A little while ago, MO reported on BMW scoring First in Pied Piper’s 2017 Prospect Satisfaction Index U.S. Motorcycle Industry Benchmarking Study which measured treatment of shoppers who visited motorcycle dealerships.

The final 2017 brand rankings were determined by the Pied Piper PSI process, which ties their “mystery shopping” measurement and scoring to industry sales success. The index measured dealerships’ performance in different factors, such as allowing test rides, encouraging shoppers to sit on a bike or things as simple and straightforward as asking a customer if they would like to buy a motorcycle.

We’ve been following the Pied Piper PSI for several years now, and we’ve seen some interesting results since 2013 when Pied Piper adjusted its score weighting system. First, 14 of the 16 brands measured scored over 100 (with KTM and Husqvarna falling just a short). By contrast, 100 was considered the industry average in 2013, suggesting that motorcycle dealerships are doing a much better job overall.

Still, there is room for improvement. According to Pied Piper, the percentage of dealerships that offered test rides, let customers sit on bikes or ask why a customer is considering a particular brand, all decreased from 2016. Dealerships can also do a better job of selling themselves, and not just the brand. Only 47% of dealerships were likely to provide reasons to buy from them specifically, despite the importance of building trust in a dealership.

2017 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index Results
Brand 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
BMW 115 112 108 100 98
Harley-Davidson 114 114 112 111 111
Ducati 113 116 116 114 107
Indian 113 111 101 102 N/A
Polaris (Slingshot) 111 112 N/A N/A N/A
Triumph 110 107 109 105 103
Industry Average 110 109 107 104 100
Moto Guzzi 107 106 102 95 89
Zero 106 107 N/A N/A N/A
Can-Am 105 104 106 107 N/A
Suzuki 105 104 103 101 99
Aprilia 104 107 101 91 79
Honda 104 102 97 93 88
Kawasaki 103 101 102 98 96
Yamaha 103 100 96 92 91
KTM 99 97 95 87 73
Husqvarna 98 94 95 96 100

BMW’s aforementioned top ranking looks even more impressive when you consider its dealerships scored two points below the industry average in 2013. Going from below average to the top score is a significant achievement. Compared to its performance in the 2013 index, BMW dealers are now 50% more likely to discuss test rides, 60% more likely to encourage customers to go over the numbers for a potential sale, and 30% more likely to ask for a customer’s contact information.

Several brands have consistently remained near the top of the Pied Piper PSI. Harley-Davidson and Ducati (which topped the index from 2014 to 2016) perennially score well above average. Slingshot dealerships are relatively new to the PSI, but Polaris Industries dealerships tend to fare pretty well. Indian has scored above average the last two years, while Victory (R.I.P.) dealerships consistently scored at or above the industry average for years (which makes it a shame that many of them were left hanging when Polaris shut down the Victory brand).

Another big change across the industry is that today’s customers are more likely to do their research online before visiting a dealership. As a result, shoppers are better prepared before even going to a dealership. Shoppers today on average visit dealerships twice before making a deal, compared to visiting four or times before deciding to make a buy a bike.

“Motorcycle shoppers today visit dealerships half as many times before buying,” says Fran O’Hagan, President & CEO of Pied Piper. “Successful motorcycle dealerships today not only respond quickly to customer web inquiries, but they also understand the increased importance of every customer visit.”