An excellent car loan or lease servicing experience often draws customers back to the lender, but not necessarily back to the dealership, according to a J.D. Power and Associates study released yesterday.
“Most consumers just want the vehicle-buying process to be simple,” said Lisa Stimac, account director of automotive finance at J.D. Power and Associates, in a prepared statement. “Financing is a tough area to simplify, but by providing seamless, fast service throughout the loan or lease period, financing providers increase their chances of being re-selected and building brand loyalty.”
Specifically, service alerts, payment reminders or confirmations, and easy-to-use ways to review account info tend to improve customer satisfaction, according to the 2012 Consumer Financing Satisfaction Study, as the survey is called.
J.D. Power’s study, based on responses from 11,259 consumers who completed a new-vehicle loan or lease transaction between June 2011 and May 2012, measured customer satisfaction in four areas of new-vehicle financing: billing and payment, interest rate/monthly payment, website, and phone contact. It was conducted over four financing segments: mass-market loan, mass-market lease, luxury loan, and luxury lease on a 1,000 point scale.
With a score of 865, Volkswagen Credit took the top spot in mass-market loans with strong performance in billing and payment and interest rate/monthly payment. Mazda Capital Services (844) and Honda Financial Services (843) followed.
In mass-market leases, Ford Credit (827) ranked highest, performing well in all factors, followed by Volkswagen Credit (816), and Honda Financial Services (802).
Mercedes-Benz Financial Services led the luxury loan segment with a score of 853 and good performance in phone contact, with Acura Financial Services a close second with 852. BMW Financial (848) ranked third.
Performing well in all factors, Lincoln Automotive Financial Services (826) topped the luxury lease category, followed by Lexus Financial Services (808) and Mercedes-Benz Financial Services (806).