J.D. Power Survey Offers Insight from Quick Lube Customers

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Feb. 10, 2021—The headline from J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Aftermarket Service Index Study was that a quick greeting increases satisfaction. But there was a lot more to the survey.

J.D. Power took responses from more than 8,000 vehicle owners who had been to an aftermarket service facility in the past year, according to a press release.The initial pool of survey subjects was made up of active Survey Monkey users.

The survey measures seven areas of satisfaction, which were ease of scheduling/getting vehicle in for service; service advisor performance; service advisor courtesy; service facility; time to complete service; fairness of charges; and quality of work.

Customers of quick lube shops reported prompt greetings the most often—53 percent of the time. And J.D. Power says that satisfaction scores dropped sharply after three minutes without a greeting.


More Metrics

According to J.D. Power, the survey also pinpointed the price point at which satisfaction was the highest. For the quick lube segment, that was $252. Chris Sutton, vice president of automotive retail at J.D. Power, told NOLN in emailed statements that the average overall spend reported by customers was $167 per visit.

True to its business model, quick lube facilities ranked the best in the categories of "getting my vehicle in for service" and "courtesy of service advisor," according to Sutton. The drive-up model with a first come, first served schedule still resonates with customers.


Cleanliness Boost

This appeared to be a missed opportunity in the study. Just a quarter of the time, quick lube customers reported clean service facilities, according to the study. Slightly higher were full service repair (30 percent) and tire shops (29 percent).

“Simple things—like explaining to customers about the facility’s cleaning protocols—can make the difference between whether or not they willingly plan to return for future business or will recommend it to others,” Sutton said in the press release. “Aftermarket service providers should pay special attention to simple actions that can enhance the customer experience.”

Customers may have been paying attention to cleanliness a lot more at the time of this survey, as the COVID-19 pandemic put cleanliness on the forefront of everyone's minds. Shops adopted new cleaning and hygiene processes, and it appears that customers paid closer attention to upkeep.

"As may be expected, customer emphasis around facility changed significantly," Sutton said in his responses to NOLN. "We saw fewer offerings of facility amenities due to COVID-19 while customers placed greater emphasis on facility cleanliness."


Overall Rankings

The survey collected survey responses on a 1,000-point scale based on the seven areas mentioned above. Here’s how quick lube brands fared in the survey’s scores:

  • Take 5 Oil Change: 810
  • Valvoline Instant Oil Change: 784
  • Kwik Kar: 775
  • Express Oil Change and Tire Engineers: 763
  • Overall Average: 746
  • Jiffy Lube: 741
  • Grease Monkey: 740
  • Wal-Mart: 703

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