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BMW rolling out fast-lane service scheme

BMW will roll out its fast-lane service programme across the network by July 2009.

Originally a pilot in 10 dealerships, it is “now beyond that stage” said Steve Nash, BMW aftersales director.

Bigger dealerships and “the most willing participants” trialled the scheme with success earlier this year.

They included Knights in Stoke-on-Trent and Stephen James in north London.

Fifteen sites currently offer the service and another three are due to go live soon.

The fast-lane programme offers any service that is deemed completable in less than 75 minutes, as BMW’s research has shown this is the amount of time most people are willing to wait.

It can include services, part replacements and minor repairs.

“This is our own approach to the while-you-wait concept,” said Nash.

Dealers are not required to put in place additional facilities or equipment in order to offer the programme.

Nash said: “It’s about working with existing facilities.

It’s an organisational thing – using resources differently.

You do need to have people dedicated to it, but there’s certainly not a requirement to bring in extra staff.”

Customers are required to book and the telephone operator determines whether fast-lane can be offered.

“We provide customers with a comfortable place to wait, and make it as convenient as possible.

It can be like a mobile office with use of the internet,” Nash said.

The benefits for dealers include cutting loan- car costs, increasing workshop utilisation and increasing customer contact.

He added: “Our average change cycle for customers buying a car is between 2.7 and 2.8 years, so it’s important to have that contact with customers to bring them up to speed with new services and models.

This is the perfect opportunity for that.”

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