Mercedes Benz Customer Service

Martinjs

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I see lots of threads on here about how awful they have been treated by MB.

MB is a successful brand that, despite extremely challenging markets, is continuing to thrive.

So either their products are simply better than any of their direct competitors, (which I don’t think is a supportable argument), or their customer base is more gullible than other parts of the population, equally difficult to accept.

That leads us to a conclusion that they have got the balance between profit and customer satisfaction about right.

I’m sure that there are plenty of specific examples where MB refused to pay for this or the dealer screwed this or that up, we see them every time we visit this site so I am not looking for more examples of poor service. Given the number of customers that MB has, the number of products and the number of opportunities for a screw that there are every day it would be impossible for any manufacturer to have an unblemished record. And of course we tend to make more noise about dissatisfaction than we ever do about satisfaction.

My argument is that they must be getting far more right than wrong otherwise we would all drive/buy BMW’s or Audi’s.

Discuss.
 

whitenemesis

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One will always see more problems/complaints on forums than good news posts. It's the nature of the beast.
Just think of all those 100's of 1000's of MB owners that will never frequent a forum during their ownership.
 

markjay

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I agree that MB got is right (for them) - they are doing well in spite of crap customer service.

There is a presumption among some parts of the public that good customer service will bring business, and poor service will drive customers away, but clearly this isn't a simple two-factor formula.
 

Bobby Dazzler

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The irony is that good customer service is probably less important to the average Mercedes customers today than it ever has been, based upon what I was recently told.

The Service Manager at the dealer I’ve used for many years said that they have 10 customers with whom they have a genuine long term relationship, who they see multiple times each year, and who like to deal with the same people every time, whether that be sales or service.

Apparently the rest don’t care. They’re either company car users who don’t care about anything other than minimum inconvenience, or private buyers who buy the car on monthly finance and buy a service plan (or in a growing number of cases don’t bother getting their car serviced at all).

These customers typically don’t care about price or service, they want the car, they want it quickly - not wishing to wait for factory orders - and as long as the monthly cost is in budget then they have it without further thought. The cost of options are expensive when paid for on finance and so most go for “standard” stock cars.

He said that they’ll probably never buy another car from that dealership, and may never go back for repair, service or maintenance. They may not even buy another Mercedes, and if they do then it will likely be from a different dealership. Apparently the average customer has no interest in being pleasant, never mind build a relationship.

Times are changing, or maybe even changed. Mercedes will still sell cars even if the service isn’t what it once was - or what many of us would wish for it to be - Mercedes are just moving with the times. Selling cars to younger customers was essential to survival, and they’ve done a great job, fundamentally shifting the profile of the average customer.

PS My comments regarding finance and service plan isn’t a criticism. That way of buying and maintaining a car is part and parcel of an increasing number of people viewing their car as an appliance to do a job rather than something to be personally invested in. Not true of everyone who buys using finance or has a service care plan, but true for a growing number.
 

raspy

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@Martinjs So a lot of consumers are drawn to particular brands, by what they represent (or are perceived to represent)

Take for example, YouGov’s 2021 Automotive Rankings, where Mercedes was ranked 1st in the UK! It was also ranked 3rd in China, 2nd in France, 1st in Germany, 1st in Italy, 2nd in Russia, 1st in Spain and ranked 8th in the USA!

"The rankings are compiled using YouGov BrandIndex Index score, a measure of overall brand health calculated by taking the average of Impression, Quality, Value, Satisfaction, Recommend and Reputation scores. The rankings are measured from February 2020 to January 2021."

So they take these scores and calculate a BrandIndex Score;

"Impression Score – Whether a consumer has a positive or negative impression of a brand

Value Score – Whether a consumer thinks a brand represents good or poor value for money

Quality Score – Whether a consumer thinks a brand represents good or poor quality

Reputation Score – Whether a consumer would be proud or embarrassed to work for a brand

Satisfaction Score – Whether a consumer is a satisfied or dissatisfied customer of a brand

Recommend Score – Whether a consumer would recommend a brand to a friend or colleague, or tell them to avoid it"

"Mercedes had a 47.7 Quality score – higher than any other car brand in the rankings – with the next closest brand, BMW, scoring 42. Reputation (37.2) and Impression (33.7) are other areas Mercedes scored highly, again ahead of all other brands."

