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Duc dealers first in customer treatment

Study ranks dealerships on helping prospective customers

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, May. 05, 2009
A recent study gave Ducati dealers the highest ranking among U.S. dealerships for how they treat their customers.

The 2009 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index U.S. Motorcycle Study sent 2,100 anonymous “mystery shoppers” into dealerships across the country between July 2008 and March 2009 to gather data on customer treatment. The study examined various factors including salespeople’s ability to answer product questions, availability of test rides and addressing the customer’s needs and wants.

Ducati was given an overall rating of 107, a three-point increase from 2008. That pushed it above Harley-Davidson’s rating of 105, which was down three-points from its chart-topping 2008 rating. Harley-Davidson dealers had held the top ranking since 2006.

Ducati dealerships were given the top score in 30% of the factors evaluated by the study including offering test rides, providing brochures and their sales staff’s ability to answer product questions.

Ducati received the top rating in the 2009 Prospect Satifsaction Index.Harley-Davidson dealers led in 20% of the study’s sales process factors, including taking time to determine how a motorcycle would be used and for addressing features and benefits specific to a customer’s wants and needs.

Victory dealerships were given a rating of 102, a four-point decrease from 2008. Though they had the largest point decrease from 2008, Victory dealers remain tied for third with BMW and rated above the industry average of 101.

BMW dealers ranked first in greeting prospective customers promptly, mentioning the availability of accessories and for making the special order process easy.

Overall, the industry average increased to 101 from 100. Motorcycle salespeople were 11% more likely to introduce themselves, 8% more likely to ask follow-up questions and 13% more likely to encourage prospective customers to sit on a bike, when compared to the 2008 study results.

“For the motorcycle industry as a whole, the 2009 PSI results show substantial and widespread improvement in the way salespeople interact with motorcycle buyers,” says Fran O’Hagan, president of Pied Piper Management Co. (PPMC), the California-based company that conducted the study.

At the individual dealership level, PPMC says improved PSI scores translate to increased sales. Dealers who improved their PSI score by ten or more points from 2007 to 2008 saw an average retail sales increase of 9% over that period. Meanwhile, dealers whose PSI scores decreased by ten or more points saw an average drop of 6% in sales from 2007 to 2008.

Dealerships that offered test rides at least three-quarters of the time sold 43% more motorcycles than dealerships that don’t. Overall, test rides were offered only 23% of the time.

Dealerships whose salespeople asked at least two out of every three prospective customer for their contact information sold 29% more motorcycles than those who did not. On average, motorcycle salespeople only asked for contact information 45% of the time.

2009 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index
Brand 2009 2008
Ducati 107 104
Harley-Davidson 105 108
Victory 102 106
BMW 102 102
MV Agusta 101 97
Buell 101 103
Industry Average 101 100
Suzuki 100 97
Yamaha 99 95
Triumph 97 94
Kawasaki 96 93
Honda 95 92
Aprilia 94 92
KTM 92 86
Moto Guzzi 91 88
Husqvarna 90 84

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