BMW will introduce a Product Genius into its retail stores replicating Apple's Genius Bar that provides expert advice at any Apple retail store.
BMW announced the program as part of its new Future Retail concept launched at the grand opening of its first new BMW Brand Store in Avenue George V in Paris.
BMW says the role of the Product Genius is to better support customers with in-depth product knowledge and assist them to better utilise and configure products for their specific needs. The Product Genius will employ a state of the art Information Management System on a tablet device allowing mobile product configuration and detailed explanations of features through visual aids.
BMW is not a lone in this renewed focus on customers with Forbes reporting that Cadillac is learning service tips from the service-first Ritz-Carlton hotel chain, Lincoln has hired Les Clefs d'Or, an international association of hotel concierges, to consult on putting together what the brand is calling the Lincoln Academy and Lexus already initiating its new Product and Delivery Specialists.
BMW will be hoping the Product Genius program helps to entice customers away from the other luxury German brands Mercedes-Benz and Audi, especially coming off the initially negative public response to BMW's complicated iDrive interface system.
BMW says its objective for Future Retail is three-fold: to increase the number of possible contact points with customers and prospects, to increase the services and benefits offered in its retail channels, and to enhance the retail experience at all touch points. Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Sales and Marketing Ian Robertson, said, "The world of retail has changed significantly – customer behaviour, needs and expectations have changed, as well as communication technology."
Product Genius is set to start rolling out as part of Future Retail as it expands into France before the UK, China and the Netherlands.