When it comes to calling the service department, Acura dealers are providing the industry’s best customer service.

That’s the conclusion of Pied Piper’s 2024 PSI Service Telephone Effectiveness Study, which ranked Acura first among the 34 automobile brands analyzed for the efficiency and quality of service telephone calls from a customer’s objective of quickly and easily setting up a service appointment.

Acura dealers, who averaged a score of 65 on the 100-point scale, edged Mazda (64) for the top spot, followed by Lexus (63) and Infiniti and Volkswagen, which tied at 61.

The industry average score was 58.

“Well-run service departments focus on increasing customer loyalty, and the first service experience to drive that loyalty is a customer’s phone call to schedule an appointment,” Pied Piper CEO Fran O’Hagan said. “Vehicle customers who find scheduling service difficult vote with their feet by moving to another dealership or an independent shop, or even getting rid of their problem vehicle.”

The study was conducted from January to May by phoning the service departments of 2,716 dealerships nationwide. The STE scores were calculated from a mix of individually weighted measurements that Pied Piper said, “support the customer’s mission of quickly speaking with a service representative who can schedule a service appointment within a reasonable amount of time.”

The company said 62% of the total score is determined by efficiency measurements and 38% comes from quality measurements that provide a proactively helpful experience that goes above and beyond the customer’s basic expectations.

One in seven (14%) of the study’s customers were not able to schedule service for reasons including the service department’s failure to answer the call or letting the call go to voicemail, a hangup, a long hold or getting lost in a phone tree. Acura, Volkswagen, Buick, Cadillac and Mazda were best, with fewer than 10% of customers failing to make an appointment, while Lincoln, Fiat, Polestar and Alpha Romeo were worst at more than 25%.

According to the study, Acura service customers reached a service associate faster on average than customers of most brands, with just 3% of them waiting on hold more than two minutes — far fewer than the 12% industry average — and 62% spoke with a service advisor within one minute and schedule service within a week.

Overall, 55% of the study’s customers were able to speak with a service advisor within one minute and scheduling an appointment within a week, with Mazda, Subaru and Lexus achieving that on more than 65% of their calls. And 42% of the dealerships in the study went further, providing a proactively helpful experience that were reflected in scores of 70 or more. Mazda, Lexus, Infiniti and Acura dealers did that more than half the time, while Chrysler, Ram and Fiat managed to hit 70 less than 20% of the time.

The study found Porsche dealers offered alternate transportation to customers an industry-high 45% of the time, while the average among all brands was 10% and Mitsubishi dealers were last at less than 1%. Ford led all brands in providing an estimated time for how long service would take 38% of the time, above the industry average of 25%, with Polestar at the low end with less than 1%.

“The effort is worth it,” O’Hagan said. “Satisfied service customers are more likely to be long-time loyal customers not only for service work, but also when it’s time to buy another vehicle.”