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Toyota Dealers Ranked #1 for Responding to Website Customers Reports Pied Piper PSI®

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MONTEREY, Calif.-Toyota dealerships ranked highest in the 2020 Pied Piper PSI® Internet Lead Effectiveness® Benchmarking Study, which answers the question, “What happens when customers visit a dealer website and inquire about a vehicle?” Dealerships selling Cadillac vehicles were ranked second, followed by dealerships selling MINI or Subaru.

Brands with the greatest improvement from 2019 to 2020 were Dodge, Chrysler, Ram, Alfa Romeo and Lincoln, while Cadillac was the brand with the greatest improvement over the past five years.

Pied Piper submitted customer inquiries through the individual websites of 5,063 dealerships, asking a question about a vehicle in inventory, and providing 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. Twenty different measurements generate dealership Internet Lead Effectiveness® (ILE®) scores, which range from zero to 100. 13% of dealerships nationwide scored above 80, demonstrating an effective website-response process, while 21% of dealerships scored below 40, struggling to respond effectively to their website customers.

Industrywide, the largest changes over the past year were the following:

  • More Use of Dealer Text Messages – A 23% increase
  • Fewer “No Response of Any Type” – Now only 3% of the time
  • More Emailed Answers to Questions – A 14% increase
  • More Personal Emails Sent Quickly (<1 hour) – A 22% increase
  • Fewer Poor (<40) ILE scores – A 37% decrease

The most basic measurement is whether a customer received an email, text message or phone call of any type in response to their question, and 97% of the time on average customers received a response of some type within 24 hours. A more meaningful measurement is whether the customer received an email or text message answering their question within 24 hours. Porsche, Jaguar and MINI dealerships were the most likely to email or text an answer to the customer’s question within 24 hours, more than 60% of the time on average. There is still much variability with how texting is used by brands and dealerships. For example, Subaru and Acura dealers on average texted an answer to the customer’s question more than 10% of the time, but dealers for thirteen different brands used texting to answer customer questions less than one percent of the time.

2020 marks the tenth year that Pied Piper has measured and reported dealer website response for all auto brands. Ten years ago, the smart phone was brand new and most dealerships considered “internet” to be a separate department. Contrast that to today, and nearly all of today’s customers first use their smart phone to shop before ever visiting a dealership in person. “Today we all agree that website customers are critical to success,” said Fran O’Hagan, President & CEO of Pied Piper, “We also still find plenty of variation in dealership behaviors and see that dealers who master this part of the business far outsell those who do not.”

PSI® Internet Lead Effectiveness® (ILE®) Benchmarking Studies have been conducted annually since 2011. The 2020 Pied Piper PSI-ILE Benchmarking Study (U.S.A. Auto) was conducted between July 2019 and January 2020 by submitting customer internet inquiries directly to a sample of 5,063 dealerships nationwide representing all major brands. Examples of other recent Pied Piper PSI studies are the 2019 “PSI for EVs” U.S. Auto Industry Study (Tesla brand was ranked first for selling in-person), and 2019 PSI-ILE U.S. Motorcycle/UTV Industry Study (Harley-Davidson brand was ranked first). Complete Pied Piper PSI industry study results are provided to vehicle manufacturers and national dealer groups. Manufacturers, national dealer groups and individual dealerships also order PSI evaluations—in-person, internet or telephone—as tools to measure and improve the sales effectiveness of their dealerships. For more information about the Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index, and the fact-based PSI process, go to

About Pied Piper Management Company, LLC

Founded in 2003, Pied Piper Management Company, LLC is a Monterey, California, USA company that helps brands & manufacturers improve the performance of their retail networks. Go to