Dealers who make use of digital technology to experience higher rates of satisfaction, according to a survey by market research company J.D. Power.

In its 2017 UK customer service index study of 6,753 registrants of new vehicles between February 2014 and April 2016, the data providers found that customers who scheduled a service appointment through text or messaging apps experienced satisfaction of 808 out of a possible 1,000.

Axel Sprenger, managing director of J.D. Power Europe, said: “Car dealers who aren’t prioritising technology options are missing out on an opportunity to connect with a younger generation of customers.”

J.D. Power Europe assessed a score of 900 or higher to indicate high satisfaction, and found that 88% of customers reporting such figures said they would return to the same service facility for future warranty work. 81% of these customers said they would ‘definitely’ return for future paid service work.

Provide wifi

The survey claimed that offering the use of computers with internet access at dealerships and providing workspaces to plug in devices both boosted satisfaction by 82 points, whilst providing wifi access increased satisfaction by 81 points.

It was also found that customers who said it was ‘very easy’ to connect to wifi at a dealership recorded higher than average scores on the customer service index, scoring 848.

Sprenger added: “As these consumers begin to account for a larger number of vehicle sales and service visits, it’s important for dealers to be able to cater to their needs to differentiate themselves from competitors and drive loyalty.”