The dealership consulting agency Pied Piper recently ranked each automotive brand by how their dealerships treat car shoppers. Pied Piper found that the best performing dealerships have a sales process in place that salespeople stick to each and every time.

Top Dealership Brands by Car Shopper Satisfaction

The 2018 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI) US Auto Industry Benchmarking Study ranks how each automaker treats customers at their dealerships. This year, Audi claimed the top spot for the first time in study's 12 years. Lexus, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, and Infiniti and Ram (who tied) rounded out the top six spots.

On the other end of the spectrum, Tesla finished in last place with a score 15 points below the industry average on Pied Piper's scale. Genesis, Porsche, Alfa Romeo, and Fiat also finished in the bottom five.

Of the 34 brands ranked, 19 brands improved their performance or saw no change from last year, with Audi, Jeep, and GMC showing the biggest year-over-year improvement. Ram, Mazda, Land Rover, Kia, Jaguar, Chevrolet, and Buick each improved their PSI score for the third consecutive year.

Meanwhile, in addition to the top six, 13 other auto brands scored at or above industry average levels: Buick, Jaguar, Land Rover, Nissan, Acura, BMW, Cadillac, Kia, Lincoln, MINI, Chevrolet, GMC, and Hyundai.

2018 Pied Piper Study

Pied Piper's PSI is determined by how the automakers dealers treat customers in person. For the 2018 study, they sent mystery shoppers to 3,466 dealerships across the country and ranked the treatment these shoppers received and the satisfaction delivered.

A Consistent Sales Process Can Help Your Dealership Stand Out

Pied Piper's mystery shopping research study showed that the most successful car dealerships were committed to a consistent sales process. More importantly, that sales process needs to be centered on basics such as being helpful and asking the customer questions to fact find.

Here's an example of a basic outline of a sales process a dealership sales staff could follow:

  • Meet and Greet with the Customer – It all starts with a positive attitude and a willingness to get to know the customer. The PSI study showed that it helps when salespeople are able to engage in small talk and build rapport to get things started off on the right foot. However, Pied Piper's mystery shoppers reported that sales staff only connected with potential shoppers early on 50 percent of the time.
  • Fact Find to Understand their Needs – Listening is one of the most critical components to selling, but dealerships salespeople should be asking the right questions as well. Find out about the driver's needs to better understand how they'll be using the vehicle and their driving habits, and then ask follow up questions to learn even more.
  • Involve the Customer – Next, your staff is going to want to get the customer involved by doing a walk around and a test drive. Showcase the benefits of each model and features that set it apart from the competition, and the ones that your salesperson thinks will interest them most after the fact finding.
  • Forward the Sale – Shortly after that, it's time to get the customer thinking about buying and owning the product. Stop talking about the vehicle, and start talking about them owning the vehicle. Salespeople can suggest going to the office to talk numbers, and provide reasons for the customer to purchase and to buy from this particular store.

The Bottom Line

Pied Piper's PSI study shows that the top performing dealerships at delivering customer satisfaction follow a consistent sales process. Your store can thrive in this regard if there's an established process that each salesperson follows with each and every customer.

If you're looking for another way to help your store reach new heights, Auto Credit Express is here for you. Our sales leads, special finance services, and other dealer products can help your store boost its bottom line. Learn more by calling us at 888-535-2277 or filling out our online contact form.