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BMWJustin

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BMWJustin

Hi name is Justin and I am looking for advice. I am not here to solicit business or sales, I am here because I want to hear from you, the customers, the passion, the riding community. You see myself and my business partner are in the midst of starting a BMW Motorcycle shop from the ground, a true grassroots endeavor. We have many years experience in high end european motorcycles but this will be our first taste of the BMW culture and passion. I will give you a little idea of what our shop is all about and I hope you all can chime in and give me some ideas/clarity of what a customer wants from a dealer today.

Our Focus is:

Service, Service, Service-(2 wonderful techs, 1 apprentice)

Customer Service-(Knowledgeable staff, Everyone on our team has at least 8 years exp.)

Old Motorcycle Shop ( A place people come to hangout)

Involvement in the community- (Racing, track days, field days, Seasonal Rides)

Full Service shop- No cookie cutter here, Passionate about what we do, willingness to go the extra!

Catering to the different riding groups: IBA, Off-Road, Track, Enduro, Racing

 

Those are a few points we want to focus on to become a dealer that people respect and look to whether it be advice or just a hot pot of coffee. Thank you in advance for your input and we are so excited about the future!

 

Justin

BMW Motorcycles of Asheville, NC

 

Edited by EurosportAsheville

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I miss AK

Well Justin, I will say this. When I bring my bike in for service, I want your service manager to treat me in a respectful manner. Just because I may not know as much about my bike as you do, is no reason to talk to me in a rude, arrogant and condescending manner, much like a certain service manager in a Chicago area dealer. Your service techs may be top notch, but they won't have a chance to touch my bike if I won't make an appointment because of the way your service manager treats me.

 

Also, remember when you are talking to a customer, there very well could be another customer within earshot. True story, I was talking to a coworker who was considering a BMW F800ST purchase about my experiences with that particular service manager, and he want down to the dealer to check out the bike. While there, he overheard that service manager speaking to a customer. He came back to me a few days later and said "You were right, what an a******!". He never purchased a bike from them. That is a sale they will never get back.

 

Also, it would be nice that when my bike is getting serviced, that there is a lounge, couch, or comfortable chairs where I can sit and wait. There are too many dealers that have only those hard plastic chairs, or no place at all to relax and kick back for a few hours. I can't always drop off my bike and come back later. Sometimes I need to wait around for it and a decent chair would make my wait much more pleasant.

 

Good luck with your endeavor!

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BMWJustin

You are exactly right, the whole team needs to be professional at all times, no matter who what when where or how. I have heard that being a customer in other shops time and time again. We have definitely done well with our service manager, polite, nice, friendly, very level headed- as you drop off your keys we want you as comfortable as possible with the service. Also we have addressed the customer lounge area as we will have one located in the middle of the shop with drinks, couches, TV, and every motorcycle mag.

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JayW

Well, I would be very excited to see a BMW shop come to Asheville, given that there is none at present. If I have a good first experience there, then likely you will see me regularly for parts, accessories and occasional service. I would also participate in track days as my job allows.

 

You'll be competing with MR Motorcycles (which is a large well-run store that sells Japanese bikes), and the local Ducati dealer, which also has a very good reputation. Would you sell any other brands?

 

It sounds like you would not be independent, if I understand you correctly. Another Justin recently opened Pandora's European Motorsports in Birmingham and seems to be off to a great start there (wish they were closer).

 

Can you give us an idea where you will be located and when you expect to be open for business?

 

Jay

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johnhunter44

Welcome to the fold. I currently own a 2009 RT and love it. I also reside in Greenville, SC, so I am sure that at some time in the future, I will visit your shop. Ditto on what the others have said as far as how customers are treated. Hope to see you soon, as I enjoy riding to other shops and just browsing. Good luck with your endeavor! I like hearing about new BMW shops opening.....

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BMWJustin

Hi Jay, I am very familiar with the area and especially Myers I was previously the Business manager there. We will be competing with all the shops but competition is good, good for business, good for customers, it brings everyone up a level! We will also be featuring Husky and Vespa. We have been working with BMW for over a year now and to finally bring them to Asheville really is a dream come true. Our location will be downtown Biltmore, a stones throw from the entrance to the Biltmore House. The remodel starts very soon as we are awaiting approval from the city (permits) but we are looking at a tentative start date of early April. We will soon have a large coming soon banner on the building you can't miss it! You are exactly right Jay, first impressions are very important. We are really putting an emphasis on that so Opening Day we will be ready!

 

John, thanks for the kind words, looking forward to meeting everyone and starting this adventure. We will feature many different rides (seasonal, track days, field days, off-road days) so please stay in touch and keep the ideas coming! We are really wanting this to be a top notch, full service shop with the warm feel of the old shops we all grew up in.

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cali_beemer

The things I look for in a good shop:

 

1) I like the same attention when I go in there whether I am buying something or not. It leaves me with a feeling that a dealer only cares about how much money you are spending right then and there otherwise, even if there will always be some truth to that.

