The recently released 2022 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI) Premium Auto Study looked at 25 car brands to find out how effectively premium auto brands and car dealers assisted both website and in-person vehicle shoppers with their transactions. Out of 25 brands, first place for the highest PSI went to Cadillac, which scored an astounding 704. Following Cadillac is Infiniti, only eight points shy of the top spot. From third place and down, the results grow increasingly more distant.
The study also examined the omnichannel purchasing experiences of new electric vehicle companies and discovered that they considerably lag behind the industry average for premium auto brands. Rivian is a good example, having only scored 334 on the index. It is the first time that the study measured Lucid, Polestar, and Rivian. Tesla ranked low as well in 21st place.
The study also looked at physical in-store effectiveness by polling the car brands with questions like:
- Did the salesperson ask if the customer previously visited the brand or dealership website and found a vehicle that interested them?
- Did the salesperson ask how the vehicle would be used or how it would fit into the family?
Interestingly, there were significant differences between customer experience scores and how each company chose to interact with customers. For example, electric vehicle companies mainly interact with customers through online experiences, lacking in-person communication skills. Regarding customer handling, the study’s results prove that electric vehicle companies have a long way to go and should consider changing their approaches.
Customers feel cheated when EV companies focus on their online presence and grow too quickly. When a consumer has a question and sends the question directly through an online contact form, the response is automated and calculated, lacking a personal and detailed touch.
Surprisingly, Tesla has dropped in many categories since 2019. Tesla used to dominate the list and scored high for an up-and-coming electric vehicle company, but its sales decreased as inventory and models increased. The large EV company focuses on ordering vehicles rather than assisting customers online or in person.
For the first time, the researchers also included premium and exotic car brands like Aston Martin, Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, McLaren, and Rolls-Royce. These brands showed interesting results as Ferrari ranked high for customers’ in-person experience but ranked low for responding to customers’ inquiries online.
Researchers conducted the study between July 2021 and June 2022 while using 1,657 measurements of response to website customer inquiries and 1,096 measurements of the in-person sales experience. The researchers also acknowledged that dealerships were not penalized for low inventory, recording this event as ‘NA.’
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