All BMW and Mini dealerships in the UK now display customer ratings on their websites.
The development is part of a customer service system which allows every customer to rate their experience on a five star scale and include specific comments.
Ratings are submitted to BMW UK and individual dealers cannot edit them. They remain visible on the dealers' website for 90 days.
“We are committed to providing the very best service for our customers and believe that this level of openness and transparency is not only desirable but essential,” explained Tim Abbott, managing director of BMW (UK).
“Our new star ratings will help all BMW and MINI customers to make informed choices and inspire all of us to strive towards the ultimate in customer service.”
Abbott continued: “Just as we strive to bring ever-better products to market, we are determined to ensure that customer service is constantly evolving too and that everybody visiting our dealership to buy or service a car is entirely satisfied with the experience.
"There is absolutely no doubt that satisfied customers drive the success or failure of businesses. It has to be our ultimate goal.”
A first for the automotive industry
Customer ratings systems are familiar from organisations like Amazon and TripAdvisor,
BMW's system gives customers a unique code, specific to a particular sales or service experience, and invites them to ascribe a star rating and to make comments.
BMW and MINI dealers have been trialling this system since January 2010 to perfect both the website operation and learn how to respond quickly and effectively to the ratings and comments made.
For a dealer to score five stars, they have to achieve a rating between 95% and 100% satisfaction, while at the other end of the scale one star is rated below 20%.
Tim Abbott. “There is no hiding place in a retail environment displaying this kind of transparency. But I am confident that our dealers truly understand the importance of satisfied customers. For those who are not yet rated with four to five stars it will drive their future performance and deliver a more focused customer culture.”