BEDFORD, Texas- Although they rated tops among service outlets, independent neighborhood automotive repair shops could improve on their customer relations. That's the assessment of a recent independent study by Wiese Research Associates Inc. It was commissioned by the Yellow Pages Publishers Association for the Automotive Service Association (ASA).
In five out of seven categories, the ASA said, neighborhood shops rated higher in ``honesty/integrity,'' ``pricing fairness,'' ``responsiveness,'' ``answering questions,'' and ``friendliness.'' In those categories, they received 6.74, 6.47, 6.91, 6.81 and 7.24 respectively, on a scale of one to 10-with one being ``very unfavorable'' and 10 being ``very favorable.''
Independent neighborhood shops did not receive the highest ratings, however, in the categories of ``cleanliness/appearance'' and ``management,'' receiving scores of 5.88 and 6.76 respectively.
The ``Automotive Service Advertising & Perceptions Study'' surveyed a random sample of consumers, asking them to rate their perceptions of seven different service outlet categories, including the neighborhood shops, automotive service franchises, new car dealership services, automotive service centers at national retailers, and service stations.
When asked to give suggestions for improving the image of neighborhood repair shops, 13 percent of the consumers responded ``better customer relations,'' while 12 percent said ``trust/honesty;'' 11 percent cited ``cleaner shop/waiting area;'' 9 percent said ``more advertising;'' and 8 percent wanted ``lower prices.''
Other suggestions included ``update technology,'' ``hire knowledgeable staff,'' ``need better quality service,'' ``better appointment scheduling'' and ``faster service.''
For more information about the ASA's study, call (800) 272-7467, Ext. 216.