There is a strong relationship between an exceptional vehicle loan or lease servicing experience and customer intent to use the same finance provider again.
That’s according to the J.D. Power and Associates’ 2012 Consumer Financing Satisfaction Study released Thursday.
Based on a 1,000 point scale, the study measured customer satisfaction in four key factors of the new vehicle financing experience: billing and payment, interest rate/monthly payment, website; and phone contact. The study was conducted across four consumer vehicle financing segments: mass market loan, mass market lease, luxury loan and luxury lease.
According to J.D. Power and Associates, in the mass market loan segment, Volkswagen Credit (865) ranked highest, performing particularly well in billing and payment as well as interest rate/monthly payment, followed by Mazda Capital Services (844) and Honda Financial Services (843).
Ford Credit (827) ranked highest in the mass market lease segment followed by Volkswagen Credit (816) and Honda Financial Services (802).
In the luxury loan segment, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services took the top spot (853) performing particularly well in phone contact, followed closely by Acura Financial Services with a score of 852. BMW Financial Services ranks third with a score of 848.
Lincoln Automotive Financial Services ranks highest in the luxury lease segment with a score of 826 and performs particularly well in all factors, the J.D. Power study found. Lexus Financial Services (808) and Mercedes-Benz Financial Services (806) also garnered high rankings.
“A superior servicing experience translates into greater lender consideration for future business,” said Lisa Stimac, account director automotive finance at J.D. Power and Associates. “While a similar relationship does not exist with respect to considering the same dealership, finance providers may still influence dealer consideration by ensuring efficient approval processes and knowledgeable staff.”
Many of the best practices in auto finance servicing are related to problem prevention, according to the study. These practices include providing service alerts, reminding customers of a payment or confirming when a payment has been made, providing accurate and informative billing information and offering alternative, easy-to-use methods for reviewing account information.
“Most consumers just want the vehicle-buying process to be simple,” Stimac said. “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.”
The study also found that there is a minimal relationship with the servicing experience and customer intent to use the same dealership for a future vehicle purchase or lease, whereas the in-dealership experience significantly impacts likelihood to return to the same dealer.
J.D. Power and Associates said the study was based on responses from 11,259 new vehicle purchasers or lessees who completed a vehicle loan or lease transaction between June 2011 and May 2012. The study was fielded between August and October 2012.