The fifth annual Pied Piper PSI study provides a benchmark for the U.S. motorcycle industry measuring how effective a brand’s dealerships are in getting customers to make a purchase. Pacific Grove, Calif.’s Pied Piper Management Company sent 1,967 anonymous “shoppers” to dealerships across the U.S. between July 2010 and April 2011 to gather information for the study. The study included 14 major manufacturers: Aprilia, BMW, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Husqvarna, Kawasaki, KTM, Moto Guzzi, MV Agusta, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory and Yamaha.
“A strong dealership sales process is needed today more than ever,” says Fran O’Hagan, president and chief executive officer of Pied Piper Management Co., LLC. “The days of ‘order-taking’ are over, and a helpful and effective salesperson can make the difference by turning a shopper into a buyer.”
The study measured dealer performance in several best practices. Across the industry, dealers were less likely to offer test rides, providing reasons for a customer to “buy now” and asking a potential customer for the sale than they were in 2010. There was improvement in other areas however, such as introducing themselves, encouraging shoppers to sit on a motorcycle and explaining service and maintenance programs.
Overall, the industry established a benchmark score of 101, down two points from last year’s PSI study. Of the 14 manufacturers, 13 recorded lower scores than they did in the previous study, with Husqvarna holding even at 90 points.
|2011 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index|
Victory retains its spot on top with a score of 105 despite dropping two points from 2010. According to the study, Victory dealerships led the industry in several practices such as providing a product walk-around demonstration, mentioning financing options, mentioning the availability of accessories and identifying features that separate themselves from the competition.
Harley-Davidson also dropped two points but had the second highest score of 104. The study found Harley-Davidson salespeople were most likely to identify specific features and benefits that meet a customer’s wants and needs.
Ducati salespeople were more likely to offer test rides than any other manufacturer. The Italian manufacturer was tied with Harley-Davidson for second last year but dropped four points to fall to third at 102.
Triumph also scored 102 with its salespeople the most likely to ask a customer if they want to make a purchase.
BMW and Yamaha matched the industry benchmark of 101, with their dealers the most likely to make an effort to write up a transaction.
MV Agusta dealers had the highest decrease, dropping 5 points to 98 and falling below the industry benchmark.
The PSI study also showed how likely a salesperson would advise a customer to consider a different brand. Manufacturers scoring high in the study were less likely to do this, with less than one in 10 Harley-Davidson, Victory and BMW shoppers meeting salespeople who suggest a different brand. On the other hand, more than one in four Aprilia, Husqvarna, Kawasaki and Moto Guzzi shoppers were asked to consider a different manufacturer. While some of this may be explained by dealerships carrying more than one brand suggesting alternatives, it does raise a few eyebrows.
Victory tops 2010 Pied Piper PSI study