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  • Dealernews
  • Jun 05, 2024



“Well-run service departments focus on increasing customer loyalty, and the first service experience to drive that loyalty is a customer’s phone call to schedule an appointment,” notes Pied Piper CEO Fran O’Hagan, as a preface to the 2024 Service Telephone Effectiveness (STE) study. He points out powersports is failing — miserably — at picking up the phone. “Industrywide, 1 in 7 customers failed in their attempt to schedule a service appointment within a reasonable amount of time…” and that number is dropping for most brands. 

Don’t think this matters to your dealership? After all techs are hard to find, right? O’Hagan warns you can kiss that customer goodbye if you don’t pick up the phone! “Powersports customers who find scheduling service difficult vote with their feet by moving to another dealership or independent shop, or even getting rid of their vehicle.” Can you hear me now?

It is not all bad news, Triumph surged 9 places from the 2023 STE study to lock in the top slot by a country mile. Other brands with the greatest improvement from last year were Kymco, CFMoto, HiSun and Kawasaki, all of whom improved their STE scores more than four points since the prior study. However, the performance of 16 brands declined, including Harley-Davidson, Zero, Suzuki, Moto Guzzi and Indian. 

“Triumph was ranked first of 27 powersports brands in Pied Piper’s 2024 PSI Service Telephone Effectiveness Study, which measured the efficiency and quality of service telephone calls from a customer’s objective of quickly and easily setting up a service appointment,” explains O’Hagan. “Following the Triumph dealers in the rankings were dealers who service Harley-Davidson’s electric LiveWire brand, BMW, Aprilia and Polaris Off-Road. 

As a point of reference, Triumph’s top marks were 3 points BELOW the auto industry average! In fact, one in seven (15%) of the study’s powersports customers hung up their phone having failed in their attempt to schedule service. “Only 33% of the customers quickly accomplished their objective, speaking with a service advisor within one minute, and scheduling an appointment within one week,” adds O’Hagan. The silver lining is that 13% of the powersports dealerships nationally actually went further, achieving STE scores over 70, by also providing a proactively helpful experience that went above and beyond the customer’s basic expectations.”

So was your dealership one of the 13% or one of those getting a failing grade in the STE? Check out the July issue for more details.

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