 

2) Involvement. I go on a local wednesday night dinner ride with the BMW group. For many years the owner of the local BMW shop would be there every week, in fact I believe he started the ride. It showed to me that he was as pashionate about the BMW bikes, and they were more than just merchandise he sold. It also seemed like he was promoting riding. It was one of the best things I have seen, where the owner gets in and rides. Not really sure this is a requirment, but it gained my respect.

 

3) Price and availability. To some degree this will always be an issue. If you dont have it in stock then you offer me no service above ordering it from the internet, where I can typically buy it for less and have it delivered to my house. If your prices are high, then I only feel that i am suppose to pay a premuium to use your establishment. Yesterday I was in my local BMW shop and while I could have purchased the Clymer manual form beemerboneyard for less money, they had it on the shelves. I purchased it from them instead. There price was in line with others as well. On another token for prices, I am baffled why one dealer wants nearly double to service my bike than another BMW dealer. People such as myself will ride 2 hours to the next dealer when dealer A wants 950 dollars to perform the same service dealer B charges $500 for. Service using common sense also helps. I had my 1200RT in for service and it didnt have the drainplug, once into the FD service they noticed a small weap from the transmission seal. Instead of charging me BMW's book time to do the repair from scratch, they acknowledge the amount of labor already performed and biled me simply for the time they had to do in addition. Some dealers would simply charge you the BMW recomended time, which is really paying twice for some of the same labor.

 

Atmosphere: as noted, comfy places to sit if your waiting for service, a place that gets people excited to want to return. For the regular customers, this means changing the floorplan a bit from time to time to make it a different experience when they return. I used to do retail sales, and I attended many training workshops. I think most shops fail here. You really need to mix things up in the shop for displays, merchandise location and flow of traffic for the returning customers. It lets even the regulars see differnent things.

 

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bayoubengal

Justin

First I applaud your efforts assuming it is from the heart not just another promotion method. Beautiful area, stayed there last month while riding the mountains with friends. I grew up the son of a Honda dealer we started from scratch. I wish you luck.

 

My .02:

1) As previously listed - treat me with respect. Your customers are as smart and as well educated as you are.

2) Eliminate any signs of arrogance in your shop.

3) Keep you commitments, especially in service.

4) Don't think of me as a resource to mined for revenue. I want you to be successful and respect the fact that you need to earn a profit. But earn your revenue by meeting my needs with competitive prices, professional service, and good customer service/relations.

5) Keep your prices reasonable. I understand I am at a BMW dealer, but some models are in demand and some are not. Don't think I am going to come in and pay $8200.00 for a "new" 3 year old oddball 650...

6) Join the forum as a rider.

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bmwsit

I am a long ways from where you are setting up, but I'll throw in my two cents. I am fortunate enough to have owned several BMW bikes and currently also own a BMW car. The main difference between the two types of dealerships in my opinion is the service department. At the bike dealerships it seems like you end up talking to someone who is more put out by you asking questions and is more concerned about his time than yours. At the car dealership, they seem to much more concerned about you and your time vs their time. Example, asking the bike service advisor how much something would cost. They tap away on the computer, but then give you a figure telling you it should be in the ballpark of X. Does that include parts? Oh no, that is an additional XX amount maybe. Well look it up! When you turn in your bike, they tell you you will be called with updates and when it's done. Never had this happen except at the very end of the work day or not at all. Car dealer, they quote an exact price and then throw in a statement of, if nothing else is found or comes up. Fair enough. Car dealer calls it seems like at every junction point. I have gotten multiple calls in a day letting my know exactly what is going on and when the car will be ready.

 

When my bike has not been ready when promised, the service advisor did not apologized and did not see what the bike deal was. When I have gotten my bike back, I have always found something not put back on correctly or wires pinched etc. When our car has not been ready on time, we know the issues well in advance and the service advisor is exrememly apologetic. Our car has always been returned in a condition better than when we dropped it off.

 

So I guess it boils down to, my time is your money. If I don't feel like you appreciate me coming in for service and I have to hunt down the information about my bike, I won't be back to spend money in your service department.

 

Of couse this is all based on my experience and I am aware not all dealerships, car or bike, operate in the fashion that I have experienced.

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terryofperry

Welcome Justin

 

Hope ya'll succeed as there are too few dealers as it is.

 

Insurance reasons not withstanding, let the customer talk to the tech actually doing the work. We do have questions you know. I am the one that plunked down $20 large, it is my bike, not BMW's. The attitude seems to be take the bike to the back and when done sign the papers, pay and leave. The other thing to consider is giving the customer the old parts in a bag. At the 600 service some get charged for new valve cover gaskets and such but there is no reason for that and if so return the old parts. Unless it is a warranty issue they belong to the customer. Being a second class citizen on a warranty issue because I did not purchase the bike there is nonsense. Does not happen with an automobile, should not with a bike that costs the same.

 

I wish you well and ride up that way so I will stop by and say hello.

