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Powersports Business Blog Emotion? Or just going through the motions?

Powersports Business Blog
Emotion? Or just going through the motions?

December 2013

All major motorcycle manufacturers exhibited at the Long Beach Motorcycle Show this year, but while they all started with the same empty show floor, their displays were each very different. Similarly, each manufacturer was assigned the same amount of time — 15 minutes — for a press conference to share their message with gathered journalists, but the presentations were strikingly different.

Some displays and presentations were full of energy and emotion. The subject matter tended to be what the motorcycles would do for the rider — how they would make a rider feel, how much enjoyment the bike would bring to its owner. Some of the presenters were clearly enjoying themselves, too, with a gleam in their eye when they spoke of their products.

In contrast, other manufacturer displays showed companies only going through the motions. Their displays were uninspired, and the press conferences for these manufacturers tended to be company employees talking in a monotone about how one brake disc weighed six ounces less than another. No energy, no emotion; clearly just going through the motions.

Think of the parallels at your dealership. Is a customer who walks into your dealership met with a business that pumps-up energy and emotion? Or are your dealership and the employees who work there only going through the motions? Motorcycling is all about excitement and emotion, since few riders must buy a motorcycle. The most successful manufacturers and dealers understand how important it is to embrace emotion instead of just going through the motions.



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



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



Powersports Business Blog Turning those lookers and shoppers into buyers

Powersports Business Blog
Turning those lookers and shoppers into buyers

January 2013

Turning all those lookers and shoppers into buyers is, in retail, the “holy grail” of topics. We send our managers and sales folks to workshops and seminars looking for answers. We test the waters, view the landscape, and hope that just over the horizon is the Promised Land, the mother lode.

Retail gurus who enlighten the sales process in ways that ensure success are far and few between, if they exist at all. That's not to say there's no one out there who can guide and direct, teach and mentor, in ways that can be beneficial. There are plenty of us walking around doing just that. But here's the rub: There's a lot more to it than just processes and procedures.

It's more than all the social media you can throw out to folks or how many craigslist listings you all can do in a day. It's more than door swings or what you have or don't have, and it's not about the potential we all have.

It's about making sure that what needs to be done is really being done. That's the missing link and it's more important than ever. Lookers and shoppers are a commodity too important to waste.

» View PDF of Article (211.4 KB) PDF Document



Powersports Business Blog Remember “You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda?”

Powersports Business Blog
Remember “You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda?”

January 2013

The big news from this year's Long Beach motorcycle show is not what happened, but what might happen. First though, remember the Honda motorcycle ad, “You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda?” Believe it or not, 2013 marks fifty years since that ad helped mainstream America notice — and buy — motorcycles in the 1960s.

Back to the Long Beach show … At last year's show, Honda released the CBR250, a sub-$4,000 model aimed at driving new buyers into dealerships. At this year's show, Honda introduced a lineup of three 500cc motorcycles, starting under $6,000. Like the CBR250, these new 500s will appeal to new riders, but the solid designs look much better than we might expect of “beginner bikes.” It is not just Honda either. Kawasaki's new Ninja 300 is a similarly attractive product with a price that will not scare away new riders.

Think about these products … Five or six years ago — during the time of $10,000 600cc sport bikes — manufacturers and dealers would have paid little attention to a $6,000 500cc motorcycle. After all, the profit margin to the manufacturer for these “beginner bikes” pales in comparison to that of a $10,000 motorcycle, and the same is true for dealers. Last week while visiting a Honda dealership, I heard complaints about the low gross available on the new CRF250L. “Hardly worth the effort to sell it.”

But let's think back to 1963, and what might happen today. We can complain about selling less expensive motorcycles, or we can turn 2013 into 1963 all over again. The gross from today's CB500 or Ninja 300 sales may be lower than we like, but those customers are likely the key to the industry's success. They may not remember that 1960s Honda ad, but these new customers will go on to buy multiple bikes and accessories over the years and will also attract their friends—a whole new generation of riders—into your showroom.

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