"Matt James, key accounts director at YouGov, said: “Mercedes-Benz has a high score thanks to having a higher perception of quality among consumers than any other brand, scoring 5.7 points more than BMW. Mercedes also scored highly due to its positive reputation perception and positive impression among consumers, demonstrating the importance of a brand’s status in the public eye."

It does make me wonder because YouGov doesn't explicitly mention that MB had a high score in terms of Satisfaction or Recommend

With regard to customer satisfaction, there is a UK Customer Satisfaction Index from the Institute of Customer Service.

According to their 2020 data, in their top 50 brands in the UK (from any sector), there were only 3 automotive brands (Toyota in 19th place, Nissan in 31st place and Ford in 47th place) - it appears MB didn't make the top 50 (you have to pay to access the report, so not sure where MB ranked in their list)
 

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Some people have high expectations of customer service. I often find great service in surprising places. Not usually in glitzy dealerships. That's not a dig at MB. I've had bullshit from Volvo, BMW, Nissan and MB. Apart from my indy there was one service guy at Kia who looked after me with honesty for years. Why? He'd been on the spanners before running the service desk.
 

Bobby Dazzler

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Some people have high expectations of customer service. I often find great service in surprising places. Not usually in glitzy dealerships. That's not a dig at MB. I've had bullshit from Volvo, BMW, Nissan and MB. Apart from my indy there was one service guy at Kia who looked after me with honesty for years. Why? He'd been on the spanners before running the service desk.
My Service Advisor was also a tech before, and sometimes donned his overalls when the workshop was in a punch. It enables more informative conversations.
 

Athey

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The saying goes if you get good service you will tell 10 people. If you get bad service you will tell 100 people. Other than waiting for a min or so for them to answer the phone, I’ve never had a problem with any of the main dealers or garages I’ve dealt with. Saying that, ive always made a point of being nice to them. The parts guy at Toyota Preston put me down as a garage so that I could get parts at trade price when I had my celica years ago.
 

Benz17

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I went to a Lexus dealer to look at a NX300h with a friend, and had a arranged a test drive, the car we wanted this particular dealer didn’t have but we explained prior that we just wanted to have a feel of the NX, and get to see how it is getting in and out, the dealer could not have done more for us, I was pleasantly surprised by the service we got, after the test drive, he wasn’t pushy for us to do a deal on something else he had. This was a very pleasant experience at a dealer.

Also my friend has been looking at a B class 2019/20 and the NX300h 2018, when calling both Mercedes and Nexus, he says some Mercedes dealers don’t even bother to call back regarding enquiries to the car, whereby the Lexus dealers he has called not one has failed to call back within 3 hours.

I have been lurking on the Lexus NX forum, wow, so much praise for dealers, looks like very high standard customer service, also not many threads on cars with problems. Also lexus offering very reasonable service plan costs with free mot included.
 
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nickgar

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It's all well and good having fantastic customer service and reliability figures, but you need the products to sell.
To my eyes, Lexus have the dullest and smallest range of models of any of the so called upmarket brands.
With the exception of the LFA, they haven't made a good looking car for years.
Shame really.
 

markjay

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The irony is that good customer service is probably less important to the average Mercedes customers today than it ever has been, based upon what I was recently told.

The Service Manager at the dealer I’ve used for many years said that they have 10 customers with whom they have a genuine long term relationship, who they see multiple times each year, and who like to deal with the same people every time, whether that be sales or service.

Apparently the rest don’t care. They’re either company car users who don’t care about anything other than minimum inconvenience, or private buyers who buy the car on monthly finance and buy a service plan (or in a growing number of cases don’t bother getting their car serviced at all).

These customers typically don’t care about price or service, they want the car, they want it quickly - not wishing to wait for factory orders - and as long as the monthly cost is in budget then they have it without further thought. The cost of options are expensive when paid for on finance and so most go for “standard” stock cars.

He said that they’ll probably never buy another car from that dealership, and may never go back for repair, service or maintenance. They may not even buy another Mercedes, and if they do then it will likely be from a different dealership. Apparently the average customer has no interest in being pleasant, never mind build a relationship.

Times are changing, or maybe even changed. Mercedes will still sell cars even if the service isn’t what it once was - or what many of us would wish for it to be - Mercedes are just moving with the times. Selling cars to younger customers was essential to survival, and they’ve done a great job, fundamentally shifting the profile of the average customer.

