Mahindra achieved the highest-ever score for an agricultural brand in Pied Piper’s annual compact tractor customer-service survey, which measures responsiveness to leads coming through dealership websites. Mahindra improved five points over the previous year and dethroned John Deere for the top spot.
Kubota, KIOTI, and TYM all showed improvement in their Internet Lead Effectiveness (ILE) scores and took the next three spots after Mahindra, while Deere came in fifth after having dropped three points yet staying just above the industry average.
Pied Piper submitted customer inquiries through the individual websites of 607 dealerships, representing all major compact tractor brands in the United States. The sales and service tracking company asked a specific question about a tractor in inventory and provided a customer name, email address and local telephone number. Pied Piper then evaluated how the dealerships responded by email, telephone, and text message over the next 24 hours.
The ILE evaluation of a dealership combines over 20 different measurements to create a total score ranging between zero and 100.
Compared to last year, Mahindra dealers improved most of the behaviors measured by the ILE score. For example, Mahindra dealers were twice as likely this year to answer a customer’s question within 60 minutes, and twice as likely to respond to the same customer via multiple communication channels.
Still, overall responsiveness industry-wide has plenty of room for improvement. On average, 41 percent of customers received no personal response by email, text, or phone call when they inquired online about buying a compact tractor.
“Improvement is very much worth it,” said Fran O’Hagan, Pied Piper CEO. “Dealers who respond quickly, personally, and completely to website customer inquiries on average sell 50 percent more units to customers who contact online as opposed to dealers who fail to respond.”
John Deere dealers, for example, were much more likely to use texting to communicate with customers this year, 29 percent of the time on average vs. 12 percent in 2023. However, only 16 percent of John Deere customers on average received an answer to their question by text message, and dealer replies using email or phone call declined from 2023 to 2024.
Compact tractor industry average ILE performance was unchanged compared to last year, with an average score of 33. Each brand’s industry study ILE score is an average that includes top-performing dealers as well as poor performers.
Response to customer web inquiries varied by brand, as shown by these examples:
How often did the brand’s dealerships email or text an answer to a website customer’s question?
- More than 60 percent of the time on average: Kioti, TYM
- Less than 40 percent of the time on average: McCormick, Bobcat, Case
How often did the brand’s dealerships respond by phone to a website customer’s inquiry?
- More than 30 percent of the time on average: Kubota, Case
- Less than 20 percent of the time on average: TYM, LS Tractor, McCormick
“Did at least one” – How often did the brand’s dealerships email or text an answer to a website customer’s question and/or respond by phone?
- More than 65 percent of the time on average: Kioti, Kubota, TYM, John Deere
- Less than 40 percent of the time on average: Bobcat, McCormick
“Did both” – How often did the brand’s dealerships email or text an answer to a website customer’s question and also respond by phone?
- More than 15 percent of the time on average: Kubota, Kioti, Massey Ferguson
- Less than 10 percent of the time on average: Yanmar, Bobcat, McCormick
How often did a website customer fail to receive a response of any type (email, text, or phone call)?
- Less than 15 percent of the time on average: Mahindra, Kioti, Kubota
- More than 20 percent of the time on average: Massey Ferguson, LS Tractor, McCormick, Case
“Website customers today drive a dealership’s overall sales success,” said O’Hagan, “but website customers are invisible, which makes them easy to overlook in day-to-day operations.”