Tristin Burdick | May 4, 2023
EPG Specialty Information recently conducted a survey on dealership purchasing behaviors through their omnibus consumer panel, MyVoiceRewards. The survey offers valuable insights into the behaviors of powersports consumers regarding dealership purchasing. This article will discuss the findings of the survey and their implications for dealerships seeking to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Understanding Customer Interactions and Meeting Evolving Expectations. According to the survey, successful dealerships create a positive impression by understanding customer interactions and meeting their evolving expectations. The study found that 77% of survey respondents purchased a vehicle from a dealer in the last five years, with 78% visiting two or more dealerships before making a purchase. Dealerships enjoy a high level of trust, but women tend to be more skeptical than men.
Key Factors Influencing Customer Satisfaction. The survey results indicate that attitude, inventory, and pricing are key factors influencing customer satisfaction. Dealerships should prioritize sales and service team knowledge, honesty, and transparent pricing practices. Only one in 10 felt their dealer had no room for improvement.
Recent Purchasing Patterns. The survey found that 82.2% of respondents visited a powersports dealership within the last year. Most recent purchases occurred within the last one to two years, and a majority of respondents (55.5%) reported being very satisfied with their last dealership purchase.
Powersports Vehicle Purchasing Decisions. The decision to purchase a new powersports vehicle was often influenced by the current vehicle no longer meeting the respondent's needs or preferences (57.4%), wanting to upgrade to a higher-end or more advanced vehicle model (45.1%), or finding a good deal or promotion on a new vehicle (26.6%). Respondents typically used online search engines, industry publications, and manufacturer websites to research potential purchases.
Dealership Research and Visiting Patterns. When researching a potential powersports dealership to visit or purchase from, respondents typically visited the dealership in person (77.6%), browsed the dealership's website and social media pages (54.9%), or checked online reviews and ratings (43.8%). Most respondents (71.8%) visited two or three dealerships before making their final purchase decision, indicating the importance of each online and in-person engagement.
Factors Influencing Dealership Selection. Price competitiveness and overall value for the money, as well as the quality of customer service and sales support, were considered extremely important by 41.4% and 47.3% of respondents, respectively. Other factors, such as proximity to home or work, selection of accessories and aftermarket parts, and availability of test rides and vehicle demonstrations, were also considered when selecting a dealership.
Post-Purchase Actions. After purchasing a powersports vehicle from a dealership, respondents typically purchased additional gear or equipment related to the vehicle (69.1%), installed aftermarket parts or accessories (67.4%), or shared their experience and recommendations with others who may be interested in purchasing a powersports vehicle (44.9%).
What you can do
The Role of Online Presence and Reviews. With respondents frequently browsing dealership websites, social media pages, and online reviews, it is crucial for dealerships to maintain a strong online presence. Ensuring up-to-date information, engaging content, and positive customer reviews will help attract potential customers and build trust.
Financing Options and Promotions. While only 7.2% of respondents considered financing options to be extremely important, offering flexible financing options and promotional deals can still be a deciding factor for some customers. By providing a range of financing options, dealerships can cater to a wider audience and make purchasing more accessible to potential buyers.
The Importance of Test Rides and Vehicle Demonstrations. Availability of test rides and vehicle demonstrations were considered very or extremely important by 55.3% of respondents—many mentioning that they wouldn’t buy without a test ride. These experiences can help consumers make informed decisions about their purchases and create a positive impression of the dealership's customer service.
The Influence of Brand Satisfaction. BMW owners reported the highest level of satisfaction, highlighting the importance of brand reputation and customer experience. Dealerships should ensure their staff are knowledgeable about the specific brands they offer, allowing them to provide accurate information and address any customer concerns effectively.
Addressing Gender Differences in Trust. The survey found that women tend to be more skeptical than men when it comes to dealership trust. Dealerships should make an effort to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all customers, ensuring that their sales and service teams are trained in addressing the unique concerns and preferences of different demographics.
Building Customer Loyalty and Repeat Business. Respondents shared similar thoughts about their experiences with dealers. They value transparency, good customer service, and honesty. They don't like aggressive salespeople, but they do want to be noticed. Customers appreciate being treated as unique individuals with different preferences. Trust is built when the salesperson is passionate about the sport and knowledgeable about the products. Clear pricing is also important. By concentrating on customer service and professionalism, businesses can boost sales, receive positive recommendations, and get good online reviews.
Continued Engagement After Purchase. Dealers can capitalize on ‘after purchase activities’ by offering ongoing support, maintenance services, and engaging with customers through social media or local powersports communities.
The insights gained from this article can be invaluable for powersports dealerships seeking to improve their customer experience and increase sales. By understanding the preferences and behaviors of their target audience, dealerships can tailor their strategies to meet evolving expectations and build lasting relationships with their customers.