Regular vehicle maintenance can often be a tricky subject, both from a customer and dealer perspective. Delayed scheduling and lack of routine servicing can often cause problems down the road for the former, while it can eat into profits for the latter.
In an attempt to rectify the problem, BMW North America is embarking on a plan to make better use of its onboard vehicle diagnostic system. Known as TeleService, the system is designed to automatically diagnose potential vehicle problems or maintenance requirements and then trigger a request for service to the automaker.
BMW then forwards the request onto the dealership closest to the owner of the vehicle, which can then follow up with the customer and make the scheduled appointment.
However, despite being an effective system in theory, in practice it has proved harder to implement, with some dealers simply not responding to follow ups. In order to improve the situation, BMW has said it plans to take a number of steps. These include introducing a program that helps assist dealers who could make more service appointments using TeleService, sending out BMW staff to under performing retailers to help train employees to better use the system, improving communication channels to make it easier for dealers to schedule appointments as well as providing greater awareness to BMW customers via direct marketing.
At present, according to BMW NA Aftersales Systems manager Tom Black, the company has some 800,000 vehicles on the road using the TeleService system and last year, corporately handled some 938,000 individual automated service requests, so the potential for generating business and improving customer satisfaction is significant.
[Source: Auto News]