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Press Release: MERCEDES-BENZ, INFINITI AND LEXUS DEALERS RANKED HIGHEST BY 2013 PIED PIPER PSI(R)

Press Release: MERCEDES-BENZ, INFINITI AND LEXUS DEALERS RANKED HIGHEST BY 2013 PIED PIPER PSI(R)

July 2013

MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA – July 8, 2013 – Mercedes-Benz dealerships ranked highest in the newly released 2013 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index(R) (PSI(R)) U.S. Auto Industry Benchmarking Study, which measured dealership treatment of car-shoppers. Study rankings by brand were determined by the patent-pending Pied Piper PSI process, which ties “mystery shopping” measurement and scoring to industry sales success. Infiniti and Lexus dealerships, the luxury brands from Nissan and Toyota respectively, finished ranked second and third.

Nineteen of the thirty-three different brands led at least one PSI sales process category, and performance varied by brand within each category. For example, Jaguar, Volvo and Audi salespeople were most likely to discuss features unique from the competition. Infiniti, Land Rover and smart salespeople were most likely to conduct a vehicle “walk-around” demonstration. Kia, Fiat and Hyundai salespeople were most likely to give compelling reasons to buy now.

Industry average dealership performance was mixed when comparing 2013 with the previous year.

Salesperson behaviors more likely in 2013 than 2012 include the following:
• Mentioning the availability of different finance or lease options (now 67% of the time)
• Asking about factors preventing purchase (now 71% of the time)
• Asking if the prospect has a trade-in (now 83% of the time)

Salesperson behaviors less likely in 2013 than 2012 include the following:
• Offering a brochure (now 52% of the time)
• Discussing features unique from the competition (now 55% of the time)
• Involving prospect with visual aids (now 38% of the time)

2013 marks the seventh consecutive year of Pied Piper PSI auto industry benchmarking studies. With seven years of data gathered from tens of thousands of auto PSI evaluations nationwide, Pied Piper was able to fine-tune the study questions, weightings and scoring for 2013. As a result, Pied Piper reset the 2013 auto industry average PSI score to “100.”

The resulting “second generation” PSI scoring is now even more closely correlated to auto dealership sales success. Pied Piper has found that on average, when auto dealerships are ranked by their PSI score, dealerships in the top quarter sell 16% more vehicles than the dealerships in the bottom quarter. “Any dealership faces plenty of challenges that are difficult, if not impossible, to change, such as product-line sold or dealership location,” said Fran O'Hagan, President and CEO of Pied Piper Management Company LLC. “In contrast, how a sales team sells is something a dealership can improve immediately.”

» View PDF of Article (211.5 KB) PDF Document



Powersports Business Study: Consumers expect online reply in 30 minutes

Powersports Business
Study: Consumers expect online reply in 30 minutes

June 2013

Pied Piper releases first Internet study in five years

In addition to the annual Prospect Satisfaction Index ratings, Pied Piper Management Company, LLC, also released its first Internet Lead Effectiveness (ILE) study since 2008. For that, the company tested 19 different criteria, related to which dealerships responded to online inquires within 24 hours.

“The way we approach this is exercise the same way the customer would approach this,” Pied Piper president Fran O'Hagan said.

Pied Piper staff searched a brand and city in an Internet browser and picked the first one to appear each time. Then they looked at the inventory and followed the online directions for contacting the dealership to ask a specific question about a certain product. Each search was done mid-week, mid-day in local time, and a phone number was provided with each inquiry.

The scores from five years ago improved. In 2008, only 30 percent of dealers responded within 24 hours, whereas in 2013, 72 percent did. The first response to an Internet inquiry was automated 56 percent of the time and personal 16 percent of time.

