It’s well known that Harley-Davidson’s motorcycle sales numbers are taking a beating.  But a new study says they are the best at being responsive to online inquiries.  This coming from Pied Piper Management Company, LLC.  The California company aims to help brands and manufacturers improve retail network performance.  And, they say that their 2020 Internet Lead Effectiveness (ILE) Industry Study finds Harley-Davidson dealers are the most responsive to online inquiries.

Pied Piper’s PSI® ILE®  study aims to answer the question, “What happens when motorcycle or UTV customers visit a dealer website and inquire about a vehicle?”  The study was completed before the appearance of the COVID pandemic.  And with COVID impairing person to person sales, online responsiveness is even more critical.

Customer internet inquiries

In performing the study, Pied Piper submitted customer inquiries to the websites of over 6,000 dealerships between July 2019 and February 2020.  The inquiries asked about a vehicle in inventory and provide the dealer with a customer name, email address, and telephone number.

Pied Piper internet responsiveness

Harley-Davidson topped the field in customer internet responsiveness. Image credit: Pied Piper

The next step in the process is to evaluate the dealerships’ responses over the following 24 hours.  Pied Pieper then accumulates the responses and uses 20 different measurements to develop the dealership’s ILE.

The ILE’s scores range from zero to 100.  On average, 13% of dealerships nationwide scored above 70 demonstrating an effective internet response process.  However, 36% of dealers scored below 30 that Pied Piper says shows a failure to personally respond to their website customers.

Extensive improvement

Nonetheless, the study found extensive industry improvement from 2019 to 2020.  This year, the industry average score increased from 33 to 42.  For 2020 Harley-Davidson, Indian, Polaris, Yamaha and Triumph led the way in improved responsiveness.  Each had more than 10 point gain over their scores last year.

So one must give Harley-Davidson credit where it is due.   Harley beat out 15 other moto manufacturers and a total of over 30 moto/UTV brands in being responsive to online customer inquiries.

But Pied Piper’s results do show that there is a significant opportunity for improvement in internet responsiveness overall for both motorcycle and UTV dealers.

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