PS My comments regarding finance and service plan isn’t a criticism. That way of buying and maintaining a car is part and parcel of an increasing number of people viewing their car as an appliance to do a job rather than something to be personally invested in. Not true of everyone who buys using finance or has a service care plan, but true for a growing number.

I think you've hit the nail on the head.

It would be interesting to know the proportion of new MB cars sold to private owners (with or without finance), and those sold to businesses ('Kx reg').

I suspect the majority of new cars sold will be fleet sales. The customers who (rightly) shout and scream at the service desk are likely to be mostly people who bought a second hand car (that was owned by a business for the first six months to three years) and can't phatom how on earth MB manage to sell so many new cars with such poor customer service....
 

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I think it's significant that the survey quoted above putting Mercedes in top position was from a time period when most dealers were offering a very limited service due to Covid. You could infer from this that MB are great when you don't have to interact with the dealer!
 

Dichtung

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Perhaps if MB were a bit more picky to whom they had for dealerships ?
 

raspy

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I think you've hit the nail on the head.

It would be interesting to know the proportion of new MB cars sold to private owners (with or without finance), and those sold to businesses ('Kx reg').

I suspect the majority of new cars sold will be fleet sales. The customers who (rightly) shout and scream at the service desk are likely to be mostly people who bought a second hand car (that was owned by a business for the first six months to three years) and can't phatom how on earth MB manage to sell so many new cars with such poor customer service....
@markjay J.D. Power 2019 UK Customer Service Index (CSI) Study

"The study, now in its fifth year, measures customer satisfaction with their service experience at a franchised dealer facility for maintenance or repair work among owners and lessees of 1- to 3-year-old vehicles.

The study explores customer satisfaction with their service facility by examining five measures (listed in order of importance): service quality (26%); service initiation (23%); service advisor (19%); vehicle pick-up (17%); and service facility (16%)."

"Audi ranks highest among premium brands, with a score of 815, a 23-point improvement from 2018. Mercedes-Benz ranks second (802), followed by BMW (798)."

"The 2019 UK CSI Study is based on data collected from 6,759 respondents who registered their new vehicle between November 2015 and January 2018. The study was fielded from November 2018 through January 2019."

CarGurus Car Buyer Trust Index 2020

"To do this, researchers asked 2,183 car-buyers to rank the top 20 brands in the UK according to new and used car sales, plus Tesla as a brand of topical interest, according to five factors that build trust:

Integrity: delivering on promises
Transparency: being transparent about problems and taking responsibility
Genuineness: genuinely concerned about consumer needs and acting in their best interest
Social conscience: showing commitment to social causes and the environment
Reliability: providing a problem-free ownership experience"

The higher the trust index score, the higher the indicated level of consumer trust in the brand.

In the study, Mercedes-Benz receives a trust index score of 73.6. As a result, it is rated by consumers as the most trusted car brand in the UK. It is followed by Audi (70.6) and Ford (70.2), Toyota (69.4) and Volvo (67.9)"
 

markjay

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@markjay J.D. Power 2019 UK Customer Service Index (CSI) Study

"The study, now in its fifth year, measures customer satisfaction with their service experience at a franchised dealer facility for maintenance or repair work among owners and lessees of 1- to 3-year-old vehicles.

The study explores customer satisfaction with their service facility by examining five measures (listed in order of importance): service quality (26%); service initiation (23%); service advisor (19%); vehicle pick-up (17%); and service facility (16%)."

"Audi ranks highest among premium brands, with a score of 815, a 23-point improvement from 2018. Mercedes-Benz ranks second (802), followed by BMW (798)."

"The 2019 UK CSI Study is based on data collected from 6,759 respondents who registered their new vehicle between November 2015 and January 2018. The study was fielded from November 2018 through January 2019."

CarGurus Car Buyer Trust Index 2020

"To do this, researchers asked 2,183 car-buyers to rank the top 20 brands in the UK according to new and used car sales, plus Tesla as a brand of topical interest, according to five factors that build trust:

Integrity: delivering on promises
Transparency: being transparent about problems and taking responsibility
Genuineness: genuinely concerned about consumer needs and acting in their best interest
Social conscience: showing commitment to social causes and the environment
Reliability: providing a problem-free ownership experience"

The higher the trust index score, the higher the indicated level of consumer trust in the brand.

In the study, Mercedes-Benz receives a trust index score of 73.6. As a result, it is rated by consumers as the most trusted car brand in the UK. It is followed by Audi (70.6) and Ford (70.2), Toyota (69.4) and Volvo (67.9)"

Possibly, though the issue with 'satisfaction' is that it is defined as the gap between expectations and reality.

