Mercedes-Benz is doing the best job treating potential buyers when they walk into the showroom, reports a new study, which is one reason the maker has continued building demand as the luxury market recovers.
But while it’s the third year in a row that the German marque led the annual Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index, its score actually slipped from last year, and the industry, on the whole, has seen a declining in the handling of “ups,” or customers who come to the showroom, cautions analyst Fran O’Hagan.
“Industry-wide, treatment of car shoppers has declined almost across the board,” said O’Hagan, adding that “the easiest explanation is that the number of salespeople declined during the recession and has yet to bounce back, even though sales are picking up again.”
The Pied Piper Study relies on 3,524 “mystery shoppers,” anonymous researchers who visit tens of thousands of U.S. showrooms to see how they are treated. They attempt to engage salespeople to see how they pitch products, explain their advantages and whether there’s an effort to close a deal.