Thursday, May 16, 2019

The Top Searched Makes and Models for Q1

We may be over a month into Q2 - don’t ask us where the time went - but let's take a minute to catch up on the top searched makes and models on Cycle Trader in the first quarter of 2019. We saw some similarities, as well as a few differences, in trends both year over year and quarterly that we think you’ll find interesting. So, let’s get to it. Here are your top consumer searches for Q1.

Top 5 searched models of Q1 2019:
  • Dirt Bike
  • Cruiser
  • Trike
  • Sportbike
  • Dual Sport
Dirt bikes continue to be our number one searched type with 17% of total searches in Q1 2019 - that’s 650,000+ consumers looking for these units. Dirt bike searches are down just 1% year over year (YOY). but have remained steady since Q4 2018. Offroad units across the Powersports industry are rising in popularity - so we’re not surprised to see this continue in the #1 position. Next up, cruisers jumped to second place this quarter with 11% of searches. They rose significantly in the ranks considering they placed fourth last quarter and fourth in Q1 2018. Trike models rounded out third place with 10.6% of searches, falling just one place from last quarter and two places YOY In fourth was Sportbikes with 10.3% of total searches, falling one place from last quarter and YOY and, last but not least - dual sport bikes remained in fifth place with 9% of searches. We are interested to see how these numbers shift in as we move further into 2019.

Moving on to the top makes of Q1 2019.

Top 5 searched makes of Q1 2019: 
  • Harley-Davidson (47,000+ units listed) 
  • Honda (40,000+ units listed) 
  • Yamaha (27,000+ units listed) 
  • Kawasaki (31,000+ units listed)
  • Suzuki (18,000+ units listed)
The top five makes remain consistent Y.O.Y. but we have seen some changes since last quarter. Harley-Davidson continues to dominate searches coming in first. 22% of our consumers searched for the Harley-Davidson in Q1 2019 (that’s 5+ million searches). Despite what’s been widely reported about this manufacturer’s recent declines - they still continue to dominate due to their storied history and huge brand recognition within the industry. Honda secured second place with 17% of searches and Yamaha rounded out third with 11% of total searches. Kawasaki came in fourth place at 8% and Suzuki slid into fifth place with 7% of searches. Last quarter, Suzuki didn’t make the top five so we’re happy to see them gain some search traction. Maybe it’s the return of their Katana model that’s got everyone excited. The 2020 model will be hitting dealerships in the fall of 2019, after it was announced a nearly year before. We curious to see if they continue to climb in standings this quarter, but only time will tell.

Stay tuned for that report coming this July and let us know how your dealership compares with our findings in the comments below.

Trader Online Web Developer

Thursday, May 2, 2019

How to Deal With Negative Reviews or Complaints

We covered the importance of online reviews in our last post - but what happens when you receive a less than flattering online business review? While we hope all of your reviews are glowing and positive, there are times when customers might feel they’ve had a negative experience and voice their complaints. Reviews, and how you handle them, have the ability to either make or break your business - especially considering:
  • 67% of consumers are influenced by online reviews (1)
  • 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (2)
  • 74% of people who see customer reviews on a business website say they would contact the business (2)
We’ll dive into a few tips on what to do if you receive a negative review or complaint online.

Read the Review Thoroughly - It’s easy to become fired up after you read the first line of a seemingly negative review. But before you get defensive, take a step back and put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Take a few minutes to read the review thoroughly so you can understand the customer’s perspective fully.

Understand What Happened - Before responding to the review, make sure to consult anyone within your dealership who may have interacted with the customer. This doesn’t have to take a ton of time, just quickly get their side of the story and understand where the issue may have occurred.

Take the Conversation Offline - Try offering a simple statement at the end of your response saying something like, “If you’d like to chat about this concern further, my name is XXXX. Please feel free to reach me at (insert phone number, email, or both).” This shows that if they have additional comments/concerns, they can contact you directly to get them solved quickly.

Respond Quickly - Ignoring a review won’t make it go away - as much as you might it want to. You need to tackle BOTH negative and positive reviews head-on. According to the Local Search Association, most consumers expect a brand or business to respond within 24 hours. We encourage you to avoid passing that 24-hour window if possible, especially when it comes to negative reviews. If other individuals who are browsing through your reviews see unanswered concerns, that might motivate them to take their business elsewhere. Think about it this way - you aren’t just responding to an unsatisfied customer, you are catering to anyone and everyone who reads that online review.

Stay Calm, Cool, Collective, AND Professional - Remaining professional is crucial when dealing with negative online reviews. Avoid getting heated in your response and start by addressing the customer by name and apologizing for their less than satisfactory experience. If they have posted a lengthy review, make sure to respond to each one of their concerns. Your customers want to feel like they are being heard and that their feedback is valuable.

Put a Positive Spin on the Situation - Look at responding to reviews as not only an opportunity to right a wrong but also as an opportunity to promote the best parts of your business. Try promoting what your business does well while addressing the consumer’s issues at the same time. For example, “Our dealership is widely known for our excellent customer service and we apologize for missing the mark.”

Look at it as a Learning Experience - We recommend going over negative reviews with your employees. It’s important to make sure your entire team is on the same page and that they know exactly what customers might have issues with. If your employees are made aware of negative reviews, they can take action in the future to eliminate issues before they even occur.

Remember, if you respond to reviews the right way and address a customer’s complaint, you could always receive an updated review from the same customer praising how you handled the situation. Reputation is everything in the business world and we want to make sure you are always looking your best online. So, good or bad - make sure you’re responding to your online reviews and tackling any issues head-on and professionally.

1 - Moz
2 - Stat Labs
Trader Online Web Developer