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The Detroit Bureau
Mercedes Doing the Best to Close the Deal
Mercedes-Benz dealers are most likely to deliver customers the sort of shopping experience they want – and then close the deal, according to a new study.
Asian luxury dealers were close behind, along with Jaguar and Cadillac, according to the latest Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index which uses so-called “mystery shoppers” to measure the way potential car buyers are treated.
The study looks at 60 different sales activities, from the simple act of greeting a customer when they walk into the showroom to providing a test drive.
Surprisingly, salespeople proved reluctant to take one of the most important steps of all, actually asking a prospect if they're ready to close the deal.
“The world has changed dramatically with the advent of the Internet,” said Pied Piper research chief Fran O'Hagan. Twenty years ago, the dealer was the gatekeeper, controlling every aspect of the car buying process.
Today, however, “A customer can go to the showroom knowing as much as you want.
So, the role of the salesperson has changed.”
And so has the balance of power.
The best dealerships recognize and adapt to this shift, he explained, noting that the pace of change is so rapid – and the best brands have adapted so quickly – that a company that scored third in the Pied Piper study in 2008 would rank near the bottom in 2012 with the same score.
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Mercedes-Benz Tops at Handling Shoppers, Finds New Study, But even the best makers have slipped coming out of recession
Mercedes-Benz is doing the best job treating potential buyers when they walk into the showroom, reports a new study, which is one reason the maker has continued building demand as the luxury market recovers.
But while it's the third year in a row that the German marque led the annual Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index, its score actually slipped from last year, and the industry, on the whole, has seen a declining in the handling of “ups,” or customers who come to the showroom, cautions analyst Fran O'Hagan.
“Industry-wide, treatment of car shoppers has declined almost across the board,” said O'Hagan, adding that “the easiest explanation is that the number of salespeople declined during the recession and has yet to bounce back, even though sales are picking up again.”
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The Detroit Bureau
Mercedes Dealers Best At Treating Potential Customers
Product, product, product?
Perhaps, but even the best vehicles won?t sell unless dealers know how to work with their customers, and according to a new study, Mercedes-Benz leads the way when it comes to doing the best job on the showroom floor.
Not surprisingly, luxury makers lead the way when it comes to satisfying customers during the shopping experience, according to the latest annual Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index, which uses a cadre of ?mystery shoppers? to see how dealers across the country perform.
Lexus ranked second, in the PSI, with Land Rover, Acura and Jaguar rounding out the Top Five.
But Detroit brands lead the way, in the 2010 study, when it comes to improving the way their dealers work with customers.
Ford, Lincoln and Chevrolet all scored above industry average for the first time since the study was launched, four years ago.
In fact, Chevy was the only mainstream brand in the Top Ten, followed by Ford and Honda.
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Mercedes-Benz on top of shopping survey: Study finds many makers losing frustrated customers.
A happy customer, it's been said, is a repeat customer.
Yet a surprising number of automakers and their dealers seem to almost go out of their way to frustrate potential buyers, sending them scampering over to the competition.
That's a key finding of the Prospect Satisfaction Index, an annual study by the California research firm, Pied Piper.
It reveals that Mercedes-Benz dealerships ranked highest in the newly released 2009 PSI, which looks at hidden facets of sales process, and how lookers are converted into serious prospects.
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