Harley-Davidson dealerships topped the rankings for the 2012 edition of the Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index, an industry benchmarking study examining how well dealerships treat customers, and turning shoppers into buyers.

The Pied Piper PSI rated different manufacturers’ dealerships in a number of categories to produce an overall score. The study was conducted between July 2011 and April 2012 with 1,653 anonymous “mystery shoppers” gathering information at different dealerships across the U.S.

The study gave Harley-Davidson dealers a score of 108, a four-point improvement from 2011 and five points above the industry average. According to researchers, Harley-Davidson dealers scored the highest of all brands in 16 different categories, including offering test rides, obtaining contact information and asking customers if for the sale.

BMW and Ducati dealers were tied for second in the 2012 study with scores of 105 while Victory Motorcycle dealers scored the industry average of 103 after topping all brands last year. Indian Motorcycles and Star Motorcycles were new additions to this year’s study. Indian scored 103, the same as sister company Victory. Meanwhile, Star scored 98, four-points lower than its parent Yamaha brand.

Overall, the industry average was 103, up from 101 in last year’s study. The 2012 study found dealers improved in 80% of the categories. Dealers were 14% more likely to provide compelling reasons to buy from their shop, 13% more likely to ask for a sale and 11% more likely to provide reasons to make a purchase immediately.

“Today’s motorcycle salespeople have become much more effective at helping shoppers become buyers,” says Fran O’Hagan, president and chief executive officer of Pied Piper Management Co., LLC. “For example, five years ago, a motorcycle salesperson would introduce him or herself to a prospect only six times out of ten. Today it is nine times out of ten.”

On the other hand, there is still room for improvement. Dealers only offered test rides 16% of the time.

According to the study, Ducati, Husqvarna and Triumph dealers were more likely to offer customers brochures than Suzuki, Honda or Kawasaki dealerships. Harley-Davidson, BMW, and Ducati were also twice as likely to ask for a customer’s contact information than Husqvarna, MV Agusta or Moto Guzzi dealers.

2012 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index
Brand 2012 2011 2010 2009
Harley-Davidson 108 104 106 105
BMW 105 101 104 102
Ducati 105 102 106 107
Indian 103 N/A N/A N/A
Triumph 103 102 104 97
Victory 103 105 107 102
Industry Average 103 101 103 101
Yamaha 102 101 104 99
MV Agusta 100 98 103 101
Aprilia 99 95 96 94
Kawasaki 99 96 100 96
Suzuki 99 100 102 100
Honda 98 96 97 95
Star 98 N/A N/A N/A
Husqvarna 95 90 90 90
Moto Guzzi 94 87 89 90
KTM 92 93 95 92

[Source: Pied Piper Management Company]

Related Reading
2011 Pied Piper PSI Study Results