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Forbes.com America's Best Auto Dealerships: Luxury brands offer a better experience in the showroom

Forbes.com
America's Best Auto Dealerships: Luxury brands offer a better experience in the showroom

July 2009

It's partly the cars that keeps customers coming, sure, but it's also the experience those customers have in the showroom. While General Motors and Chrysler are closing roughly 1,100 and 800 dealerships nationwide, respectively (and surviving dealerships conjure ways to attract their customers), Jaguar joins several other luxury brands in shining through the recession's haze.

Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Jaguar are the top three brands when it comes to consumer satisfaction at their dealerships. Along with Saturn and Land Rover, they round out the top five in our list of the best dealerships in the country.

To generate our list of the best car dealerships this year, we used data provided by Pied Piper Management, a California-based marketing firm. The numbers were collected between July 2008 and June 2009 using 3,531 anonymous shoppers at dealerships of every automotive brand, nationwide. The prospective car buyers were questioned on many aspects of their experiences at the dealerships, from whether a salesperson smiled to whether they were offered a brochure to whether they planned to purchase a vehicle from that particular showroom.

Pied Piper analysts then used that information to evaluate how effectively a dealership sells cars, to compare particular sales processes to industry benchmarks and to identify deficiencies in certain brands. Each brand was then given a score as a factor of overall sales effectiveness, with a higher score meaning better sales rates, as well as a greater likelihood of brand-exclusive dealerships.

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Press Release: 2009 Pied Piper PSI U.S. Auto Industry Benchmarking Study Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Jaguar ranked highest in 2009

Press Release: 2009 Pied Piper PSI U.S. Auto Industry Benchmarking Study
Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Jaguar ranked highest in 2009

July 2009

Mercedes-Benz dealerships ranked highest in the newly released 2009 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index(R) (PSI) U.S. Auto Industry Study, one of a series of unique national benchmarking studies that measure how consumers are treated when shopping for a new car, motorcycle, RV or boat. Following Mercedes-Benz were Lexus, Jaguar, Saturn and Land Rover. The independent study sent 3,531 hired anonymous “mystery shoppers” into auto dealerships nationwide, then used the patent-pending PSI process to compile the results into an accurate measurement of how each brand's dealerships treat car shoppers.

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White Paper by Karolyn Hart, Wireless Ronin Technologies Automotive Digital Signage ROI Driving Value to your Business

White Paper by Karolyn Hart, Wireless Ronin Technologies
Automotive Digital Signage ROI Driving Value to your Business

February 2009

Those brands that have been able to grow sales also have dealers who are more likely to satisfy shoppers. Dealers who improved their average Pied Piper PSI scores by 10 points or more from 2007 to 2008 saw retail sales increase 9% during the same time period. On the other hand, dealers for whom PSI dropped by 10 points or more saw their retail sales drop 6%. According to Fran O'Hagan, President of Pied Piper Management Co., LLC, "Today's shoppers arrive at a dealership already armed with the facts and figures, but in the end the dealership and salesperson still play a critical role in helping shoppers turn that raw information into the best match for the shopper's needs and desires."

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Ward’s Dealer Business Dealers Treat Shoppers Better

Ward’s Dealer Business
Dealers Treat Shoppers Better

July 2008

Most car dealerships are treating their customers better, according to an annual satisfaction study using mystery shoppers. Acura, Jaguar, Lexus and Saturn dealerships rank highest in the 2008 Pied Piper Management Co. review in which people were hired to pose as shoppers, visit auto dealerships, then calculate and report their findings on how they were treated.

» View PDF of Article (540.8 KB) PDF Document



Automotive Digest Study: Dealers Seeing Increased Shopper Satisfaction

Automotive Digest
Study: Dealers Seeing Increased Shopper Satisfaction

July 2008

Consumers are happier with how dealers treat them than a year ago, says Pied Piper study.

» View PDF of Article (139.3 KB) PDF Document



The Car Connection Are Dealers Doing a Better Job Satisfying Customers?

The Car Connection
Are Dealers Doing a Better Job Satisfying Customers?

July 2008

Significantly, those brands which have been able to grow sales also have dealers who are more likely to satisfy shoppers.

» View PDF of Article (280.5 KB) PDF Document



Motor Trend Car Shopping? Study rates best, worst automaker dealers

Motor Trend
Car Shopping? Study rates best, worst automaker dealers

July 2008

When it comes to getting new wheels, not all brands offer such an unpleasant shopping experience - - and according to a new study, overall industry's treatment of buyers is actually starting to improve.

» View PDF of Article (344.1 KB) PDF Document



Auto Remarketing Dealers Improving Shopper Satisfaction Levels

Auto Remarketing
Dealers Improving Shopper Satisfaction Levels

July 2008

If a recent study is any indication, consumers are more pleased with the way they have been treaded by dealers than they were just one year ago.

» View PDF of Article (431.3 KB) PDF Document



Press Release: 2008 Pied Piper PSI® U.S. Auto Industry Study Acura, Jaguar, Lexus and Saturn ranked highest in 2008

Press Release: 2008 Pied Piper PSI® U.S. Auto Industry Study
Acura, Jaguar, Lexus and Saturn ranked highest in 2008

June 2008

Whether it's a direct response to a challenging economy and higher fuel prices or not, treatment of car-shoppers improved from 2007 to 2008 according to the newly released 2008 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index® U.S. Auto Industry Study, one of a series of unique national benchmarking studies that measure how consumers are treated when shopping for a new car, motorcycle, RV or boat. The independent study sent hired anonymous shoppers into auto dealerships nationwide representing all major brands, then calculated and reported the findings using the patent-pending Pied Piper PSI® process.

» View PDF of Article (182 KB) PDF Document



Hyundai Dealer Newsletter Are Your Sales Associates Selling Too Hard… or Not Hard Enough?

Hyundai Dealer Newsletter
Are Your Sales Associates Selling Too Hard… or Not Hard Enough?

October 2007

"The customer is king" is the oldest and truest cliché in the book. Before a stranger becomes a customer, however, he or she is first a prospect. 75% to 90% of all motor vehicle shoppers don't buy the same day they first visit a dealership. So when it comes to your bottom line, that makes prospect satisfaction at least as important as customer satisfaction.

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