How Important is the Facility to the Sale?
There are studies that show facilities actually have little to do with whether a customer buys a vehicle from a dealership. One such study is Pied Piper Management LLC's annual Prospect Satisfaction Index, which sends anywhere from 3,500 to 4,000 mystery shoppers into dealerships each year to determine what's most important to customers.
And yes, the facility ranks low on importance. In fact, it's the dealership's people that are the most important. Says Fran O'Hagan, Pied Piper's founder, "The sales team is what makes much more of a difference than the facility. That's not to say the facility doesn't make a difference, just that if you and I owned a dealership and had to pick between a great sales team and a great facility; we would pick the great sales team every time."
(For the record, the Pied Piper study is the most comprehensive and provides the most accurate picture of what's going on in the dealership that I've seen. O'Hagan has been in the business for a long time -- much of it as an OEM guy.)
So what role does a facility play in either the vehicle purchase or service for a customer? According to Pied Piper, there are five key points:
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