Honda UK’s franchised car dealers topped the Auto Express Driver Power Survey’s rankings for customer satisfaction.
The Japanese carmaker’s network – restructured in a bid to improve profitability in recent years – scored a 93.38% result from respondents to ensure that it pipped Lexus (93.13%) and Peugeot (92,92%) to the top spot.
But Auto Express editor-in-chief Steve Fowler suggested the Best Dealer Survey rankings showed that there were “no bad brands” with “very little separating the quality assessments by customers across a wide range of factors”.
Analysing the results of the survey, Auto Express concluded that car retail staff were the deciding factor in the delivery of the best-rated customer experiences.
When focusing on customer experiences of the sales process, the top three brands are also those whose salespeople are seen as most friendly, expert, honest or transparent, responsive and helpful, it said.
The 2022 Driver Power 'brand scorecard' survey measures everything from showroom facilities, through deal-making and handover processes to servicing and complaints handling.
But Fowler said: "The old adage that people buy from people is proven again by our findings of the importance customers place on sales staff that they like and trust.
"This latest Driver Power deep dive suggests that there are no bad brands, with very little separating the quality assessments by customers across a wide range of factors.
“But the close relationship between assessments of sales staff and eventual brand rankings suggests that it is people, rather than processes or even price, that remain the superpower for the most successful franchise dealers."
Earlier this week AM revealed JudgeService insight which showed how the importance of good customer service is growing following a reliance on online car buying enquiries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last month Driver Power Survey revealed that the Kia XCeed crossover was UK motorists' favourite car to own.
One stark omission from the customer satisfaction ranking published by Auto Express and Driver Power today was Suzuki, which was recently the top-rated automotive brand and joint fifth across all sector in the Institute of Customer Service’s UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI).
A spokesperson for Autovia said that its absence from the rankings came down to “sample size”.
A statement said: “We gathered statistically robust information about 25 brands’ new-car sales performance, but that fell to 17 for the aftersales experience. Only the 16 brands which met the criteria for both make our final ranking.”
Here is the complete Auto Express Driver Power Survey Best Dealer rankings by brand:
- Honda 93.38%
- Lexus 93.13%
- Peugeot 92.92%
- Subaru 91.30%
- Kia 91.10%
- Toyota 90.78%
- Nissan 90.45%
- Ford 90.37%
- Audi 89.23%
- Volkswagen 89.13%
- Mercedes 88.96%
- Hyundai 88.58%
- Volvo 88.11%
- Jaguar 87.35%
- BMW 86.48%
- Skoda 86.29%