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There is a strong relationship between an exceptional vehicle loan or lease servicing experience and customer intent to use the same finance provider again, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Consumer Financing Satisfaction Study.
The study also finds that there is a minimal relationship with the servicing experience and customer intent to use the same dealership for a future vehicle purchase or lease, whereas the in-dealership experience significantly impacts likelihood to return to the same dealer.
Many of the best practices in auto finance servicing are related to problem prevention. These practices include providing service alerts; reminding customers of a payment or confirming when a payment has been made; providing accurate and informative billing information; and offering alternative, easy-to-use methods for reviewing account information.
The study measures customer satisfaction in four key factors of the new-vehicle financing experience: billing and payment; interest rate/monthly payment; website and phone contact. The study is conducted across four consumer vehicle financing segments: mass market loan; mass market lease; luxury loan and luxury lease.
Volkswagen Credit ranks highest for traditional financing, performing particularly well in billing and payment as well as interest rate/monthly payment, followed by Mazda Capital Services and Honda Financial Services.
Ford Credit ranks highest for leasing and performs particularly well in all factors, followed by Volkswagen Credit and Honda Financial Services.
Mercedes-Benz Financial Services ranks highest with luxury customers and performs particularly well in phone contact, followed closely by Acura Financial Services. BMW Financial Services ranks third, Lincoln Automotive Financial Services ranks highest for luxury leasing and performs particularly well in all factors. Following in the rankings are Lexus Financial Services and Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.
The 2012 Consumer Financing Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 11,259 new-vehicle purchasers or lessees who completed a vehicle loan or lease transaction between June 2011 and May 2012. The study was fielded between August and October 2012.