» View PDF of Article (211.4 KB) PDF Document



Motorcycle & Powersports News Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Dealers Ranked Highest by 2013 Pied Piper PSI

Motorcycle & Powersports News
Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Dealers Ranked Highest by 2013 Pied Piper PSI

May 2013

Harley-DavIdson dealershIps Were top ranked in the newly released 2013 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI) US. Motorcycle Industry Benchmarking Study, which measured dealership treatment of motorcycle shoppers. Study ran kings by brand Were determined by the patent-pendmg Pied PIper PSI process, which ties "mystery shopping" measurement and scoring to industry sales success.

For the first time since 2008 , Pied Piper also separately measured how effectively motorcycle dealerships responded to customer inquiries received online through dealership websites.

Harley-Davidson dealerships led all brands in 18 different sales activities, such as encouraging shoppers to sit on the motorcycle, asking for contact information and helping the shopper.

» View PDF of Article (780.7 KB) PDF Document



Powersports Business Harley Dealers Rank Highest in PSI Study

Powersports Business
Harley Dealers Rank Highest in PSI Study

May 2013

Pied Piper changes scoring system, and H-D stores remain on top

As a group, Harley-Davidson dealers excel at handling prospective customers. For the second year in a row, they topped Pied Piper Management Company, LLC's Prospect Satisfaction Index, with a score of 111. And they did so despite Pied Piper changing the scoring system.

Since the inception of PSI in 2007, Pied Piper has measured 57 variables when grading dealerships. Though the company still measured those variables, it only scored about 40, with a focus more on selling and less on factors such as the facility. As a result, some OEMs moved down on the list, while others moved up. BMW dealers, for example, always rate well on facility scores, but after those categories were removed, the group's overall score dropped.

“The industry average is still 100. The maximum PSI score for 2013 and beyond is 150, and the minimum is 50, so the individual dealer who is getting a PSI score approaching 150 is doing outstanding,” Pied Piper president Fran O'Hagan explained, adding that those dealerships with scores closer to 50 need improvement.

» View PDF of Article (280.4 KB) PDF Document



MPN Magazine Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Dealers Ranked Highest By 2013 Pied Piper PSI

MPN Magazine
Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Dealers Ranked Highest By 2013 Pied Piper PSI

May 2013

Harley-Davidson dealerships were top-ranked in the newly released 2013 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI) U.S. Motorcycle Industry Benchmarking Study, which measured dealership treatment of motorcycle shoppers. Study rankings by brand were determined by the patent-pending Pied Piper PSI process, which ties “mystery shopping” measurement and scoring to industry sales success.

For the first time since 2008, Pied Piper also separately measured how effectively motorcycle dealerships responded to customer inquiries received online through dealership websites.

Harley-Davidson dealerships led all brands in 18 different sales activities, such as encouraging shoppers to sit on a motorcycle, asking for contact information and helping the shopper overcome obstacles to the purchase. 11 different brands led at least one sales process category, and brand performance varied considerably from brand to brand. For example, Ducati salespeople offered a brochure to approximately nine shoppers out of 10, while less than half of Suzuki, Honda or Kawasaki salespeople offered a brochure. BMW, Triumph and Harley-Davidson salespeople were more than twice as likely to offer a demo ride as the salespeople at Ducati, Suzuki, Honda and Yamaha dealerships. Victory salespeople were most likely to suggest arranging a demo ride in the future.

» View PDF of Article (208.3 KB) PDF Document



PowerSports Business Harley-Davidson dealers top PSI scores for second year in a row

PowerSports Business
Harley-Davidson dealers top PSI scores for second year in a row

May 2013

Harley-Davidson dealerships received the highest score in the 2013 Pied Piper Satisfaction Index (PSI) released this week. However, Suzuki dealers ranked No. 1 in the PSI-Internet Lead Effectiveness study.

Look for more on the PSI results in the May 27 issue of Powersports Business. The following is the news release from Pied Piper Management Company, LLC:

Harley-Davidson dealerships were top-ranked in the newly released 2013 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI) U.S. Motorcycle Industry Benchmarking Study, which measured dealership treatment of motorcycle shoppers. Study rankings by brand were determined by the patent-pending Pied Piper PSI process, which ties “mystery shopping” measurement and scoring to industry sales success.

