Mercedes-Benz Cars continues its focus on delivering high levels of service through its dealer network with excellent products and offerings. This is confirmed by the annual National Automotive Dealer Association Dealer Satisfaction index (NADA DSI) survey. It is noted that the 2016 overall DSI score has improved slightly over the 2015 findings, recording an overall percentage of 72.7%, the highest recorded score in a 14 year period.
Mercedes-Benz Cars achieved 83.5% in the Dealer Satisfaction index, pushing the brand up to first place and receiving the much sought after top honours and a Gold award. The criteria for award allocation are based on a three tier approach, Gold, Silver and Bronze. Brands achieving 75% and above are classified in the Gold category – nine brands overall achieved over 75% and were classified in the top category.
“It is encouraging to see that we have regained our number one position,” says Este Campher, Dealer Network Manager, Mercedes-Benz Cars. “The overall increase of 3.4% over 2015, when we were edged out to second position with 80.1% compared to the first place manufacturer’s score of 80.5%. These high scores is a clear indication that close collaboration with our dealer network and the significant investment our dealers have put into their operations, are bearing fruit,” adds Campher.
“We take the outcome of this survey extremely seriously and commend Lightstone Consumer, who are responsible for conducting the research since the introduction of this project in 1996. The insight provided by the NADA DSI results drives the entire organization, including our dealer network, to motivate their respective teams to reach for even greater outcomes,” added Campher.
The key focus areas on the survey is varied and includes key areas such as Dealer Satisfaction; Communication & Relationships; Customer Focus; Used Cars; CSI Program; Vehicle Range; Media Support; Vehicle Distribution; Parts; Goodwill, Policy Claims & Warranty; Franchise Compliance Audits; Dealer Support and Labour Rates.
The Customer Focus category places emphasis on ease of doing business, setting the standard for excellence in the industry, winning dealer strategy for satisfying customers and attracting and retaining outstanding people (e.g. employees and suppliers). Mercedes-Benz scored fairly high in this important area.
“From these results, it is clear that our customer centric strategy is taking hold within our dealer network,” adds Campher.
Mercedes-Benz also leads the way in showcasing their network’s satisfaction with the various components around pre-owned products.
In the survey, the dealers were asked about the level of support received, including dealer advertising programmes, and Mercedes-Benz dealers scored the highest in this section.
Regarding Parts availability, it is crucial to dealer profit, turnaround time and ultimately leads to a satisfied customer. The Parts category also included questions probing delivery times on parts, the parts delivery system, parts return policy and the support provided to the dealer when parts are not readily available.
“We place great importance around Parts availability and are pleased to note that Mercedes-Benz was one of the top three finishes in the Parts Category,” concludes Campher.
Mercedes-Benz continues to follow new and innovative offerings to attract customers to the dealer showrooms, and with the introduction of new and exciting models, this trend will continue in all areas of the business.