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      02-15-2013, 01:58 PM   #1
wwc310
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BMW Geniuses Coming to Dealer Showrooms to Assist Customers

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Pretty interesting strategy.

Quote:
via http://www.digitaltrends.com/apple/b...where-program/

BMW has never been shy about borrowing ideas from Apple. With the debut of its iDrive system in 2001, BMW became one of the first non-Apple products to adopt the naming scheme which has since seemingly worked its way into nearly every facet of our lives. Now the German automaker is taking a cue from Apple’s Genius Bars and introducing the Genius Everywhere program. The idea is basically for iPad-equipped “Geniuses” to be on hand in dealer showrooms in order to answer questions about BMW products. They will not be part of the sales staff, won’t work on commission, and are present simply to answer questions.

The big difference is that Apple’s Genius Bars specialize in helping customers with devices they already own, whereas BMW is encouraging customers to ask questions before they buy. The thinking, according to Advertising Age, is that the sales staff already has a complicated enough job, and that as the cars get more and more tech intensive, it would be beneficial to have staff members who specialize in just this one area. As unoriginal as the name might be, it does make a lot of sense, especially for BMW. As with the aforementioned iDrive system, BMW has been enthusiastically incorporating as much electronics as possible into their cars, but its customer base’s ability to understand and take full advantage of this technology hasn’t always kept pace.

The goal is to have the program fully up and running before the debut of the BMW i3 early next year. This too makes a lot of sense, as handling such a unique vehicle in a more informative way could make a big difference in sales. Of course BMW isn’t the only automaker to try and emulate Apple. Last year, Tesla proved it was not averse to adopting a similar business strategy when it began opening up small retail locations across the country.

At Stephen James Enfield BMW in London, a “BMW Genius" gives advice to a customer.

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      02-15-2013, 04:44 PM   #2
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I doubt they will know enough to ask them any seriously hard questions
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      02-15-2013, 06:33 PM   #3
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What would the sales reps and SA's do if a "genius" takes over their job?

SA's and sales reps should be able to answer your questions, or else they are not competent enough for the job.
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      02-15-2013, 06:38 PM   #4
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I already find SA fairly pointless..
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      02-18-2013, 07:50 AM   #5
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CA/SA are order takers now.
Delivery time comes - they don't have the know how (sometimes) or time to deal with customers who don't know the car.

Not everyone is a car enthusiast or tech savvy.
This program is geared to have a better experience for the average BMW owner or new driver to BMW vehicles.

There are way too many CA's in the industry who are underpaid and under-qualified (imagine a venn diagram).

They should one day just make BMW centers like vending machines, scan your code in and unlock the vehicle, take ownership, request a BMW Genius there if necessary.

10-20 Years it will happen...
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      02-18-2013, 08:07 AM   #6
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Perfect job for some of us here. This is what I wanted to do when I was selling.
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      02-18-2013, 08:14 AM   #7
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I'd be interested in doing this part-time. Where do I apply?
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      02-18-2013, 08:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Ritz View Post
I already find SA fairly pointless..
+1 most of them dont know anything useful. IMO they need to know every BMW model in and out, since bmw is pushing for a bigger enthusiast driven community
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      02-18-2013, 08:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Ritz View Post
I doubt they will know enough to ask them any seriously hard questions
yeah, someone like me however would. i got a bad feeling they'll lack the knowledge a serious customer might have. that or they'll not have a serious understanding of the BMW brand, and what it represents.
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      02-18-2013, 08:50 AM   #10
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Considering how lazy some of today's sales people are, it might be a good idea, considering that simply making money isn't enough reason to speak to customers in the first place.

Maybe they can put the value back in the customer experience somehow, but I think they are missing it by not having the salespeople get the ball rolling by interacting with customers in the first place. Only time will tell...
It's seems more like a glorified greater IMO. However it does make sure the customer does get talked to in the first place. What a concept~!
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      02-18-2013, 08:56 AM   #11
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Could a "BMW Genius" help a customer get a better deal by advising against packages that aren't needed, etc.? A healthy tension between the "BWM Genius" and the sales team could create better value for customers (or, at least, the appearance thereof).

Cheers,
Bryan

PS> Where do I apply? This would be fun to do during a few peak times of the year.
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      02-18-2013, 09:05 AM   #12
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This should have totally been my job. But no, a year after I join the navy, BMW decides to start doing this...
Damn horrible timing.
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      02-18-2013, 09:09 AM   #13
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Quite a few forum members have been doing that "BMW Genius" job in this forum and others for more than 10 years, so this is nothing new to talk about.

When I have to tell a SA/CA/parts or even a tech guy how to do his/her job then something is not right with BMW training.
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      02-18-2013, 09:36 AM   #14
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Where do I apply? And what's the compensation?
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      02-18-2013, 10:07 AM   #15
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Imagine a BMW campaign: "The Ultimate Customer Experience" now that would be something right there.
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      02-18-2013, 10:16 AM   #16
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This is for the BMW i brand only.
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      02-18-2013, 10:17 AM   #17
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But I just don't get it. I have an extremely busy job and have for years. I still know more about every new bmw than any sales person I have talked to so what the heck are they paid to do? Order take is not it as I live in a busy city and anytime I have been in there most are sitting around doing nothing.

It is rather insulting in a way to the SA I would think to have bmw need to bring in another guy to talk about the cars they sell.

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      02-18-2013, 10:22 AM   #18
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i bet i know more about the N54's then they do...
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      02-18-2013, 10:28 AM   #19
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      02-18-2013, 10:37 AM   #20
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Another stupid idea from BMW.

I think simply training the sales people and educating them on the product they are selling should be the first step.

I wanted to order a individual BMW and pay the extra for an individual color and the entire sales staff had no idea what I was talking about. They were telling me the colors I wanted didnt exist even though members on here routinely order them......
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      02-18-2013, 11:26 AM   #21
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The way I see it is that those "geniuses" will only answer questions like "what's this button does?" and "what's included in this package/option?". Basically questions, but no, we can't tell that to potential customers.

If a customer is interested in a car enough to go to a dealership to look at it more, he/she has done their homework and knows whats up.

Also I don't know how busy the sales staff is at your location but at my dealer they are free most of the time and would be happy to answer any questions. Any time I would go into service, the SAs would just walk around showroom, can't imagine MORE staff to "help" customers. But again this is BMW with some of the recent shit they came up with this might even sound like a good idea to them
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      02-18-2013, 11:26 AM   #22
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I'm sitting at my local BMW dealer right now waiting for over 2 hours for an X3 oil change. These idiots in the showroom could use all the extra help possible.
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