Lexus ranks highest in customer satisfaction with automotive dealer service in Taiwan for the sixth consecutive year, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2004 Taiwan Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Study.

The annual study includes seven factors that measure customer satisfaction with dealership service in Taiwan. In order of importance, these are: problems experienced, user-friendly service, service quality, service delivery, service initiation, service advisor, and in-service experience.

Lexus maintains its top ranking with a CSI score of 865 on a 1,000-point scale, leading the industry on all seven factors. Increasing 44 index points over 2003 to 851, Mercedes-Benz records the largest year-over-year improvement, moving up three rank positions to follow Lexus.

“In an increasingly competitive market environment, the gap between the two highest ranked luxury brands has narrowed from 89 points in 2003 to just 14 points in 2004,” said Jill See, country manager at J.D. Power Asia Pacific. “Specifically in the luxury segment, where manufacturers provide increasingly high levels of service, it is extremely challenging to provide a distinctly differentiating service experience.”

BMW posts a CSI score of 836 and maintains its third-place ranking. Honda is the highest ranked non-luxury brand, ranking fourth with a CSI score of 820 points. This is a noteworthy achievement, considering Honda only set up their new dealer network in Taiwan in 2002. Other makes that rank above industry average include Nissan, Toyota and Ford.

The study finds that customers who are contacted both before and after the actual service record higher customer satisfaction scores than those who are not contacted. Three out of five (61%) customers whose service experience encompasses both pre- and post-service visit contact report CSI scores 22 points above the industry average. In contrast, customers whose service experience is limited to the service visit alone, and are not contacted by dealers either before or after service, are relatively dissatisfied and record an average CSI score 68 points below the industry average.

“Lexus is most successful in being able to provide customers with a holistic service experience, with over three-quarters of its customers (77%) being contacted both before and after the service visit,” said See.