BMW to deploy iPads and mimic Apple Genius program to serve customers

Posted:
in Genius Bar edited January 2014
BMW next year will take a page from Apple's playbook, bringing in young, tech-savvy staffers to help answer customers' questions about vehicles on the showroom. The BMW Geniuses will even carry iPads.

Genius Bar


The BMW Genius Everywhere program is set for a nationwide launch next year, according to Advertising Age. The program will put iPads into the hands of college students and other young employees, sending them to the show floor in order to do largely what the Geniuses in Apple retail stores do: answer questions and tell customers how to buy.

BMW's geniuses will not be salesmen, though. They will be tasked solely with responding to customers with pertinent information. In the event a customer wants to make a purchase, the Genius hands the customer over to a salesperson. Geniuses ? who will likely wear a polo shirt reading "BMW Genius" ? will be salaried employees, not paid on sales commissions.

BMW is targeting car-savvy college students to put on the showroom floor, but the company may also train people already working in their stores to be geniuses. The company is still working out details and guidelines, but it is expected that every BMW dealership will eventually staff at least one Genius.

BMW's program ? and like programs at Cadillac and Lexus ? serves as a testament to the success of the Genius element in Apple's retail model. While Apple is continually tweaking the particulars of its Genius Bar and other aspects of the Genius experience, the Geniuses are, overall, one of the more celebrated parts of the Apple Store.

In addition to technical training aimed at helping them resolve customer issues, Apple's Geniuses undergo "psychological training" to be able to read customer body language. They're also drilled in preferred phrasing when dealing with customers: saying an application "unexpectedly quits," but not saying it "crashes."

The strategy has paid off for Apple: its retail stores log more than 50,000 Genius Bar visits every day.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,568member


    In related news, a new line of luxury cars will be produced and sold to exclusive customers beginning in Q2 2013. The sales people will all be carrying Android tablets (running 2.3 Gingerbread) and the cars will mostly be marketed towards the Android user base. Interested customers are urged to immediately pre-order, as these vehicles are expected to sell out as quickly as a Microsoft Surface launch.


     


  • Reply 2 of 28
    Apple's influence is everywhere and growing
  • Reply 3 of 28


    How long before a story about one who was asked to help with someone's computer?

  • Reply 4 of 28
    Apple's influence is everywhere and growing

    At least their models for assisting service can be adopted by others without the fear of a lawsuit.
  • Reply 5 of 28


    Good. In my experience most BMW salesmen/women know f**k all about the cars. I can't count the number of blank stares, 'I don't know' comments and such like I've had over the years.  Most car sales people these days ( at least at BMW ) are just 'order-takers'  - no salesmanship / knowledge of the cars at all.  

  • Reply 6 of 28
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,525member
    Maybe they will be able to tell me why the speedometer is off by about 10%.
  • Reply 7 of 28

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    At least their models for assisting service can be adopted by others without the fear of a lawsuit.




    I am looking forward to seeing Ron Johnson deploy the mobile cashier concept at JC Penney. I personally think this is a great idea, but have heard from friends that they are not crazy about it because they are not sure where to pay. Most importantly, many stores could gain from increasing staffing level in their stores, and making it easier to identify the product specialists (no pun intended vis-a-vis specialists and geniuses).

  • Reply 8 of 28


    Originally Posted by quinney View Post

    Maybe they will be able to tell me why the speedometer is off by about 10%.


     


    "Nice try, son; you're still getting the ticket."

  • Reply 9 of 28

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by stelligent View Post




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    At least their models for assisting service can be adopted by others without the fear of a lawsuit.




    I am looking forward to seeing Ron Johnson deploy the mobile cashier concept at JC Penney. I personally think this is a great idea, but have heard from friends that they are not crazy about it because they are not sure where to pay. Most importantly, many stores could gain from increasing staffing level in their stores, and making it easier to identify the product specialists (no pun intended vis-a-vis specialists and geniuses).



     


    SOT:


     


    My daughter and her three teenagers (girl 17, boy14, boy13) tell me that "the jcp" is now the cool place to shop...  uncluttered, fewer SKUs, better selection, good prices, great ads.  They showed me Valentines gifts of shirts and shoes that were priced 50% of comps at other stores.


     


    The venerable French Boutique known as "Jaques C. Penné" has come a long way in the last few years.


     


    My 17-year-old granddaughter tells me that she is a little disappointed in the makeup section at JCP -- isn't there an iPad app for that?

  • Reply 10 of 28

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post



    Apple's influence is everywhere and growing


    Yep, didn't I read awhile back that a BMW designer said Apple has influenced buyers in making white a popular choice in car colors? :) 

  • Reply 11 of 28

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


     


    SOT:


     


    My daughter and her three teenagers (girl 17, boy14, boy13) tell me that "the jcp" is now the cool place to shop...  uncluttered, fewer SKUs, better selection, good prices, great ads.  They showed me Valentines gifts of shirts and shoes that were priced 50% of comps at other stores.


