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Catherine Colbert

Motorcycle Dealers Rev Up Response Times

by Catherine Colbert | Dun & Bradstreet Editor

November 8, 2016 | 1 Comment »

At a time when more than 80% of motorcycle shoppers conduct research online before setting foot in a dealership, seven motorcycle brands exceed the industry average for helping to turn website leads into sales.

According to the 2016 Pied Piper PSI Internet Lead Effectiveness Motorcycle Industry Study, BMW and Honda lead the industry in responding to internet inquiries within 24 hours. Other motorcycle brands that are responsive to customer inquiries include Harley-Davidson, Ducati, Zero, Aprilla, and Victory.

Thanks to customer relationship management (CRM) software and its handy auto responder feature, the overall rate of motorcycle dealer responses within 24 hours has improved in recent years, climbing to 89% in 2016 from 72% in 2013.

This customer-friendly statistic is encouraging news for the US motorcycle dealer industry, which, according to D&B First Research, includes about 7,000 establishments with combined annual revenue of about $24 billion.

But even the likes of BMW and Honda can run into roadblocks with certain inquiries. When potential customers posed specific questions to motorcycle dealers online, dealerships answered them only 41% of the time, according to Motorcycle & Powersports News.

Granted, the flow of inquiries can be constant. But dealerships that don’t tend to this customer lifeline are likely giving up needed sales revenue to dealerships that devote the time and energy to the task.

Rather than feeling overwhelmed with trying to keep up with online questions from customers, motorcycle dealers are encouraged to start with the basics and aspire to deliver more personalized solutions.

Tactics include creating a response message that’s unique to the dealership within the CRM system, checking that CRM emails aren’t getting flagged as spam, and measuring and tracking the dealership’s responses.

Industry Impact — Motorcycle dealers must proactively review their CRM software capabilities to ensure that they are effectively capturing customers’ online inquiries and converting website leads into sales.

Tracking the moves of consumer products makers since 2003, Catherine Colbert is an industry researcher, writer, and blogger. Previously, she spent ample time in magazine publishing, technical writing, ad copywriting, medical writing, and marketing. Follow her on Twitter.

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Photo by Bob Mical, used here under a Creative Commons license.

It was eye opening to know that online dealerships only answer 41% of the time. My husband has been eyeing one that he wants. It looks like he has gotten few responses online. He has scheduled a visit in person to clarify his questions!

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