Happy days are here again

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New face of the American biker

American survey outfit J.D. Power and Associates reports that motorcycle owners are happier than ever.

A study released today found that overall motorcycle ownership satisfaction in the States averaged 838 on a 1,000-point scale. The satisfaction index considered five elements: product, quality, cost of ownership, sales, and service. Most of the happier thoughts were about the sales and service elements.

Overall motorcycle quality was judged to be higher than in 2008 and showed a reduction in problems associated with engine, braking, and riding. The overall number of problems reported was 126 for every 100 motorcycles, which was 26 fewer problems than were reported last year.

J.D. Power says motorcycles are better made and dealers are doing their jobs better – that’s why customers are happier.

They said dealers could make customers even happier by following up on sales or service with a simple phone call. More than half of motorcycle retail customers do not receive a follow-up call after having their bike serviced, said Todd Markusic, senior director of powersports practice.

"Motorcycle owners who take their bike to a dealer for maintenance or repair-related service work present dealers with an opportunity to make a lasting impression, as the length of time a motorcycle is in for service greatly impacts overall service satisfaction," said a PR Newswire story about the study. "The average repair time for maintenance work is one day, while the typical repair takes three days to complete. Dealers who are able to complete repairs in less than three days may benefit greatly, as their customers tend to be significantly more satisfied with their service experience. The average satisfaction score among customers who have a repair completed in less than three days is 857, compared with 753 among those who receive their bike back in three days or more."

The study used reponses from 8,000 buyers of new bikes in 2009.

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