     


    The venerable French Boutique known as "Jaques C. Penné" has come a long way in the last few years.


     


    My 17-year-old granddaughter tells me that she is a little disappointed in the makeup section at JCP -- isn't there an iPad app for that?



    Good for JCP! :) You should also have her check out H&M....Style plus very low prices! :)


     


    I get pants for $29, t-shirts for $6 and sweaters for $19. Good quality, too! :)

  • Reply 12 of 28
    stelligent wrote: »

    I am looking forward to seeing Ron Johnson deploy the mobile cashier concept at JC Penney. I personally think this is a great idea, but have heard from friends that they are not crazy about it because they are not sure where to pay. Most importantly, many stores could gain from increasing staffing level in their stores, and making it easier to identify the product specialists (no pun intended vis-a-vis specialists and geniuses).

    I wish more Apple Store employees could check you out. They simply have too many different type of employees on the floor wearing the same color shirt. I don't care for being pointed to the back of the store and being told "Bob Loblaw will help you with that." Not that I have a better solution outside Bob Loblaw wearing a glowing red hat that is in the shape of the Apple logo.


    edit: typos
  • Reply 13 of 28
    Everywhere else, they call it a help desk!
  • Reply 14 of 28
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,796member
    For a brief moment when I read the first line of the title I thought that new BMW's would have a slot on the dashboard where you could insert your iPad and it would integrate with the car for audio, navigation, etc.. Now that would be news. Salesman using it at the dealerships...meh
  • Reply 15 of 28
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,535member


    Doesn't matter.  My first and only BMW purchase will certainly be my last.  The fact BMW is still in business for putting out such garbage is beyond me.  

  • Reply 16 of 28
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,525member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    stelligent wrote: »

    I am looking forward to seeing Ron Johnson deploy the mobile cashier concept at JC Penney. I personally think this is a great idea, but have heard from friends that they are not crazy about it because they are not sure where to pay. Most importantly, many stores could gain from increasing staffing level in their stores, and making it easier to identify the product specialists (no pun intended vis-a-vis specialists and geniuses).

    I wish more Apple Store employees could check you out. They simply have too many different type of employees on the floor wearing the same color shirt. I don't care for being pointed to the back of the store and being told "Bob Loblaw will help you with that." Not that I have a better solution outside Bob Loblaw wearing a glowing red hate that is in the shape of the Apple logo.

    They shouldn't let fandroids work at the Apple store.
  • Reply 17 of 28

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by stelligent View Post





    I am looking forward to seeing Ron Johnson deploy the mobile cashier concept at JC Penney. I personally think this is a great idea, but have heard from friends that they are not crazy about it because they are not sure where to pay. Most importantly, many stores could gain from increasing staffing level in their stores, and making it easier to identify the product specialists (no pun intended vis-a-vis specialists and geniuses).




    I wish more Apple Store employees could check you out. They simply have too many different type of employees on the floor wearing the same color shirt. I don't care for being pointed to the back of the store and being told "Bob Loblaw will help you with that." Not that I have a better solution outside Bob Loblaw wearing a glowing red hate that is in the shape of the Apple logo.


     


    What do you have against Sweet Old Bob?

  • Reply 18 of 28
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,070member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by argonaut View Post


    Good. In my experience most BMW salesmen/women know f**k all about the cars. I can't count the number of blank stares, 'I don't know' comments and such like I've had over the years.  Most car sales people these days ( at least at BMW ) are just 'order-takers'  - no salesmanship / knowledge of the cars at all.  



     


    That might be a local problem then. I have absolutely the opposite experience. I bought BMWs in Germany, Thailand and India and the staff in all locations has been nothing else but excellent, they even new every possible combination of extras by heart (and those are quite confusing with BMW). Now, if they would only stop putting compact spare tires in $80k cars... maybe a combination of iPad and 3D printer would do the trick?

  • Reply 19 of 28
    "... to do largely what the Geniuses in Apple retail stores do: answer questions and tell customers how to buy."

    That's *not* what the Geniuses in Apple retails stores do.

    Apple Geniuses repair things. That makes them the equivalent of a dealership's service department, not a dealership's pre-sales team.

    Granted, during the course of repairing something that you bring them, they may offer advice such as "this is so beyond fixing that you way want to consider buying a new one", but if you're walking into an Apple Store for the purposea of buying something, you will NOT interact with an Apple Genius.

  • Reply 20 of 28
    What do you have against Sweet Old Bob?

    Are you familiar with Bob Loblaw?


    [VIDEO]

    [VIDEO]


    I can't wait for Arrested Development to start back up on Netflix.
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