Customer Experience in Powersports: What Can We Learn from Other Industries?

A dune buggy races across the desert

Great brand experiences get better when customers feel engaged every step of the way. Here’s how you can improve the customer experience in powersports.

Powering down a paved road on two wheels, off-road touring the backcountry, and enjoying the great outdoors in every season is a way to create unforgettable experiences. And buying toys to enable those experiences can be an emotional decision-making process. Owning a powersport vehicle is often more than a lifestyle, it becomes part of the owner’s identity. Many seek out friends and family for rides, and enthusiastically share their adventures on blogs and social media.   

Each powersport owner has a product journey. It may start simply with a desire to spend more time outdoors, or from seeing a group of riders and thinking, “I want to do that.” 

Powersports customers visit brand and dealer websites and brick and mortar stores, participate in events, talk to friends and family, and engage with vehicle owners along the way. Once someone makes their first purchase, they’ll need accessories and services, and, if all goes well, they will want to upgrade one day. Since powersport products are sold through a distribution network, brands need to double down to get information about their customers’ behaviors, needs, and spending preferences. 

At Medallia, we help leading brands get immediate insights into their customer’s journey, whether online or in stores, and we provide data and actionable insights that go beyond simply knowing what is happening, but the why behind consumer behavior, and give your team the tools they need to quickly take action. 

Here are three customer experience lessons that powersport companies can learn from adjacent industries that are delivering world-class customer experiences. 

Lesson 1, from the automotive industry: Customer feedback can help dealers and OEMs shine

Before deploying Medallia’s customer experience solutions, a leading automotive manufacturer identified an opportunity to make customer data more accessible, relevant, and appealing to its dealerships. 

While in the past, the company’s customer experience management (CEM) solution had functioned mainly as an issue management and escalation system, dealers needed a more comprehensive way to be able to close the loop with customers following a sales or service interaction. They knew they needed a solution with core “off-the-shelf” business intelligence capabilities that would also be flexible enough to develop and map to the unique organization of a dealership model. Together, the OEM and Medallia built a customer experience management program to align with the unique business needs of both corporate and local dealerships. 

As a result, both the OEM corporate team and their dealerships are now fully engaged with customer data, building a heightened culture of customer centricity. With real-time feedback, dealers are able to respond to customers instantly. The OEM now relies upon Medallia to make strategic decisions and operational improvements within the customer experience survey program, and NPS for service and sales combined increased significantly.

For the powersport industry, collecting and analyzing customer feedback directly and from dealers and having a scalable way to respond to customers in real time will allow brands to make sense of customer sentiment and turn insights into action for both the OEM and local dealers. 

Lesson 2, from the hospitality industry: Customer engagement can lift the bottom line for OEMs and their partners

Many hospitality organizations operate under a franchise model, similar to a dealership model. The service these partners provide ultimately reflects back on the brand, but most consumers don’t see the distinction between the two.

After partnering with Medallia, Choice Hotels found that stronger adoption of Medallia’s customer experience management solutions translated to stronger revenue performance. As such, they made increasing engagement a major initiative, and shattered their original goal of 65% active property engagement, improving usage from less than 40% to more than 88% of properties actively logging in to Medallia.

How did Choice Hotels significantly increase engagement in just 24 months? By demonstrating the financial impact of improved guest experiences to its franchisees and making the Medallia system more robust. Powersport brands can leverage the success of Choice Hotels and apply it to their channel partners. Engaging customers both directly and through your partner programs can provide insights and actionable steps that lift the bottom line for everyone involved. 

A graphic shows Choice Hotels identified 36 key drivers of customer satisfaction, drove higher likely to recommend survey scores and $18 million in revenue as a result.

Lesson 3, from the manufacturing industry: Customer experience doesn’t stop after the sale

 For decades, Samsung Electronics of America has focused on product innovation and relationships with third-party carriers, dealers, and retailers. The customer care team at Samsung always had a close relationship with customers, yet Samsung wanted to connect more directly to customers. The team’s focus was on elevating the entire Samsung customer care journey, serving customers through their preferred channels and feedback methods.

A graphic displaying a quote from Guilherme Koga, Samsung Director of Care Analytics, CX, and Strategy, who said, "We are putting the customer at the heart of everything we do, using real-time insights and action."

Samsung began by ensuring that every person who interacts with customers had access to Medallia, including customer care agents, repair specialists, technicians, and more. The company officially launched the Samsung Care Pulse program, which helped to put the customer at the heart of everything Samsung does. Since launching this initiative, Samsung has continued to expand the number of users with access to Medallia, as well as the feedback channels. 

Medallia provided these customer-facing members of what it is calling the “Champions Council” with customer feedback and insights to help the team solve issues and take positive action on behalf of customers. Customer insights also led Samsung to develop popular offerings such as their “We Come to You” program, in which the company outfitted vans and trucks that technicians could use to provide walk-up or appointment-based service delivery for personal devices, such as cell phones.

For many powersport customers, purchasing is just the beginning. Accessory purchases, vehicle maintenance, and engagement with other like-minded enthusiasts are all part of the journey. At the same time, the powersport industry has a nearly 40% product abandonment rate within 36 months for first-time buyers. Collecting insights and turning them into action along the journey can improve customer experience far beyond the sale date and keep customers engaged with their purchase and the sport.

Final Thoughts

Having a system that doesn’t just collect data, but delivers insights and an actionable workflow can boost your brand, build stronger partnerships with dealers, and delight customers every mile on the path toward brand ambassadorship. 

For more insights from other industries you can learn from, here are 22 predictions for the future of experience.