Auto Parts Shortages Could Undermine Customer Satisfaction

March 16, 2020
As the coronavirus continues to interrupt global supply chains, parts shortages could undermine gains in customer satisfaction over the past few years.

March 16, 2020—As the coronavirus continues to interrupt global supply chains. the ability to meet customer expectations for prompt service and repairs will be undermined, according to Power's 2020 Customer Service Index Survey and

Customers will be initially understanding of coronavirus consequences, but shortages will continue well beyond the current public health crisis. Customers will not understand in August, for example, why there are no parts to repair their vehicles. 

Overall satisfaction declined 155 points among luxury vehicle owners when parts are unavailable. There’s a 141-point drop in satisfaction among owners of mass market vehicles when parts are unavailable. Retaining customers as vehicles age and warranties expire is key for dealers. Tasks like returning a vehicle to the customer cleaner than when it was brought in can increase satisfaction scores. 

Other key findings of the 2020 study include:

  • Time is most important: Customers rate the total time to complete service on their vehicle and amenities offered by repair facility the lowest (in a tie) of 16 attributes analyzed in the study. 
  • Higher expectations for younger customers continue, but gap is narrowing: Historically, younger customers have lower satisfaction than older customers and this holds true for this year’s study: overall service satisfaction among Gen Y customers is 36 points lower than among customers who are older. 
  • Fewer miles and longer service intervals decrease interactions between dealers and customers:​​​​​​​ Coupled with the lengthening of service intervals, the average number of service visits Gen Y customers make annually is down to 2.4 visits vs. 3.0 visits in 2005.