BMW of North America will make better use of an onboard car diagnostic system called TeleService in an effort to boost its dealers' service income. The system automatically identifies vehicle problems and sends a request for service to BMW. The automaker then forwards this request through e-mail to the car owner's dealership, where staff can call the customer to set up an appointment.
Tom Black, aftersales systems manager for BMW of North America, explained that the customer who receives the e-mail or phone call about car problems gets a "Wow" experience. He added that the dollars per repair order are increased.
However, there are some stores that do not follow up for various reasons, according to BMW managers. Black further disclosed that the automaker will release several programs this year to boost dealership responses to TeleService. He did not disclose what percentage of TeleService calls generates service appointments.
In addition, he stated that they see an opportunity for improvement. He explained that the automaker has "refocused energy on customer orientation," and that they want their dealers to do the same. Black further revealed that BMW has at least 800,000 cars on the road with TeleService and that last year, the automaker handled 938,000 automatic service calls from the cars.
In order to improve TeleService response, the automaker will launch a program this spring to aid dealers who could make more service appointments through the system. The automaker will also send BMW field personnel to dealerships, beginning with those which are underperforming.
It will also be modifying the dealer management and communications system in order for the dealers to book appointments conveniently, the changes of will be implemented in the fourth quarter. Lastly, BMW will also market the service to customers directly beginning in the summer and improve information on the service through the bmwusa.com website. [source: Autonews]