BMW Group Australia has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by introducing numerous measures designed to assist customers across all their interactions with the organisation while also keeping a fully-functioning training program in place for its dealer network.
The customer measures fully respect national safety guidelines and a primary focus on health and wellbeing complemented by a premium experience befitting of the BMW brand.
A new sales program provides the ability to introduce customers to BMW product from the comfort of their own home. Called ‘Virtual Product Genius consultation’, it combines an online video tool with the expertise of a BMW Genius – who is specially trained to demonstrate all aspects of BMW product – to provide an immersive virtual reality experience.
In support of the online resource, new vehicles can also be delivered and picked up for at-home viewing and road evaluations. This offering also ensures social distancing is respected and that disinfectant is applied to key touch points to maximise safety.
The pick-up and drop-off service extends to BMW’s extensive service and maintenance program while also integrating contactless payment and receipting facilities.
The revised servicing process includes the ability for BMW technicians to provide a video-based review and assessment when the vehicle is in the workshop. The video is then sent to the customer for review and approval or to ask follow-up questions. Aspects such as brake and tyre wear can be shown in high definition detail for the customer to view.
Dealers that have Fast Lane service capability have also increased the capacity of this function to minimise waiting times and to provide a faster return of the vehicle to the customer. This is especially relevant to those who rely on their BMW or MINI for emergency purposes.
Solutions are also in place for BMW and MINI Service Inclusive (SI) package customers who have been unable to visit their local dealership within the normal 30 day service timeframe conditions.
SI package customers who have had a scheduled service due since March 1 and not been able to visit the dealership due to COVID-19 can have the work done under the service package conditions without any additional charges up until May 30.
This support will also apply to customers where their SI package has expired during the acknowledged COVID-19 period (March 1 – May 30) and a service was due.
Dealer technicians can also discuss with the customer if they have any urgent enquiries about their vehicle maintenance or technical issues if the scheduled service needs to be deferred.
BMW digital services further add to the measures carried out at national dealers. The BMW ConnectedDrive system, which combines advanced in-car functionality and the mobile network, was used to deliver a message to BMW and MINI customers before Easter that underlined government recommendations on staying home during the holiday weekend to help contain the spread of COVID-19.
A complete shift has also occurred in the way BMW Academy trains dealer staff. It has introduced a new online training platform using its advanced and fully-equipped BMW National Training Centre located at its head office in Melbourne for dealers across Australia and New Zealand.
Live webcasts – which are broadcast daily and include Q&A sessions – have been delivered to more than 500 dealer staff members over the past four weeks. The volume of digital learning content has increased by 266 per cent on the corresponding period in 2019.
BMW Group Australia CEO Vikram Pawah said the steps taken were necessary while utilising BMW’s extensive factory-backed infrastructure to support its business.
“These are testing times for everyone, but BMW Group Australia is proud it can make use not only of the technology that exists in our products but also the technology that our dealer partners can use to provide services remotely to our customers,” Mr Pawah said.
“This is backed by the great technology available at our National Training Centre in Melbourne to keep our dealers educated. It has been a fantastic team effort across the supply chain to provide innovative solutions to deliver our promise of customer centricity.
After all, the ability to deliver and exceed expectations of our customers is never more important than during a time of crisis. We want to say to our customers that “we’re with you”.