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DEALER RESPONSE RATES DOWN!

  • Dealernews
  • Apr 10, 2024

 

“The powersports industry is facing some tough conditions following COVID,” concedes Pied Piper CEO Fran O’Hagan as a preface to the 2024 Pied Piper PSI Internet Lead Effectiveness (ILE) Study which measured responsiveness to Internet leads coming though powersports dealership websites. “But for many brands, dealership web response behaviors have deteriorated. Why? It’s not malicious. There aren’t many powersports principals or GMs who would knowingly ignore web customers today.” But with the industry average declining dramatically compared to last year, it is clear money is being left on the table.

Pied Piper submitted mystery-shopper customer inquiries through the individual websites of 3,718 powersports dealerships, asking a specific question about a vehicle in inventory, and providing a unique customer name, email address and local telephone number. Pied Piper then evaluated how the dealerships responded by email, telephone and text message over the next 24 hours. Twenty different quality and speed of response measurements generate dealership ILE scores, which range from zero to 100. 

O’Hagan notes Dealerships which score above 80 provide a quick and thorough personal response by email and phone… and often text, too. In contrast, dealerships which score below 40 fail to personally respond in any way to their website customers. For top scoring Indian Motorcycle, 24% of their dealerships scored over 80, while 32% scored under 40. In contrast, measurement of the overall powersports industry showed that only 14% of dealerships scored over 80 while 43% scored under 40. “The effort is worth it,” adds O’Hagan. “On average, dealerships that score over 80 sell 50% more vehicles to the same quantity of website customers, compared to dealerships that score under 40.”  

Everyone has an excuse, “Powersports dealerships are all running very lean right now, everyone is super busy, and those web customers can be invisible,” he claims. “The web customers are not the squeaky wheel demanding attention like so much else going on at a dealership. In addition, what percentage of today’s powersports sales people were selling back before COVID? If a salesperson’s idea of a typical sales day was from 2021 or 2022, they would find today’s environment scary; or more realistically they would probably leave the industry!”

See the full story, detailed analysis and O’Hagan’s answer to dismal dealer results in the next issue of Dealernews

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