 

Terry

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dirtrider

Afternoon Justin

 

While I have my doubts this posting is legitimate I will assume it is until proven different.

 

You will get lots of good suggestions from the fine people on this BB. A lot of the suggestions will come from their personal experiences.

 

My first suggestion would be for you and your partner to read as many current and past postings on this site as well as the BMWMOA site. Lots of past problems with dealer handling of people and their motorcycle problems. Use this info in making your business plan of customer handling and professional ethics.

It seems like a combination of lack of dealer knowledge on the motorcycle service problem and attitude of the repair shop personal about customer concerns is at the root of most issues. Remember some of the customers that come in through your door actually know more about their motorcycle than your service manager or service personal do. A lot of BMW riders are very internet savvy and research their issues before visiting the repair shop.

 

I would suggest you make it mandatory that your service manager(s) and service personal read the daily postings on this and a couple of other BMW bulletin boards . Even better yet have a few of them participate in the actual threads. Believe it or not the basic problem solving and knowledge of current and past BMW problems seems much better and more current than any of the BMW repair shops I have talked to.

 

Next suggestion is to randomly pick 5 customers that use your repair facility each day and do a one on one phone call follow up. On the same note do the same follow up call to EVERY customer that leaves the shop unhappy or even with the look of displeasure. I know of a dealer service manager that does just this and I haven’t EVER head a bad word or badmouthing of that repair facility. If the customer has any concerns about the repair done he gets a call later that day or next day after time for both sides to reflect on the issue. It is usually resolved to the customer’s satisfaction. At least the customer comes away with the idea that the dealer service manager actually give a $hi*.

 

As an owner or manager get involved PERSIONALLY with as many customers that enter your store as possible. Even if it is to say good day and thanks for coming into the store.

 

Have someone of owner or general management capacity at the store AT ALL TIMES.

 

Last and most important suggestion: Never lie to a customer, if you don’t know the answer tell them so but say if they want you will find the answer and get back with them. If you don’t want to or can’t tell them the truth then tell them that up front, don’t lie and make something up.

Tell ALL your employees that you will fire anyone that purposely lies to a customer, then follow up on that if it happens.

 

It’s all about trust, if a customer doesn’t trust your shop not only won’t they be back but neither will their friends or relatives.

 

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BMWJustin

Cali Beemer: You are spot on in saying every customer should be treated the same way every time no matter what. We are spending a lot of time to ensure we are employing the best people on our team to ensure the customer is getting the same experience every time they walk in. I understand the market today and its so competitive in the motorcycle industry so we must stay on top of specials and deals for customers and stand by what we say. I think an important thing I am hearing is that we need to really focus on sticking to our quotes in service and making them very competitive for the customer. Thanks for the ideas and please keep them coming. You can learn a lot by listening!

 

Hutch: Thanks for the comments and I can assure you this is from the heart. We are honestly and truly building a shop for the customer and I want to hear what BMW customers wants and needs are in todays market. From the first post, respect is one of the key words I am hearing, respect all customers each and everytime they walk in the door. I think that just comes back to being professional. Keeping commitments in service also seems very important to the forum members. I just read one of the comments comparing a BMW motorcycle service to a Auto service and I think we should really try and get the Quotes right and on the numbers, no " in the ballpark". And I appreciate the thought and idea of me joining, I would love to! Thanks again, great comments.

 

bmwsit: I really appreciate the comment and it just hits home again how much focus we are putting on service. I have experienced both good and bad service experiences and it boils down to professionalism, accurate quote, on time, clean, communication. I think we continue to train those and we will be strong in that area.

 

Terry: Thanks for the kind words. we are very excited about the shop and the area is so wonderful! Again service is something we are focused on. Communication with the techs and the service dept. to the customer. To be honest that is a great thing to do, not always are parts returned to the customer that are changed and yes as long as its not warranty that is a great idea- very good. As we all know warranty is very important and we will look to work on every bike no matter where it came from.

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BMWJustin

dirtrider: This "While I have my doubts this posting is legitimate I will assume it is until proven different." is uncalled for. We have worked long and hard for over 1 year to get our LOI and for you to make this comment is unfair. I have gotten on these forums now because I honestly want to hear what everyone has to say in the world of BMW. We are so excited about the dealership and the adventure ahead of us. From talking to employees to picking the flooring, to getting the building everything has really been a dream come true. I have worked long and hard to get to this point in my life and the best way to succeed is to listen, just like you said--some of the customers are going to know more than we do--so here I am taking your advice and listening. Jorge, A friend of mine has always said its not always how you fix the bike, its how you fix the customer is what is truly important. We have spoken about allowing employees on the forums to help/tech and its something we are still thinking about. That would be great to get them involved once a week or so on the forums-- very good idea. Follow up is very important and you are exactly right, follow up with all services, all sales, all customers you can--I have been on the receiving end to follow up calls and it instills a real since of caring to take the time, so many dealers don't these days. Myself and my partner have made sure and positioned our offices in the front, we will be the face of the dealership, we will be there everyday--other than my family this is my life, my passion, my dream and we are so excited! Thanks for you comments and if you are still doubting: www.bmwmotorcyclesofasheville.com and wwwhusqvarnaofasheville.com

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dirtrider
dirtrider: ___ I have gotten on these forums now because I honestly want to hear what everyone has to say in the world of BMW.