For the first time since 2008, Pied Piper also separately measured how effectively motorcycle dealerships responded to customer inquiries received on-line through dealership websites.

» View PDF of Article (313.2 KB) PDF Document



Press Release: HARLEY-DAVIDSON MOTORCYCLE DEALERS RANKED HIGHEST BY 2013 PIED PIPER PSI(R)

Press Release: HARLEY-DAVIDSON MOTORCYCLE DEALERS RANKED HIGHEST BY 2013 PIED PIPER PSI(R)

May 2013

MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA – May 6, 2013 – Harley-Davidson dealerships were top-ranked in the newly released 2013 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index(R) (PSI(R)) U.S. Motorcycle Industry Benchmarking Study, which measured dealership treatment of motorcycle shoppers. Study rankings by brand were determined by the patent-pending Pied Piper PSI process, which ties “mystery shopping” measurement and scoring to industry sales success.

For the first time since 2008, Pied Piper also separately measured how effectively motorcycle dealerships responded to customer inquiries received on-line through dealership websites.

Harley-Davidson dealerships led all brands in eighteen different sales activities, such as encouraging shoppers to sit on a motorcycle, asking for contact information, and helping the shopper overcome obstacles to the purchase. Eleven different brands led at least one sales process category, and brand performance varied considerably from brand to brand. For example, Ducati salespeople offered a brochure to approximately nine shoppers out of ten, while less than half Suzuki, Honda or Kawasaki salespeople offered a brochure. BMW, Triumph and Harley-Davidson salespeople were more than twice as likely to offer a demo ride as the salespeople at Ducati, Suzuki, Honda and Yamaha dealerships. Victory salespeople were most likely to suggest arranging a demo ride in the future.

Industry average dealership performance was mixed when comparing 2013 with the previous year.

Salesperson behaviors more likely in 2013 than 2012 include the following:

• Offering demo rides (now 19% of the time)
• Discussing features unique from competitors (now 49% of the time)
• Encouraging going through the numbers or writing up a deal (now 33% of the time)

Salesperson behaviors less likely in 2013 than 2012 include the following:

• Conducting a walk-around demonstration (now 70% of the time)
• Overcoming shopper objections (now 74% of the time)
• Giving compelling reasons to buy now (now 39% of the time)

2013 marks the seventh consecutive year of Pied Piper PSI motorcycle industry benchmarking studies. With seven years of data gathered from tens of thousands of motorcycle PSI evaluations nationwide, Pied Piper was able to fine-tune the study questions, weightings and scoring for 2013. As a result, Pied Piper reset the 2013 motorcycle industry average PSI score to “100.”

The resulting “second generation” PSI scoring is now even more closely correlated to motorcycle dealership sales success. Pied Piper has found that on average, when motorcycle dealerships are ranked by their PSI score, dealerships in the top quarter sell 22% more motorcycles than dealerships in the bottom quarter. “Any motorcycle dealership faces plenty of challenges that are difficult, if not impossible, to change,” said Fran O'Hagan, President and CEO of Pied Piper Management Co., LLC. “In contrast, how a sales team sells is something a dealership can improve immediately.”

» View PDF of Article (312 KB) PDF Document



Dealernews Harley dealers top Pied Piper mystery-shopper study

Dealernews
Harley dealers top Pied Piper mystery-shopper study

May 2013

MONTEREY, Calif. - Among motorcycle retailers, Harley-Davidson dealers treat shoppers the best — although Suzuki dealers excel when it comes to following up online leads.

These were two of the findings of a pair of new studies: the annual 2013 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI) and a separate study by the same firm that, for the first time since 2008, measured how well motorcycle dealerships responded to customer inquiries received online through dealer websites.

Dealer service provider Pied Piper conducted its PSI study between July 2012 and April 2013 using 2,503 hired anonymous mystery shoppers at dealerships representing all major brands, located throughout the U.S. After each visit, the shoppers answered yes-or-no questions.

