Car Mechanical Services Industry Customer Satisfaction

Abstract

There are a lot of various organizations in the mechanical services industry. They are constantly altering their services to meet the customers’ demands and expectations and to satisfy them. Service quality is the evaluation of the services by the consumers. Within a framework of the mechanical services industry, we are talking about the commensuration of services delivered by Auto Masters and the expectations of their clients. Customer satisfaction can be influenced by various factors depending on the services industry. It plays a vital role in the life of the company as it cannot benefit without its clients. Customer loyalty is the thing that enhances the financial state of the firm and increases its income.

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Introduction

There are lots of various organizations in the mechanical services industry. They want to attract customers and always try to find the best way to do it. They are constantly altering their services to meet the customers’ demands and expectations and to satisfy them. The car mechanical services industry also orients on its clients to achieve benefit. We believe that the customer service, satisfaction and customer relationship management are the most important aspects that help the car mechanical services industry enhance, attract clients, be competitive and gain profit.

Service Quality

Service quality is the evaluation of the services by the consumers. Within a framework of the mechanical services industry, we are talking about the commensuration of services delivered by Auto Masters, auto repair services, in particular, and the expectations of their clients.

There are various models of service quality. Gronroos’ Nordic model is thought to be the first one. It concentrates on the “distinguish between technical quality as an outcome for the performance of service and functional quality as a subjective perception of service delivered” (Seth, Deshmukh, & Vrat, 2005).

The GAPs Model was designed by Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Berry and is focused on the “simplification of the representation of reality by incorporating only those aspects of reality that are of interest to the modelling” (Baharun & Feiz, 2012). The most important issue here is the gap between the costumer’s expectations regarding the services and one’s perceptions. The aim of the model is to bridge this gap, as consumer’s dissatisfaction may lead to the range of problems within the organization. Because of the poor reputation, it can lose the costumers and, thus, gain little income. The best way to bridge the gaps is to know what the consumer expects to gain, match the promises, increase the service marketing communications, chose appropriate service designs and standards, and deliver services of high quality.

The SERVQUAL model was the continuation of the GAPs’ one. It is based on the gap between “expected level of service and delivered level of service for measuring service quality perception with five dimensions: reliability, responsiveness, assurances, empathy, and tangibility” (Seth et al., 2005).

Brady and Cronin enhanced this model and created a hierarchical one. According to it, the consumer perceives the quality of the service through three dimensions:

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  1. Interaction Quality
  2. Physical Environment Quality
  3. Outcome Quality (Baharun & Feiz, 2012).

Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is the impression that a person gets from the service provider and goods and services supplied by one. It can be influenced by various factors depending on the services industry. Our attention is concentrated on the mechanical one, so we can point out such main factors as “cost, quality, performance and efficiency of the product, technological and engineering or re-engineering aspects of products and services, type and quality of response provided by the supplier, and supplier’s ability to work with a client as long as one needs” (Hernon & Whitman, 2001).

Customer dissatisfaction occurs when one or more of these factors are neglected.

As customer satisfaction plays a significant role in auto repair services that should be measured and evaluated. SERVQUAL model was made to assess the client’s satisfaction. It is considered to be the best one in the consumers’ perspective, as the expectations they receive from the services are in focus (Gannage, 2009). However, this model lacks “adequacy for cases including tangible products, being multi-dimensional, lack of validity, different gaps” (Gronroos, 2000). As it was mentioned earlier, this model is based on the assessment of five main factors of service quality. To receive the data, suppliers ask their clients to leave a comment (usually in the form of some test).

The connection between customer satisfaction and loyalty is an important issue. The loyalty comes as a post-consumption construct, which depends on satisfaction. It means that if the client is pleased with what one received, the attitude towards the provider enhances. The financial performance of the organization depends on customer loyalty. Thus, increased loyalty is the thing that enhances the financial state of the firm and increases its income (McDougall & Levesque, 2000). In this way, we can see that loyalty includes the intention of the client to repurchase.

Economic and Behavioural Factors in the Decision to Complain

Consumer’s decision to complain can occur on the basis of several economic and behavioural factors. Choice overload is one of them. Clients do not want to spend lots of time comparing an enormous number of similar services. This can also make them confused, as the slight difference cannot be perceived by everyone. Thus, they complain, make a random choice or just go away. Very often, people do as their friends or relatives. They do not want to think themselves and just stick to the point of others. The same thing happens within the sphere of auto repair services. If a son is not yet aware of some peculiarities of different suppliers, he will listen to his father’s opinion. Here we speak about the heuristics, which underlines that too complicated thing for ones may prevent them from making their own decision. Thus, if the father considers the supplier unreliable because he was not satisfied with the services, the son is likely to complain even though he has no reasons for this. A bit opposite idea is drawn by such factor as an endowment (Madu, 2012). People who used to get services from one particular provider may value what they have more than take into account the views of others. So even if people will claim that the service is not appropriate, a person who refers to the supplier for many years will not lose his loyalty. However, the influence from the outside will show itself. One tends to become more captious and make complaints.