 

Evening Justin

 

Really!

 

You asked for our (including my) input so it is called for. To make that comment IS/WAS FAIR as that is/was my first reaction to your post here. Just because it isn’t what you want to hear you get offensive. Go ahead say more and piss me off real good. That will be a real good way to start your business. Don’t ask for input if you aren’t interested in both the good and the bad. I’m sorry now I even took the time to type a responce.

 

I’m still not sure if this thread is an honest and real inquiry asking for our input or if you are trying to use this as a backdoor way of advertising your business on this BMW web site? From your comment about it being unfair I am kind of leaning towards the later now.

 

You are starting out your new business by arguing with one of your future potential customers. Instead of asking ME why I feel that way you try to shame me and belittle my statement. Well it won’t work on me and my guess is it won’t work on most others either.

 

SHOW me you are sincere don’t try to tell me you are.

 

If you are on the up and up it will be proven over time not though some words on the Internet.

 

Remember what you say or write here will be floating around the world wide web for just about “ever” so 2 years from now someone will do a search and find this thread.

 

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BMWJustin

dirtrider: I am sorry we got off on the wrong foot and I apologize. I am honestly here to hear what the BMW motorcycle community has to say, what they are looking for in a dealer. I want to create a shop/environment that is great for everyone and I believe I can do that best by listening to what real customers have to say. Again I apologize. There have been some great points given to me on this forum already and I fully intend on keeping up with this thread and really listen to all the input. Sorry if I have seemed offensive, I am not here to advertise my shop but to get input from customers like yourself how we can make this a respectable dealership for years to come.

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JayW
You asked for our (including my) input so it is called for. To make that comment IS/WAS FAIR as that is/was my first reaction to your post here. Just because it isn’t what you want to hear you get offensive. Go ahead say more and piss me off real good. That will be a real good way to start your business. Don’t ask for input if you aren’t interested in both the good and the bad. I’m sorry now I even took the time to type a responce.

 

Lighten up Dirtrider. You are the one who questioned Justin's motives, started the "argument", and are now continuing it. The OP was looking for constructive comments and suggestions about opening and running his business, and your opening statement had nothing to do with either.

 

Jay

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kmac

Afternoon Euro,

Time is valuable commodity. Both for you and for your customer. It is very hard to be productive and manage your time in a profitable way, yet still make time to make a customer feel welcome and taken care of. Unfortunately it is a neccesity. Managing you and your employees time so that the shop can make money is critical, BUT taking the time to jabber with your customers is about the same importance for return customers, which is where money is made IMHO.

 

There are a few ways to make money. One popular way is Low profit high quantity, by this I mean a dealer that sell 1000 cars a month for 1k profit each make 1 million. Or there is the shop that 100 cars and tries to make 10k per car for the 1mil.

 

Both have drawbacks, one is such bad service i dont want to go back because i feel like cattle. The other i like the service, but my wallet hurts so bad i just cant justify it.

So for me as i age, and tend to have a few more dollars than when i was 20ish, i am willing to spend a "little" more for good service, BUT it still has to be a balance i can justify.

 

I drive past 2 BMW motorrad dealers to get to the one i like. I use because the parts and service prices are the same, but the sales staff, managers, and service counter guys all treat me with respect and seem to go out of their way to talk to me for a few minutes, REMEBER my name, and treat me like a buddy while still giving me the service and price i require. It is a fine line for you.

 

I will say to make sure your parts AND service guys need to always remeber that, while this time i may be buying a part to fix it myself, next time i may need to use your mechanics so if you are helpful when i have a question on a repair im makeing myself, your help will make me wanna use you when the repair is out of my ability.

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tonyla

Hi Justin, Welcome. Please think of me as an open wallet. Said wallet ready to be purged of any and all cash. I am a BMW customer. I want bad service, high prices. I want you to Overpromise and under produce. I want dirty restrooms. I want a sign near a uncleaned coffed pot "NOTIN IS FREE 5.75 a CUP".

 

Now lets break it down: I walk in ready to buy a new bike but I have a trade. I look very young and the bike I drove to the shop

is old. Now you know I have 97% chance of the loan being rejected, so I want you to completley ignore me, we all know that took you like 15 minutes to fill out the online paperwork for the bank and that too was rejected. Oh wait here comes a guy

Head to toe BMW gear, nice very nice. Hurry over to the bikes and flip the tags so he sees "the other retail".

 

So I am the second guy you sell me the bike beacuse I have cash and after just 100 miles I find the NAV IV wasn't hooked up correctly. Sent me over to Pete in service.

