Automakers are trying to develop new customer satisfaction and loyalty strategies to stand out from competitors. BMW is the latest luxury auto company to announce plans to follow in the footsteps of one of the most recognized and loved brands - Apple. Unfortunately, both Lexus and Cadillac beat the company to the punch.
BMW recently announced that its dealerships in France, the United Kingdom, China and the United States would leverage employees in a new role, reports Bloomberg. As the brand's version of Apple geniuses, the employees will carry tablets that will help them explain and demonstrate the vehicles' features.
Oliver Watkins was one of the first two staff members taking on the new position. He told the news agency some customers don't understand the new positions.
"We tell them we work for BMW in a new, exciting role, and we sometimes refer to ourselves as the 'geeks' of BMW," Watkins added.
Andy Turton, global development director at consumer-research company TNS in London told Bloomberg it's crucial for companies in the auto industry to develop a strong sense of loyalty with consumers, since they must keep their own customers while simultaneously attract others from competitors.
"The traditional showroom model, where you've got a sales hustler closing deals, doesn't work well in the luxury segment," said Turton. "Customers in this space are looking for an experience."
To provide customers with a better experience, that's less sales-driven and more focused on education, Cadillac, Lexus and BMW are all providing customers with highly-informed sales representatives.
Lexus dealerships will now feature tablet-armed employees called vehicle delivery specialists who help shoppers navigate the new vehicles as well as vehicle technology experts to provide free advice and support for the advanced systems that come in the cars.
If businesses want to be sure they are providing their customers with the best possible service, they could consider hiring mystery shoppers to visit the stores and produce a transparent view into their efforts.