Defaults also make customers stick to particular providers. They prefer to make everything automatized and streamline the process. Still, one can choose extra services mentioned by default and then be unsatisfied because of it. Of course, this is the costumer’s fault as one missed the thing, but the complaints are likely to occur. Hyperbolic discounting points out that both clients and service providers can overrate or underrate direct spending or benefits against future ones. This discrepancy will undoubtedly lead to clients’ dissatisfaction and complaints (Clow & Baack, 2009). Framing biases can also be a problem. If a service is presented within a particular frame, those who want to get it separately may be misled. One more important fact is risk/loss aversion. As a rule, people are more concerned about the possibility to lose their money by gaining services of poor quality than to save some amount by receiving cheap and questionable services. That is why they are not likely to change the supplier and try something brand new. However, those who do and their expectations fail to meet the reality become unsatisfied and start complaining.

Customer-Perceived Value

The value measures the benefit that one can receive from goods and services. Customer-perceived value shows the discrepancy “a prospective customer’s evaluation of the benefits and costs of one product when compared with others” (Clow & Baack, 2009). So value deals with the relationship between the money spent on the service and advantages gained due to it. Value drivers are the things that contribute to the value of particular goods or services by enhancing their perception and making them competitive. They can appear in different forms, and satisfied customer is a great example. For the mechanical services industry, auto repair services, in particular, value drivers include quality, management, innovation, workplace and environment. This means that Auto Masters’ value depends on the quality of tune, servicing, brakes and repairs, the way they maintain management within the firm, usage of innovative techniques and equipment, the presentation of the workplace and positive environment within it (Gills, 2011).

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When a consumer chooses a car servicing provider, one makes a decision based on the attitude. This person compares the costs, a range of services, equipment used by the provider, degree of customer orientation. One considers the recommendations made by the supplier of the vehicle and the knowledge gained from the consultation with the representative from the car servicing provider. The comments of other people also play a major role. When the decision is made, the main factor that influences post-purchase value is the quality of the service. Here the value drivers are of great importance (Broy, 2008).

Costumer-perceived value is measured with the help of measurement scales, like PERVAL, which “examines a linear process, where value is perceived in pre-, in- and post-service consumption phases” (Clow & Baack, 2009).

Customer Relationship Management

Relationship marketing is a customer-oriented approach to business. It plays a vital role in the life of the company as it cannot benefit without its clients. Their positive attitude is always of advantage.

Methods of relationship marketing include the display of the value of any comments the clients make. As the consumers see that they are respected, they will be more loyal to the firm. The claims should be maintained to prove that the service is worthy. Offer benefits to clients as they will appreciate this and will continue working with the organization. The client’s advice and wishes should be taken into account. This will surely attract new customers. The identity of the brand makes it easier to draw attention to the firm. The consumer should have an opportunity to get in touch with the provider and receive some information. Blogs and websites make the provider well-known (Madu, 2012).

Among the implication barriers are the absence of long-term strategy and guidance, underestimating CMR and fear of changes. These may lead to the dismissed development of the industry, complaints from unsatisfied clients and reduce of service providers.

Conclusion

In the review, the information gained from the literature sources was evaluated. Thus, the method of literature analysis was used to understand the peculiarities of customer service, satisfaction and customer relationship management in the framework of the car mechanical services industry. A range of questions to find out all necessary information was put. These questions dealt with such themes as service quality, customer satisfaction, economic and behavioural factors in the decision to complain, customer-perceived value and customer relationship management. Ten authoritative sources were chosen to gather all necessary information and considered in the perspective of the car mechanical service industry, auto repair services in particular. The purpose of the review was to investigate customer service, satisfaction and customer relationship management in the car mechanical services industry. The review has indicated that the attention paid to the customer is always of advantage for the firm.

References

Baharun, R., & Feiz, S. (2012). A review of service quality models. 2nd International Conference on Management, 1(1), 1-8.

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Broy, M. (2008). New York, NY: Model-driven development of reliable automotive services. New York, NY: Springer Science & Business Media.

Clow, K., & Baack, D. (2009). Marketing management: A customer-oriented approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Gannage, G. (2009). Assessing SERVQUAL and the automotive service quality model: A comparative study. Ann Arbor, MI: ProQuest.

Gills, T. (2011). Automotive service: Inspection, maintenance, repair. Clifton Park, NY: Cengage Learning.

Gronroos, C. (2000). Service management and marketing: A customer relationship approach. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

Hernon, P., & Whitman, J. (2001). Delivering satisfaction and service quality. Chicago, IL: ALA Editions.

Madu, C. (2012). Handbook of total quality management. New York, NY: Springer Science & Business Media.

McDougall, G., & Levesque, T. (2000). Customer satisfaction with services: putting perceived value into the equation. Journal of Services Marketing, 14(5), 392-410.

Seth, N., Deshmukh, G., & Vrat, P. (2005). Service quality models: A review. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 22(9), 913-949.

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