In an era of digitalisation, where more than 85 per cent of shoppers are going online to do vehicle research, there’s a still strong preference for physical visits to showrooms for vehicle purchase, reveals J.D. Power 2021 India Sales Satisfaction Study in collaboration with NielsenIQ.
The study also shows that MG Motor India has ranked highest, with a score of 881 points on a 1,000 scale, followed by Toyota India (877) and Hyundai India (875). MG Motor’s, which came into the Indian market with the Hector SUV in 2019, existing portfolio is largely made up of SUVs like Gloster, Hector Plus, ZS EV and Astor.
Sandeep Pande, lead of the automotive practice India at NielsenIQ, while talking about the survey said, “The critical issue to address here is the divergence of the preference.” J.D. Power, after a hiatus since 2019, has re-launched the India Customer Service Index Study in 2021.
The J.D. Power 2021 India Sales Satisfaction Index Study, based on responses from over 5,500 new-vehicle owners who purchased between January to December 2021, examines sales satisfaction in the mass market segment of the country.
The survey takes into account new-vehicle owners’ satisfaction level based on sales process on six factors — delivery process, dealer facility, paperwork completion, working out the deal, sales consultant, and brand website. It should also be noted that the study had excluded a period between April to June 2021 because of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India.
‘As the pandemic continues its fluctuating waves, a transition from online to offline is likely to make customers strike a balance between the two modes of purchase,’ showed the survey. Pande also said, “At the end of the day, all the customers want is whether dealerships are able to anticipate their needs and fulfil them accordingly.”
“Essentially, customers are thinking at two levels. Firstly, the readiness of the dealers to seamlessly transition from one mode to another and, secondly, the robustness of the technology integration to handle high-value purchases,” Pande added.
In today’s time, online research plays an important part in one’s purchasing decisions, whether it is for a household product or a car. This is also backed by the study, which claims that an online information search is a key tool for purchasing a vehicle.
The study also revealed that around 85 per cent of car buyers went online for their vehicle research due to a strong preference for visiting a physical showroom. Only 20 per cent of the respondents had said that they wanted a complete online experience.
According to the survey, nearly 48 per cent of respondents watched YouTube videos and/or used search engines to gather information and around 35 per cent reviewed advertisements on social media as an online source of information. In addition to this, family or peers’ recommendation remains a strong factor for selecting a dealer, dealership location, and for immediate delivery.
Among the other key findings of the survey – car buyers expect a quick response to an online request from the company. However, currently, an average dealership takes around seven days to respond while the customer expectation is five days. Interestingly, 11 per cent of respondents also revealed that they didn’t hear from their dealer after making an online request.
When asked about returning to dealerships, 68 per cent of respondents say that they look forward to visiting a showroom for their next car purchase and want to experience the entire purchasing journey in person. The survey also revealed that it takes nearly 51 days to complete a deal, with the first 20 days spent gathering online information and 31 days are spent in dealer interaction.
Copyright©2022 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today