 

Hi Pete

 

Hi JOe shmo

 

Say Pete the Nav IV doesn't work

 

Oh it did when we worked on it

 

Well Pete I'm sorry but it doesn't work and is was 900.00

 

Yes I know they are expensive leave the bike over there and we'll look at it.

 

Well Pete I rode it here in hopes of someone looking at it now, Thats why I was at your door just before you opened today.

 

No I'm am sorry Joe Shmo we are just booked solid, Turns out in this terrible economy we are the only bike shop in the world that has sold so many bikes our service shop is overwelmed. e wait a couple weeks because Joe will call back if he really wants the bike. Once he calls tell him to come and get the bike its all set, don't even move it from the spot Joe left it at. That way when Joe comes he will know he is getting screwed and noting he can do about it. Its very important to train the cunsumer early on in the relationship.

 

I can't wait to see your shop!

 

 

 

That's it Justin simple as pie

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Richard_D

He was asking for input on how to run his business , NOT your opinion if he was a liar, dirt rider......

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BMWJustin

kmac: thanks for the input. It seems to come back to just being professional in all departments with all customers. Something as simple as taking the time to remember and call the customer by name. It seems the small things really count, treating a customer as a part of something bigger-motorcycle family. BMW riders seem to be as loyal and passionate as any brand I have ever seen.

 

tonyla: as simple as pie :)

 

DR: thanks for the PM

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dirtrider
He was asking for input on how to run his business , NOT your opinion if he was a liar, dirt rider......

 

 

 

Evening Richard

 

And where did you read where I called him a liar? You must have a different word processing program than I do.

 

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RichEdwards

Justin...Welcome to the BMWST.com discussion board. A new BMW dealer in Asheville is good news for everyone in that part of the country. Some of the best riding in the US is found on the mountain roads surrounding Asheville.

There have been some good suggestions here. Let me add mine.

1. One of the best things my Tampa dealer does is call every service customer the day after his service to check if everything is o.k. The concern is obvious and I welcome it.

2. If there is a warranty issue, my dealer makes me feel that he and I are partners and we approach BMW as a team. My dealer even fought for me when I had a $2000 brake problem and got the repair done at no cost to me. And I was two months out of warranty.

Because I know my dealer "has my back", I shop for the best price, bring it to him and buy my motorcycles there even if it costs a bit more.

Finally, all BMW motorcyclists want you to be successful. We need good dealers. Best of luck!

Edited by RichEdwards

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dhanson

No comment.

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BMWJustin

Yea Rich, communication again is key especially with the service dept. and the customer. Follow up also on all service I believe should be mandatory no matter tires, valves, brakes, or just an acc. install. Thanks for the kind words. The ideas are great, thanks again everyone for your input.

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ShovelStrokeEd

Go spend a day at Bob's BMW. An education to be had there.

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Deadboy
He was asking for input on how to run his business , NOT your opinion if he was a liar, dirt rider......

 

 

 

Evening Richard

 

And where did you read where I called him a liar? You must have a different word processing program than I do.

 

"While I have my doubts this posting is legitimate I will assume it is until proven different."

 

So I guess you just said you suspected he was a liar.....nice way to start a conversation.

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BMWJustin

ShovelStrokeEd: we were def. going to take a run around the well known shops on the east coast to get a feel for the dealerships--Heard nothing but great things about Bobs, Atl, and San Diego

 

dirtrider and I have spoken and it was just a misunderstanding, he had some great points and we move on now.

Edited by EurosportAsheville

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Deadboy

Go check out MaxBMW....I have never been there but do all my mail order business with them. Fast responses, good communication and prompt service.

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Richard_D

Thank You Deadboy. Not many dealers would do what this gentleman is doing by opening himself up out in the open. I wish he would buy the BMW dealership in my area. He can be nothing but honest here, or very foolish thinking he can fool all the smart people on this board. (I'm not saying all the people here are smart ) :dopeslap:

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bobbybob

This thread should be made a sticky, admin.

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bmwk100

 

 

Eurosport- I wish you well with your endeavor as your location seems like it will be perfect for BMW riders. My riding group goes to that area 2-3 times a year and we look forward to visiting your shop. It's a tough business as many individuals like to shop on the internet to save money nowadays.

 

You have received some great suggestions. Two things not mentioned that BMW Ft. Myers has that I think are something you may consider is a shower for riders passing through and wireless internet.

 

Good luck!

Edited by bmwk100

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kmac

I think a shop that shows an interest in whatever i ride in on is nice too. EVERYONE is a potential customer. I have looked at many bikes at many shops and sometimes multiple times, and often the reason i bought at one place over another in the end, is the way i was treated when i was just looking, and how they treated me even tho i was on a different brand of bike.

 

I dont neccesarily want praise for my bike but i also dont want to be treated like a second class citizen because i dont ride a brand you sell.

 

Best wishes on your shop, it is a tough market but i also think there is alot of room to grow right now and build a client base that can make you profitable.