Using data collected from its clients, Pied Piper claims to have found a link between the mystery shopping scores and dealership sales.

Harley-Davidson dealerships led all brands in 18 different sales activities, such as encouraging shoppers to sit on a motorcycle, asking for contact information and helping the shopper overcome obstacles to the purchase.

Eleven different brands led at least one sales process category, and brand performance varied considerably from brand to brand. For example, Ducati salespeople offered a brochure to about 9 shoppers out of 10, while less than half of Suzuki, Honda or Kawasaki salespeople offered a brochure. BMW, Triumph and Harley-Davidson salespeople were more than twice as likely to offer a demo ride as the salespeople at Ducati, Suzuki, Honda and Yamaha dealerships, the study found. Victory salespeople were most likely to suggest arranging a demo ride in the future.

» View PDF of Article (551.8 KB) PDF Document



Motorcycle.com Harley-Davidson Tops 2013 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index

Motorcycle.com
Harley-Davidson Tops 2013 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index

May 2013

Harley-Davidson dealers outscored dealers from other brands to take the top spot in the Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index U.S. Motorcycle Industry Study for the second consecutive year.

The annual study measures the effectiveness of motorcycle dealerships, rating them on how they perform in different categories, such as inviting customers to sit on a floor model, offering demo rides and asking for a customer's contact information. The study was conducted from July 2012 to April 2013 with data collected by 2,503 hired “mystery shoppers”.

We've included the full scores below as well as the scores from past years. One caveat however: Pied Piper PSI has rejigged its study questions and adjusted the weighting and scoring for the 2013 study to achieve an average score of 100. This resulted in a significant scoring changes compared to last year's study and a wider range between the highest and the lowest scores.

Harley-Davidson dealers ranking highest score of 111 while KTM dealers ranking last at 73. Last year's study had Harley-Davidson leading the way with 108 while KTM again ranked last but with a score of 92.

Harley-Davidson dealers outperformed all other manufacturers in 18 different activities including encouraging customers to sit on motorcycles, asking for contact information and helping overcome obstacles to a purchase.

Second place in the 2013 Pied Piper study was Ducati with a score of 107. Ducati dealers offered customers a brochure nine out of 10 times to lead all manufacturers. By comparison, less than half of Suzuki, Kawasaki and Honda salespeople offered brochures. Ducati dealers however were less than half as likely to offer a demo ride as BMW, Triumph and Harley-Davidson dealers.

» View PDF of Article (475.8 KB) PDF Document



TIME: Business & Money Whodathunkit? Auto Dealerships Realize Responding to Customer E-mails Helps to Sell Cars

TIME: Business & Money
Whodathunkit? Auto Dealerships Realize Responding to Customer E-mails Helps to Sell Cars

March 2013

For a while, some car dealerships have seemed somewhat ambivalent about e-mail inquiries from consumers. Sure, they represented potential sales leads. But it was assumed that online shoppers were even less serious about buying than on-site looky-loos. How commissions are usually doled out to dealership staffers further complicates matters. Nonetheless, because modern-day consumers demand info via the Web—and more importantly, because answering Internet inquiries quickly and accurately boosts sales—dealerships have been dramatically improving how they handle online shoppers.

In a new mystery shopper study conducted by Pied Piper Management, nearly half of auto dealerships (48%) responded to online inquiries in an impressive 30 minutes or less. Two years ago, it took an hour for the same percentage of inquiries to get responses from dealerships.

The reason for speeding up the response time is obvious. “Doing well in that area pays off in incremental sales,” Fran O'Hagan, president of Pied Piper, told WardsAuto. “The entire industry has improved because of that.”

“The reason you are seeing this huge improvement is that there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,” O'Hagan said to Automotive News. “With most programs, improvement usually happens incrementally. Not so with how you handle Internet leads. This results in huge changes, right away.”

» View PDF of Article (177.4 KB) PDF Document