COSTA MESA, Calif. — The latest edition of J.D. Power’s Customer Service Index (CSI) Study found significant differences in the amenities coveted by customers of varying ages in service department waiting areas.

“Sixty-four percent of dealer service customers wait while their vehicle is being serviced,” the report states, in part. “In order to make these customers’ wait as comfortable as possible, dealers are offering a variety of amenities. Understanding how customers use and value these amenities is an important piece to the service loyalty program.”

Analysts found that older customers, including those belonging to the Baby Boom generation and so-called “pre-Boomers,” prize complimentary snacks and beverages, a coffee shop, a TV, and the availability of newspapers and magazines, while members of Generations X and Y said wireless internet access is their top priority.

Free food and drink is the most popular amenity listed, but even that offering demonstrates a generational shift: More than half of pre-Boomers (53%) would partake of said snacks, while only 39% of Gen Yers said the same. In a surprise twist, interest in an onsite coffee shop was found to be tepid among Gen X (31%) and Gen Y (25%) when compared to Baby Boomers (38%) and pre-Boomers (46%).

Other findings from the J.D. Power report include:

  • Across all age groups, 60% of customers said they “definitely will” return to a dealership where free snacks were offered; only 45% said they would return to a snack-free store.
  • Offering a combination of free food, TV and coffee improved intended loyalty scores by 47% among Boomers and pre-Boomers.
  • Amenities offered by highline dealerships were consistently rated higher than those available at mass-market stores, and Gen Y customers were more likely to consume them.

To read the report in its entirety, click here.