On the banter with DR. I think i can see DRs skepticizm. If you have been on DBs much you have seen people just blowing smoke to get customers. i do think that your first defensive reaction could have been more on a positive note instead of lashing out. Just a thought on not taking people to personally, and i hope that your reaction was just a show of your passion for the sport and the business and not a poor attititude. This is not a critism of you at all my new friend, just food for thought.

 

 

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kmac
ShovelStrokeEd: we were def. going to take a run around the well known shops on the east coast to get a feel for the dealerships--Heard nothing but great things about Bobs, Atl, and San Diego

 

Just a note Euro, I live in Lake Elsinore Ca. and there is a BMW dealership in Riverside about 35 miles away, the owners name is Dan Schoo, he is a very cool guy, you may want to talk to him, he is new to ownership and is trying very hard, there is also Escondido BMW that is about 50 miles away and they are good too...BUT i choose to ride 70+ miles to San Diego BMW, they really do it well, not perfect but well.

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RoadWolf

Justin, to say I am thrilled at Asheville is getting a BMW dealership is an understatement. I live in Greer, SC, just less than an hour a way from Biltmore Village and would love to check out your dealership when it opens. I currently am satisfied with my local dealer, but more choices and options are always good. One thing I would ask of you is are you going to consider carrying Schuberth C3 helmets. My local dealer doesn't seem interested in them and I would like to see the re-introduction of Schuberth to the US market represented locally.

 

I am also curious about your building and exact location, as I go up there with the family and also on rides regularly. A nice and easily accessible spot is key and with good visibility to the casual passersby. I wish you the best and your asking for advice here is, in my opinion, a good sign.

 

Chris

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Deadboy

Oh and before I forget be sure to stock shirts (and perhaps other items) that state the name of the dealership and the location....easy money for you and a good souvenir for me. I have been disappointed by a number of BMW shops over the years that just didn't seem to understand why a shirt I can buy at ever other dealership isn't the same.....in fact I have a shirt from the KTM dealer in Budapest and one from the Harley dealer in Dunedin, NZ because of this exact issue....stopped by the BMW shop first in both instances but apparently they just didn't want my $$.

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BMWJustin

Richard D- thanks for the kind words. I thought this was the best way to really listen to the BMW community and hear what the riders are wanting from a dealer. Thanks again

 

Deadboy: I have also heard max does a good job, I have some personal experience using them- all very positive.

 

 

 

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BMWJustin

Bmwk100: WiFi I think is a must for the customer lounge. A shower is also a great idea, don't know if we can with the floor plan but maybe a possibility in the future. Internet sales are a serious competition but if we stick to our guns and provide exceptional service to all we can grow. I look forward to meeting you and your friends.

 

Kmac: thanks for the comments, you are right treat everyone in a professional manner ,everyone is a potential customer. You are exactly right with the comments with DR, it was a reflection of my passion for the sport and the business. Sometimes I lead with my heart, what can I say. Thanks for the comments my friend. As for your California dealers, they seem to do a great job! I have spoken to Gary at san Diego a few times he is great! As tee shirts are simple sales and so popular amount riders , We have a few great ideas to incorporate all the shop tees from all the BMW dealers across the country, pics to follow as I work on the project.

 

Justin

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boatzo

Good luck and best wishes on your endeavor. Have been to Asheville many times in the past, a great place.

 

I have found it interesting to see all the comments. Most of the input about what CUSTOMERS want is just plain common sense, politeness, friendliness, being genuine, making the customer feel welcome and valuable. Just plain good CUSTOMER SERVICE/RELATIONS, treat every and all customers as you would like to be treated in a business establishment. It is amazing to me how some businesses adopt an arrogance toward customers. You sound like you have the right approach in mind and you should be successful.

 

Some of the posts above remind me of 2 particular incidences with arrogant dealerships. A good friend who is slight of stature, quiet, and a minority, went into a dealership with the intent of buying a new BMW. He could not get anyone to pay any attention to him so he left, drove 150 miles to another dealership where they fell all over him and he left with a new BMW bike. He happens to be a very successful heart surgeon. Never let looks fool you.

 

The next one happened to me at a large dealership. I saw a bike I wanted and wanted to trade my RT. They looked at it and offered me a ridiculously low amount and told me the best thing I could do with it was keep it for when my brother in law came to visit. My RT was in pretty good condition for its age and I think the comment was uncalled for. Needless to say it pissed me off and I do not even buy parts from that dealer any more.

 

Again, best wishes. :clap:

 

 

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tallman

Justin,

Welcome and best wishes for a successful venture.

That said, be careful what you wish for and what you promise.

Having worked at a BMW dealership and presently doing some limited part-time work at a shop that specializes in beemers I have some experience in the area.

Example, estimate for service.

If only 10% of your bikes have other issues discovered after work begins you'll be fortunate.

Phone call to customer may or may not go the way you anticipate.

Said customer may or may not then blast you on the Internet for charging them more than you originally quoted.

Stocking parts and gear.

