In yet another example of how the Apple iPad is changing the world of business and retail, Autonews
has an interesting article on how the iPad has and will soon likely speed up the lease return process at BMW dealerships throughout the country - something which will make the experience more pleasant for customers and more efficient for dealers.
The iPad lease return pilot program is currently in place at sixteen dealerships. According to BMWFS, the results so far have been encouraging and makes it more likely that the program will be expanded. What are the main benefits? "We're seeing certainly a quicker process, and we're also seeing a much more transparent process," said Shaun Bugbee, vice president of sales and marketing for BMW Financial Services.
Norm McLeod, lease-end director for one of the pilot dealerships which sees very heavy lease volumes, South Bay BMW in Torrance, Calif., said customers like the iPad program because they can walk around the vehicle at the same time it's being inspected and because they can see what information is being entered.
"We love it," McLeod said. Of course they would, as South Bay BMW takes in 125 to 130 off-lease vehicles in a slow month, says McLeod, and 215 to 220 in the busy summer months. Especially at month-end, any improvement in the lease return process is a big deal in terms of time, efficiency and customer satisfaction, he said.
According to a recent internal survey by BMW Financial of off-lease customers, customer satisfaction scores with the lease-end process improved on average for all U.S. BMW dealerships, but the original five pilot stores improved twice as much as the average.
Why is this important for BMW? Leases accounted for 44% of BMW's retail volume in February, compared with an industry average of 26 percent, according to the data. For a company whose sales consists of such a high proportion of leases, any improvement to the process will drive up customer satisfaction, which in turn will keep the same happy customers leasing BMW vehicles.