Do you need to finance your new car? Talk to Mike, the salesman. Have a question about the BMW ConnectedDrive feature? Talk to Steven, the guy with “the BMW Genius” on the back of his white polo.
Luxury auto brands have taken note of Apple tech giant’s wildly popular customer trouble-shooting service model, the “Genius Bar,” and are revolutionizing customer service by adapting the model to their showrooms.
While BMW isn’t the first luxury auto brand to implement the concept of specialty showroom assistants, they are one of the first to design their program directly around the successful model found in Apple stores worldwide.
The “BMW Genius Everywhere” program, scheduled to be fully implemented nationwide by 2014, provides showrooms with BMW-certified specialists knowledgeable in the available technological features and options. The push for a fully developed Genius program comes in preparation for the release of the i3 Electric Car launch in 2014.
BMW’s approach is very “Apple-esque,” too: all specialists will be young, tech-savvy employees — many of them college students with flexible work schedules — much like the self-proclaimed Apple tech “geeks” found walking around Apple stores worldwide. BMW Geniuses will also be equipped with an iPad.
The implementation comes at a time when car technology has far surpassed the time when air conditioning, heated seats, and a multi-disk CD player meant a luxurious, top-of-the-line vehicle. Now, dealership employees are expected to be fully knowledgeable in finance, the art of selling, and the wide array of technology and options available for every model.
By segmenting the process into specialties, manufacturers hope to facilitate the customer experience in browsing, ordering, purchasing, and delivering a new car. So far, the Genius Bar model has proven more effective in Europe, where more consumers order their cars instead of buying from dealership lots.