Unless you are a megabucks individual with vast resources and time to invest in stock that will sit on your shelf for X period of time you can't become another BMW warehouse like NA has. It ties up incredible sums of money.

Be prepared to get complaints because you don't have the right size and color of everything in stock at all times.

Don't even think about not having an ABS module for every model in stock.

You can't win this part of the business model by keeping a million dollars in inventory.

That's what the overnight service is for.

But don't expect some people to get that and prepare to be lambasted for it.

Most customers are great.

But few if any of them have ever run a dealership.

The rider who shows up unannounced when your service department is booked for 2 weeks and expects you to drop everything for them will blast you if you don't.

The same guy will blast you if he is the one with a scheduled service that isn't ready because you service an unscheduled ride-in

Sometimes you can take care of all of it.

But heaven help you if in trying to get that extra bike done, with the customer in the service area talking to the tech and distracting them and a fairing screw is missed due to the customer interruptions.

If you don't let the customer back there, prepare to get blasted.

 

Lest you or anyone misconstrue my comments, almost every customer is a blessing to work with. Almost every one is worth going the extra mile, staying open, picking up a stranded rider, etc.

But rest assured that for every one of them who goes out of their way to post something positive, you'll hear from the 1% who are the me firsters with unrealistic expectations and who are eager to let the world know of your unfair treatment of them.

 

So, do all the right things, live long and prosper, just be ready for the day when you have to decide how to or whether to even bother responding to an Internet blasting from a customer who may actually be right, or wrong.

 

Good luck and I hope y'all have a great success in a beautiful area to ride.

Best wishes.

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BMWJustin

RoadWolf: great to hear your enthusiasm! We are just as excited. The location is exactly what you described as ideal I believe. Right downtown Biltmore, it is key to have a large parking lot and good visibility and thats exactly what we got. If you are familiar with Biltmore you can see it from 25-Hendersonville Rd. Across from Wendys downtown, its the large white building that Ferlow(spelling) mattress used to be in. With remodeling starting soon you can't miss it. As for the re-introduction of Schuberth to the US market its on our list as potential helmets to stock. We need to make sure they are very stable and their fill rate is good for dealers before we think more--that was not good how they left so many dealers/customer high and dry in the past. Great helmets-just need to do some research as every customer does before purchasing.

 

boatzo: The funny thing is you are exactly right, just plain common sense. I am amazed by the lack of professionalism, passion, knowledge, and just plain effort by some dealers I have been reading on here and experiencing myself. Now some dealers have it down pretty good and do a fantastic job and I hope one day our system, our team will help us fall into that category. A lot of it has to do with organization and structure I believe. From parts to sales to service how everyone communicates with one another to the customer is muy importante. Growing up I was always taught by Dad to never judge a book by its cover. Most gentlemen here with overalls on and no undershirt have more money in their front pocket than you or I will see in a lifetime :)

 

tallman: Thanks for taking the time on the comments. With a lot of experience in the business I understand. You are spot on--need to watch overhead, don't stock too little, don't stock too much (it can kill you and your business) Treat everyone in a professional manner but sometimes no matter how hard your try and what you do someone will be upset. Again I think it comes back to something I have heard time and time again its not just fixing the bike its fixing the customer. Someone commented that the owner of a shop would personally contact anyone that left his/her shop not happy- taking the time to do that will prove to be a good decision in the long run and I love the effort and idea of it all. Thank you again for the comments Tim and I hope our paths cross one day.

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Dave_zoom_zoom

Hi Justin

 

A warm welcome to the BMW S T forum!

Sure sounds to me like you have your head in the right place.

If you can manage to keep it there, in spite of a few crankey guys that are bound to cross your path from time to time, I'm sure you will do just fine.

 

I'll never fail to appreciate what a Harley Dealer in Kelowna told me when I picked up my new bike from him approx. 10 years ago.

 

"This isn't my shop - this is your shop! Please feel free to enjoy the coffee and donuts as long as they last. Enjoy the mag's. and lounge. Anytime you want to talk to your mechanic, just go back in the shop and talk to him."

 

I was always careful not to be a pain in the butt. We had a great relationship and still do, even though I've gone back to BMW. ( My 4th)

 

Keep up with the good attitude and you will do just fine.

 

All the best!!!!

 

Dave

Edited by Dave_zoom_zoom

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Dave_zoom_zoom

Oh yea!

 

I always thought a free lunch counter and cold beer fridge would really go over good! :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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KDeline
When I bring my bike in for service, I want your service manager to treat me in a respectful manner. Just because I may not know as much about my bike as you do, is no reason to talk to me in a rude, arrogant and condescending manner, much like a certain service manager in a Chicago area dealer. Your service techs may be top notch, but they won't have a chance to touch my bike if I won't make an appointment because of the way your service manager treats me.

 

Also, remember when you are talking to a customer, there very well could be another customer within earshot. True story, I was talking to a coworker who was considering a BMW F800ST purchase about my experiences with that particular service manager, and he want down to the dealer to check out the bike. While there, he overheard that service manager speaking to a customer. He came back to me a few days later and said "You were right, what an a******!". He never purchased a bike from them. That is a sale they will never get back.

