Lincoln has been working on overhauling its dealer experience over the past couple of years, shifting to dedicated showrooms and even opening its first boutique store. And while luxury shopper consideration for the brand has dropped somewhat in recent months, Lincoln dealers have fared well in the last couple of J.D. Power U.S. Consumer Index (CSI) Studies, gaining a little ground over the past two years in the process. That trend continues with the 2022 CSI Study, though Lincoln dealers ranked below the segment average this time around.
Lincoln’s score improved from 847 last year to 854 this year, but that lags behind the segment average of 866 and a number of key rivals, including Lexus (897), Cadillac (880), Porsche (879), Acura (871), BMW (866), Audi (865), Infiniti (862), and Jaguar (858), but ties it with Volvo and ranks it ahead of Mercedes-Benz (849), Genesis (836), Land Rover (815), and Alfa Romeo (801).
J.D. Power’s U.S. Customer Service Index Study measures satisfaction with service at franchised dealers or aftermarket service facilities for maintenance or repair work among owners and lessees of one- to three-year-old vehicles. It also provides a numerical index ranking of the highest-performing automotive brands sold in the United States, which is based on the combined scores of five measures that comprise the vehicle owner service experience – service quality, service advisor, vehicle pick-up, service facility, and service initiation. This year’s study includes the impacts of a few new features on the dealer experience such as valet service, remote vehicle servicing, and online/smartphone app payment options.
“Dealer service departments are in a pivotal position to improve customer satisfaction and provide greater customer convenience, even though many challenges – including the parts supply chain disruption and the availability of new-vehicle loaners – are out of their control,” said Chris Sutton, vice president of automotive retail at J.D. Power. “Proactive communication with customers is one solution for dealerships to mitigate a disruptively tough situation. Simply implementing text or email alerts can greatly improve customer satisfaction. Additionally, letting customers know what is happening at each step along the way, including why it is taking longer to book an appointment or providing any updates in parts delays, can help improve satisfaction.”