JD Power yesterday released its 2019 car dealership customer satisfaction survey, which is based on last fall responses from more than 57,000 Americans who purchased or rented 2016 to 2018 model-year in US market. The study measures service satisfaction in terms of maintenance and repairs. Five criteria are taken into consideration, namely the quality of the service, the making of appointments, the interaction with the advisor, the installations and the delivery of the vehicle. The best and the worst: With 893 points on a scale of 1,000, Porsche ranks first for customer service satisfaction among luxury brands for the first time in the 38 years of the study. Lexus with 881 points ranks second, followed by Cadillac with 880 points, Infiniti is 878 and Mercedes-Benz is 870 points. At the other end are Volvo (840), Jaguar (825) and Land Rover (781). The report did not rank Alfa Romeo or Genesis but included them in the industry average. On the popular brand side, Buick has the highest satisfaction rating for the third year with a score of 857. MINI is second (853) ahead of Mitsubishi (846), Chevrolet (845), GMC (840) and Toyota (840). Unfortunately for FCA, its five brands appear at the bottom of the rankings: Chrysler (805), Dodge (804), Jeep (803), Ram (783) and Fiat (743). All generations of clients who participated in the survey prefer to make an appointment via the Internet. But the challenge of technology goes much further. According to J.D. Power, satisfaction is 75 points higher among customers with fully digital service experience (website, e-mail and texting) compared to those with no experience at all. They are also more satisfied when the service advisor uses a tablet in their presence. "Service customers want the convenience that technology offers them," said Chris Sutton, Vice President, U.S. Automotive Retail Practice at J.D. Power. "For example, 34 percent of customers indicate they prefer to communicate via text message−but this only occurs 9 percent of the time! There’s no reason why this isn’t a more widely adopted practice across the industry. Dealers have easy access to these tools, so they don’t have to reinvent the wheel." The dealership interaction is still crucial. J.D. Power says customers are 70% more satisfied when the advisor focuses on them and takes the time to listen to their needs during the visit. Knowing the history of the vehicle, informing the customer about the status of the vehicle and the work done, indicating when it will be ready and going around with the customer at the end of the work are other actions that make a difference. Obviously, the more a customer is satisfied with his overall experience with a brand or a dealer, the more likely he is to go back to maintain his vehicle and recommend it to his family.