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J.D. Power: Lender Service Determines Customer Satisfaction With Financing

November 26, 2013

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — Lenders that provide excellence in the servicing and onboarding experiences from the beginning of the loan or lease process set the stage for customer satisfaction throughout the financing duration, concluded J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 U.S. Consumer Financing Satisfaction Study.

The study measured customer satisfaction in three key factors of the new-vehicle financing experience: billing and payment process, website and phone contact. The study is conducted across two types of vehicle segments: luxury and mass market.                                        

“When you consider that most consumers finance indirectly with a lender and the only face-to-face contact a lender may have with a customer is at the point of the vehicle purchase or lease with the finance manager at the dealership, first impressions really matter,” said Mike Buckingham, senior director of the automotive finance practice at J.D. Power. “It’s extremely important for lenders to get the servicing experience right from the start by providing a superior welcome letter and first billing statement that are rich with information to begin the onboarding process. This provides a solid foundation for continued customer satisfaction.”

Key Findings:

  • While dealer recommendations remained the most critical driver of lender choice (48 percent luxury and 50 percent mass market), nearly one-fourth (24 percent) of luxury customers and nearly to one-third (32 percent) of mass market customers considered multiple lenders before selecting their finance provider.
  • Overall satisfaction was higher for captive lenders than for non-captive lenders. Luxury segment captive lenders scored 851 (on a 1,000-point scale), compared with 793 for non-captive lenders. Mass Market segment captive lenders scored 836, compared with 805 for non-captive lenders.
  • Satisfaction is higher when lenders provided onboarding information that customers completely understand, compared to when they do not provide clear information (+131 points in the luxury segment and +115 points in the mass market segment). Providing tools for customers to self-manage their account, particularly setting up auto-payments, increased satisfaction more than 150 points in the luxury and mass market segments (+157 points and +152 points, respectively).
  • The study revealed a relationship between higher levels of overall satisfaction and future intent, with 95 percent of highly satisfied automotive financing customers (overall satisfaction scores of 800 and above) having indicated that they are likely to choose their lender again.
  • Overall satisfaction among automotive financing customers in the luxury segment was 835, compared with 820 among those in the mass market segment.

Rankings:

  • Luxury Segment: Lincoln Automotive Financial Services ranked highest with a score of 875 and performed well in all factors, followed by BMW Financial Services with 872 and Lexus Financial Services with 860.
  • Mass Market Segment: Kia Motors Finance ranked highest with a score of 851 and performed well in billing and payment process and website, followed closely by Volkswagen Credit with 849 and Hyundai Motor Finance with 848.

The 2013 U.S. Consumer Financing Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 12,741 new-vehicle purchasers or lessees who completed a vehicle loan or lease. The study includes new vehicles financed in model years 2012 and 2013. The study was fielded between September and October 2013.

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