A recent study indicates that customers tend to be much happier with dealerships that 1) follow up with them, and 2) perform repairs faster than the national average. The J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Motorcycle Competitive Information Study, now in its 12th year, includes responses from nearly 8,000 owners who bought a new 2009 on-road or dual-sport motorcycle between September 2008 and May 2009. The study was fielded August through October.
- Overall motorcycle ownership satisfaction averaged 838 on a 1,000-point scale in 2009, up 24 points from 2008. Satisfaction improved across all five factors measured in the study — product, quality, cost of ownership, sales and service — with the most substantial increases occurring in sales and service.
- Dealers may increase satisfaction by following up with their customers after the sale. On average, the sales satisfaction score among customers who received a follow-up phone call was 170 points higher than among those who did not get a follow-up call.
“While it might seem that calling customers after a visit would be standard practice for dealers, 20 percent of customers don’t receive a call after a new-bike purchase, and 56 percent don’t receive a call after having their bike serviced,” Todd Markusic, senior director of the powersports practice at J.D. Power and Associates, said in a news release.
The study found that the average repair time for maintenance work was one day, while the typical repair took three days. But the average satisfaction score among customers who had a repair completed in less than three days was 857, compared with 753 among those who received their bike back in three days or more.
“Given that industry sales are down roughly 30 percent during the past year, manufacturers are competing more than ever for every customer,” Markusic said. “The result of this increased competition is that the quality and performance of bikes is at an all-time high, and dealers are paying much more attention to their customers’ sales and service experiences.”
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This story originally appeared in the Dealernews February 2010 issue.