A high score in customer satisfaction could mean good service, but it could equally mean that the public has such poor perception of the brand that even mediocre service makes customers feel pleasantly surprised as they weren't expecting much to begin with.

A good example was a recent thread from someone who bought a car from a dealer (not MB dealer in this case), had lots of issues with it, but was over the moon and paid compliments to the dealer when they agreed to pay to rectify all these faults that should have never been there in the first place - and this in spite of the fact that he wasted several days and ended-up a few hundred quid out of pocket.

If you look at new car satisfaction surveys, you often find that mundane brands are at the top, while the premium marques don't do as well - in this case the explanation could be that owners expect very little when they buy a (say) Skoda, but expect the moon when they buy (say) an Audi.

To clarify, I don't know that this is the case with this particular survey, but the above is my 'peer review' comments.
 

jdrrco

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To my eyes, Lexus have the dullest and smallest range of models of any of the so called upmarket brands.
With the exception of the LFA, they haven't made a good looking car for years.
A digression from the topic, but the LC500 is a stunner. Just a shame so few are about so people don't know it exists.
 
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Athey

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It's all well and good having fantastic customer service and reliability figures, but you need the products to sell.
To my eyes, Lexus have the dullest and smallest range of models of any of the so called upmarket brands.
With the exception of the LFA, they haven't made a good looking car for years.
Shame really.
You won’t buy a more reliable car, and I liked the look of my is250
 
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Martinjs

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The irony is that good customer service is probably less important to the average Mercedes customers today than it ever has been, based upon what I was recently told.

The Service Manager at the dealer I’ve used for many years said that they have 10 customers with whom they have a genuine long term relationship, who they see multiple times each year, and who like to deal with the same people every time, whether that be sales or service.

Apparently the rest don’t care. They’re either company car users who don’t care about anything other than minimum inconvenience, or private buyers who buy the car on monthly finance and buy a service plan (or in a growing number of cases don’t bother getting their car serviced at all).

These customers typically don’t care about price or service, they want the car, they want it quickly - not wishing to wait for factory orders - and as long as the monthly cost is in budget then they have it without further thought. The cost of options are expensive when paid for on finance and so most go for “standard” stock cars.

He said that they’ll probably never buy another car from that dealership, and may never go back for repair, service or maintenance. They may not even buy another Mercedes, and if they do then it will likely be from a different dealership. Apparently the average customer has no interest in being pleasant, never mind build a relationship.

Times are changing, or maybe even changed. Mercedes will still sell cars even if the service isn’t what it once was - or what many of us would wish for it to be - Mercedes are just moving with the times. Selling cars to younger customers was essential to survival, and they’ve done a great job, fundamentally shifting the profile of the average customer.

PS My comments regarding finance and service plan isn’t a criticism. That way of buying and maintaining a car is part and parcel of an increasing number of people viewing their car as an appliance to do a job rather than something to be personally invested in. Not true of everyone who buys using finance or has a service care plan, but true for a growing number.
Very interesting response, thanks, some aspects there that I have never considered.
 
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Martinjs

Martinjs

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My Service Advisor was also a tech before, and sometimes donned his overalls when the workshop was in a punch. It enables more informative conversations.
Agreed, some of the Service Advisers that interface with customers are clueless about cars let alone the specific brand.
 
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Martinjs

Martinjs

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Possibly, though the issue with 'satisfaction' is that it is defined as the gap between expectations and reality.

A high score in customer satisfaction could mean good service, but it could equally mean that the public has such poor perception of the brand that even mediocre service makes customers feel pleasantly surprised as they weren't expecting much to begin with.

A good example was a recent thread from someone who bought a car from a dealer (not MB dealer in this case), had lots of issues with it, but was over the moon and paid compliments to the dealer when they agreed to pay to rectify all these faults that should have never been there in the first place - and this in spite of the fact that he wasted several days and ended-up a few hundred quid out of pocket.

If you look at new car satisfaction surveys, you often find that mundane brands are at the top, while the premium marques don't do as well - in this case the explanation could be that owners expect very little when they buy a (say) Skoda, but expect the moon when they buy (say) an Audi.

To clarify, I don't know that this is the case with this particular survey, but the above is my 'peer review' comments.
Very good point - the better you do, the more people expect from you.
 

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