Feb 09,2007 00:00
Bend Weekly News Sources
First-Ever Motorcycle Industry Benchmarking Study Identifies Why Customers Stay -- or Walk Away
Harley-Davidson dealerships ranked highest in the newly released 2007 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (SM) Motorcycle Industry Study, which measured how shoppers are treated at retail locations. The study is the first of its kind to provide actionable insights on the hot buttons that turn shoppers into buyers.
Harley-Davidson dealerships were consistently near the top of the rankings for multiple aspects of the study. Harley-Davidson salespeople were more likely to ask for a shopper's name, to determine a shopper's price range, to determine if anything was preventing a purchase, to try to forward the sale, and to ask for a shopper's contact information.
Buell, Big Dog, Victory, Ducati, Suzuki and BMW follow Harley-Davidson in the rankings; all ranked above the industry average.
Although Harley-Davidson scored very highly throughout the study, other brands led the industry in specific areas. For example, Ducati dealerships ranked highly for promoting accessories, Kawasaki dealerships ranked highly for promoting financing, Honda dealerships ranked highly for visible signage, Suzuki dealerships ranked highly for focusing and narrowing a shopper's choices, and Victory dealerships ranked highly for offering a test ride.
"For the first time, manufacturers and dealers have a clear set of guidelines for improving sales processes," said Fran O'Hagan, President of Pied Piper Management Co., LLC. "For many dealerships, minor changes will generate immediate improvement." For example, only 35% of salespeople gave reasons why a shopper should buy from that specific dealership, only 37% asked for contact information, and only 49% tried to forward the sale in any way.
"Focusing only on yesterday's sales and customers is short-sighted, yet it's prevalent in many industries," O'Hagan said. "That's like driving your car using only the rearview mirror to navigate. As many as 75% to 90% of motor-vehicle shoppers don't buy the same day they visit a retail location, so maximizing prospect satisfaction is an important key for turning those shoppers into tomorrow's buyers."Retailers order shopper evaluations on-line using the Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI(SM)) web application, www.piedpiperpsi.com, which allows them to view real-time measurement and benchmarking specific to their brands and industries. Results are based upon calibrated prospect evaluation of the shopping experience at a retail location, as well as measurement of salesmanship effectiveness. The business methods used by Pied Piper PSI are proprietary to Pied Piper Management Co, LLC, and are Patent Pending. The 2007 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index SM Motorcycle Industry Study was conducted between November 2006 and January 2007 using shopper evaluations at 375 retail locations throughout the U.S., representing approximately one in eleven of all U.S. motorcycle dealership locations.