 

 

 

Ahh, Chicago BMW! I have delt with their service department for years and am dumbfounded that the owner does not realize how much bussiness he is lossing because of him alone. I know many riders that refuse to go there because of this. The parts manager is a real jem to deal with also, it's as if he would rather be anywhere but there. I am about ready to change dealers because of this. I've had enough. Off topic but this is the stuff that is remembered Justin.

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StriderWalker

Hi Justin,

Welcome to the BMW ST forum! I appreciate your desire to question and listen in order to be the best dealership you can be. I'm sure you also see that people who are passionate about their motorcycles are also passionate about the dealerships who sell and service them (for bad or good).

 

I live in southern Oregon and ride 75 miles north to Eugene to have my 2009 RT serviced at European Motorcycles of Southern Oregon (http://www.emcwor.com/). I did purchase the bike as a demo from them, and when I discovered that it had some scuffs on the right side (minor though they were), I appealed to them to replace the parts at their cost. I was willing to pay their labor, but felt like they needed to make good on our handshake understanding that the demo when picked up would be as new if someone had dropped it. They agreed and made good. I can't tell you how important a customer's trust is. They could have pushed it and made me pay full price, and lost me as a long term customer. Instead, we both moved to the center and not long after I purchased the BMW Rallye 3 Pro jacket––an $800 item--from them.

 

They don't discount much except once annually at a year-end sale. But their prices are fair, and I'm willing to pay a little extra to sit in a warm, comfortable dealership with coffee and snacks, internet and TV, magazines and good conversation. They have a number of demos. a decent selection of accessories and clothing, and bend over backwards to get what you want quickly when it's not in stock.

 

Scott and Madelyn, the owners, are to be commended, and I speak well of the dealership every chance I get.

 

Thanks for asking!

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mistral

Just treat peple fair, that's all it takes for most. I can tell you I remember my dealer charging me $15.00 bucks for shop supplies on the first service. I do the same service and use a couple of paper towels. I have not been back for service. They just lost my parts business when they charged me $23.00 bucks for an oil filter.

 

Ron

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outpost22
Hi Justin,

I live in southern Oregon and ride 75 miles north to Eugene to have my 2009 RT serviced at European Motorcycles of Southern Oregon

 

Perhaps you mean "of Western Oregon". The only BMW dealer in Southern Oregon is Hansens BMW.

 

 

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Quinn

My biggie: Fix it right. I'll wait a little longer, I'll pay a little more, and I might even sit on plastic chairs on the porch and use an outhouse while you're working on it. What I won't put up with is not having the problem fixed or something else breaking that you could have possibly have had anything to do with. No missing tupperware screws, no new strange noises, and oil gasket leaking after a valve adjustment.

 

Also, take it for a ride while you've got it and let me know if everything is doing okay. You're on a lot more bikes than me and I may have just gotten used to only one cylinder firing and think it's normal. And I'd appreciate your telling me of any parts that should be wearing out and replaced in the next six months. The bike is paid for and repairs are cheaper than trying to talk my wife into letting me get a new one. Oh, if you talk me into a new one, you'll be named as a co-defendant at the divorce hearing.

 

Probably the best piece of advice I can give is to remember that we're on the same side. We both want my bike to run well, last a long time, and let me be a walking (riding) ad for your business. We also want you to make money, stay in business, and have satisfied customers.

 

 

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BMWJustin

Dave_zoom_zoom: that Harley dealer has the idea, sometimes its not always easy to make all the techs accessible but for the most part when you can cut straight to the source the customer appreciates it and your not wasting their time. I also like the idea of the lunch counter and beer counter--only problem is I would eat it all and drink it all :)

 

StriderWalker: Thanks for the comments- good stories from the dealer network are always good to hear. They seem to really stand behind what they sell at European Motorcycles and treat people right. You can really create a lot of loyal advocates of the shop just by doing those simple good business practices.

 

mistral: again good business practices are key. To keep and retain customers you must listen and act on what the riding community is saying.

 

 

Edited by EurosportAsheville

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BMWJustin

Taking the time in service is very key I am hearing. Not only having quality techs but communicating to the customer, producing accurate quotes, completing in a timely manner, sticking to promises, checking then double checking fasteners after test ride is complete, always acting in a professional manner. Most motorcycle riders today don't put the miles on like BMW riders and I know that's why the service aspect is so high on the list. I had a meeting this morning and discussed this forum and the great ideas/comments coming from it. Thanks again and please keep it coming.

 

Justin

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Rob L

I travel 170 miles to my dealer because I feel like they care. I am greeted when I walk in (the owner remembers my name!). The parts guy will take the time to help, on the phone or in person. They have a good website and send emails inviting me to events and notifying me of sales. They are one of the few retailers that don't end up in my spam folder.

 

http://www.bmwmcgr.com/

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