Last year, Lincoln ranked first among all luxury brands in J.D. Power’s U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index Study, moving up five spots from its 2019 performance. Now, the automaker has followed up that impressive result by taking top honors in J.D. Power’s 2021 China Sales Satisfaction Index Study (SSI) as well, largely due to the strong virtual presence presented by the automaker’s new Effortless Sales Experience online sales platform.
“As auto customers in China tend to make their decision in the early stage of vehicle purchase and thus shorten the buying process, the online retail experience becomes increasingly important,” said Ann Xie, digital retail consulting practice at J.D. Power China.
“Especially as luxury and mass market brands are nearly even in score for online retail, managing the customer lifecycle experience by leveraging digital marketing tools, privatizing traffic resources and innovative approaches such as subscription services to ensure that customers take their vehicle away joyfully and quickly, will become the new opportunity and challenge for automakers and dealers,” Xie added.
Lincoln’s first-place SSI finish is the first for the automaker in China, and its score of 747 on a 1,000-point scale beat out runners-up Audi (736), Porsche (735), Lexus (734), and BMW (733). The index, now in its 22nd year, measures satisfaction among new-vehicle buyers based on the responses of 25,412 vehicle owners across 70 cities in China. J.D. Power calculates satisfaction scores using a number of categories including online experience, communication before the visit, reception, showroom visit, test drive, deal, and delivery process.
In addition to the overall rankings, J.D. Power’s 2021 SSI study found that luxury vehicle shoppers are more interested in digital tools and price negotiation than mass market vehicle shoppers, and care less about the actual test drive. Meanwhile, both groups of shoppers noted that salesperson interaction is key to the car buying experience, as is the efficiency of vehicle delivery.