily by the increase in the average cost per visit to the auto shop, JD Power said. Both new-car dealerships and aftermarket service providers have experienced better top line revenue this year, as per-visit spending at dealerships increased to $394 from $332 in 2021 and per-visit spending at aftermarket shops increased to $247 from $226 a year ago.
JD Power attributes some of the rebound to Canadian vehicle owners’ returning to pre-pandemic driving routines.
While the two segments managed to increase per-service spending, car dealerships also experienced an increase in the number of average annual visits (1.5 in 2022 vs. 1.1 in 2021), accounting for 47% of all service visits and capturing the larger share — 58% — of industry revenue, reversing market share gains at aftermarket shops in 2021.
The aftermarket segment continues a downward trend that began in 2019 with a drop in annual visits, down to 1.2 this year from 1.3 in 2021.
“There are a few factors that contribute to the massive resurgence in both the volume and value of activity in the vehicle maintenance industry,” J.D. Ney, automotive practice lead at J.D. Power Canada, said.
“In addition to driving more, some owners are catching up on repairs that were put on hold because of the pandemic and others are hanging on to their vehicles longer due to inventory shortages and the high price of used cars. While auto service shops are doing well, they are not immune to other pandemic-related effects such as a tight labor market and the challenges of attracting and retaining technicians.
“While this has not affected overall satisfaction in the short term, we do see some leading indicators in this year’s study, such as a decline in fixed right first time and appointment on day desired diagnostic metrics. Clearly, the automotive service industry in not immune to these larger macro-economic forces.”
According to the study, the percentage of aftermarket customers who said that all service work was completed right the first time declined to 95% from 97% in 2019. The dealership service segment had a lower percentage of customers (94%) citing service completion on the first visit, similar to the pre-pandemic level of 2019.
Other key findings of the study:
- Customer experience and convenience drive loyalty: Whether customers choose to visit a dealership shop or an aftermarket service provider facility, the top three reasons for their decisions are the same: positive prior experience with the service department; convenience of location; and word of mouth recommendation from family or friends.
- Customer trust starts with great first impression: The auto service provider’s facility plays a key role in creating a good first impression. Customers’ trust in their auto-service providers trends upward in correlation to satisfaction with the service facility. Trust level of customers who are not satisfied with the service facility (3.06 on a 7-point scale) was significantly lower than those who were very satisfied with the facility (6.82).
- In the car dealership service segment, Lexus-brand dealerships ranked highest in customer service satisfaction with a score of 829. Mercedes-Benz and General Motors dealerships ranked second and third.