J.D. Power and Associates Inc. has compiled a study the research group claims addresses issues particularly relevant to smaller independent tire dealers.
``Understanding Consumer Tire Buyer Behavior at Independent Tire Dealers'' is the title of the new study, which gleans much of its information from the car owner satisfaction surveys that J.D. Power conducts annually on original equipment and replacement tires. The researchers relied heavily on information from more than 3,000 surveys from customers who said they'd dealt with a local or regional tire dealership. Due to differences in buyer behavior, J.D. Power said, the report excludes customers of larger independent national/regional tire chains.
Among the topics covered are:
* Why should tire dealers care about customer satisfaction?
* Reasons for customer defection;
* Tire shopping and the Internet; and
* How long is too long? Satisfaction with waiting time to speak to a sales/service person.
The eight-page study also includes a demographic profile of the typical independent tire dealer customer, a summary of reasons for customers' purchase decisions and methods used by consumers to gather tire information prior to purchase.
J.D. Power said tire dealers could use the study to help set priorities and goals for customer satisfaction and retention, to understand shopping dynamics, Internet usage and buyer demographics, and to develop more effective advertising, marketing, employee incentive, training and customer satisfaction programs.
The Troy-based company conducts research into a variety of consumer fields, surveying millions of consumers and business customers for their opinions and expectations regarding the products and services they purchase. In the tire business, J.D. Power annually ranks passenger and light truck tire brands based on new car owner satisfaction and replacement buyer opinions as well. From these surveys, the company also rates tire dealerships-both individually and by category-based on customer satisfaction reaction.
The study costs $500. It will be available through the company's Web site-www.jdpower.com/tires-starting about Aug. 20; printed copies can be ordered from: J.D. Power and Associates, 5435 Corporate Drive, Suite 300, Troy, Mich. 48908.