So come on guys, all the talk about crap dealerships has got me thinking, I have now found a good dealer that ticks all the boxes for me but I wanted to know WHAT makes a good dealership to you, what makes you go back and what makes it good,
Late opening times
Good communication (customer service)
Good product advice
Large stock of parts (do you mind waiting a few days for your parts)
Large stock of clothing or accessories or is product advice and ordering acceptable
Do you need a large range of used machines or are you happy with a smaller friendlier branch?
Do you need the security of a franchise and why?
Do you need courtesy bikes, these are being fazed out but are they needed I know I want them,
How long do you expect a service to take and whats the most important thing when you send your bike in is it communication or is it price?
Finally is location a massive issue if you find the right place? I have found a corker of a place and its miles away but its worth it, would you travel far?
I like dealerships where you can tell that they are still enthusiastic about bikes and haven’t forgotten what a bloke or gals bike means to him her.
Most dealers - even if they were enthusiastic when they started - seem to just get cynical and greedy over time - to the point where they might as well be selling and servicing washing machines.
Every now and again you find a place where they are still passionate about bikes - they know how you feel about your bike and what you expect - rare but worth their weight in gold.
I tend to do most of the servicing myself as I haven’t found anywhere that I trust 100% yet - whenever I’ve had my bikes looked at by someone else in the back of my mind I’m always thinking - ‘has this lazy fugger stripped the threads when he was putting the plugs in’ or ‘have they even bothered to check the valve clearances or are they just fobbing me off?’
In my experience small family businesses that survive on reputation tend to be the best. Some of you will remember the saga of Motorcycle City - the souless, don’t give a fug about the customer once we’ve got his money motorcycle chain store par excellence - they built up a really bad rep and then spent the next decade changing their name/management every six months.
PMSL, I have to agree, tea/coffee and chocky biscuits help me spend money as I feel more at home, if someone cares enough to make you a brew then they care enough to talk to you about whats important to you, always a good sign when you see the brews out but not a deal cruncher for me.
Proper tea, the kind that you can stand your spoon up in and will strip the enamel from your teeth.
I look for the personal touch. No, i’m not referring to something that they give you in the changing rooms (although that’s an idea!). I like being able to go in and sit down and have a chinwag and a laugh with the people i’m dealing with. Good, honest sales pitches. Discount for regular customers and cheaper servicing goes down well too.
Not bothered about banter or tea/coffee/biscuites etc, I want them to be competant, to do what they say they will do, when they said they would and for the cost they quoted. When something goes wrong, they should admit it, rectify it and move on, with competance and honesty.
If you regard big main dealerships and just crate shifters who are only interested in sales targets and who’s “technicians” are one rung up from having a McJob then you wont be disappointed and anything over and above that is a bonus;)
Small concerns with enthusiastic staff/family are the way to go IMO
It’s a crying shame but low margin on bike sales coupled with manufacturer pressure to sell more bikes is forcing many of the traditional dealers out of business.
I’ve been using the same dealer for the last 2 years and they’ve been there almost forever. I walk in, they know my name and are always willing to try and do a deal, have a laff and exchange banter. Honda themselves have said if they don’t get a big shiny showroom, they lose their franchise.
They have crunched the numbers and are having to lose their franchise.
I now have to go to a very nice big shiny Honda dealership but no matter how nice the staff are and how many times I go there, they don’t know who I am.
Apparently not… I knw nothing of the retail world - but it seems to me that the above are mutually exclusive
I go to a medium sized Suzuki (and Harley) dealership in Canterbury - where they know my name - and take the mickey when you come in to buy a couple of indicators, but they still have a big enough volume of sales to do a decent deal on a new bike.