Bike ownership satisfaction up in 2009

JD Power study rates satisfaction at all-time high

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Dec. 17, 2009
Motorcycle owners are more satisfied than ever, says a report by J.D. Power and Associates.

The 2009 Motorcycle Competitive Information Study rated overall satisfaction on at a record 838 on a 1,000-point scale, up 24 points from the 2008 study. The score was an average of ratings for five categories: product, quality, cost of ownership, sales and service. The overall score increased for the seventh consecutive year, and reached its highest level in the 12 years of the study.

J.D. Powers and Associates gathered responses from nearly 8,000 owners who purchased new 2009 on-road and dual-sport motorcycles from September 2008 to May 2009. The information was gathered from August to October 2009.

“Given that industry sales are down roughly 30 percent during the past year, manufacturers are competing more than ever for every customer,” says Todd Markusic, senior director of the powersports practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “The result of this increased competition is that the quality and performance of bikes is at an all-time high, and dealers are paying much more attention to their customers’ sales and service experiences.”

Product quality improved in 2009 with the number of reported issues dropping to 126 problems out of 100 vehicles (PP100), from 152 PP100 in 2008. Much of the improvement is attributed to a decrease in engine and braking/ride problems.

The report also found customers appreciate follow-up call from the dealer. Customers who received a call scored an average of 170 points higher sales satisfaction than those who did not.

“The follow-up phone call is a simple concept that may have a significant impact on customers’ sales or service experiences,” says Markusic. “While it might seem that calling customers after a visit would be standard practice for dealers, 20 percent of customers don’t receive a call after a new bike purchase and 56 percent don’t receive a call after having their bike serviced.”

Motorcycle owners gave a higher score to dealers who complete maintenance and repair work quickly. The average time for maintenance is one day while repair work takes three days. Customers who had work done in under three days gave a service satisfaction score of 857 compared to a score of 753 from those who had to wait more than three days to get repair work completed.

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