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New Dealer Advice

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JayW
...(the owner remembers my name!)...

 

Memorizing all those names must be one of the more difficult things a dealership owner and staff do (especially as the customer count goes ever higher), but the payoff can be significant.

 

Jay

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kmac

On the point of communication, I have read many threads here and on other sites where a guy has taken his bike in to fix problem "A" abd the dealer fixes that only to be notified when he picks up his bike that there is problem with part "B". they never nitified him WHILE the bike was already apart and could have been fixed while it was already half way torn down there.

 

It is like being double taxed. I would rather get a call and be told that "hey while we have it apart we noticed a ...leak/problem/situation...that we can fix while we are in here..." Saves the customer a few bucks, gets you a bit more of a repair {as long as it is honest} and builds a real trust with the customer.

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KDeline
On the point of communication, I have read many threads here and on other sites where a guy has taken his bike in to fix problem "A" abd the dealer fixes that only to be notified when he picks up his bike that there is problem with part "B". they never nitified him WHILE the bike was already apart and could have been fixed while it was already half way torn down there.

 

It is like being double taxed. I would rather get a call and be told that "hey while we have it apart we noticed a ...leak/problem/situation...that we can fix while we are in here..." Saves the customer a few bucks, gets you a bit more of a repair {as long as it is honest} and builds a real trust with the customer.

 

I have noticed more dealers then not will still charge you book price even though the bike is already apart. Yup, been done to me.

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Boone60

I was impressed when I heard that Doc's Harley Davidson is washing and fueling the bikes that come in for service.

 

I like an atmosphere that makes me feel welcome when I'm just looking around.

 

My dealer is Nick's in De Pere, Wisconsin. During the winter his service manager does a service teaching day each for the K, R, and G/F's.

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DavidEBSmith

Justin, a couple of points;

 

- on your tour of east coast dealers, also check out some of the more popular independent shops and try and figure out what they bring to the table that the local official dealers are lacking.

 

- if you were to keep in stock 2 or 3 of every tire size for late model Beemers, have a truck or trailer so you can pick up bikes, and have the shop open and a guy working who can change tires Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, you would be the most popular shop within a thousand miles.

 

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BMWJustin

Jay: very true, I learned a great way many years ago, as I am introduced to someone I repeat their name in my head 3 times--its work for me for years.

 

kmac: yes communication is key especially in service. I think they call that double dipping and its not ever good. Its critical to have a good service manager to contact the customers and keep his techs in line when it comes to communication and timeline.

 

Boone60: Doc's has a good idea there, with refueling. I wonder is the customer eating the cost of the gas through shop supplies or a part number? It really is a great idea, as a customer I know its a pain to pick up your bike from a fresh service with No gas. I like that idea a lot. One very nice thing is we have a inside bike wash--15x15 concrete wash bay so no matter the weather, after the test ride the customers bike is always keep indoors and clean waiting for pick up. I have been a part of some teaching days at previous shops and yes it works great, we may look to not only employees but local people also- having Ohlins headquarters in town is nice :)

 

 

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RTinNC

Justin being only about 100 miles from Asheville I am excited about another BMW dealer so close. While most have stated this in may ways i think it is pretty simple .... treat your customers fair and honestly and provide good service at a reasonable price. Treat each customer as though you are building a relationship with them and not just completing a transaction. Treat them in the same manner you would like to be treated if put in the customer's shoes.

 

I just bought a 2008 Saab for my wife which is our second Saab and I bought a Saab mainly because we have a wonder independent Saab repair shop that provides wonderful service. For me service is key!

 

Good Luck!

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cruisin
Hi name is Justin . . .

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

 

You left out sport-touring & touring. Was that intentional so you can focus on competitive riders only?

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ka5ysy

Good Morning Justin !

 

Congratulations on the new business. It appears from your comments that things have been well thought out and the business plan is sound.

 

While I am in Louisiana, I do go through your area quite frequently on business, and will look forward to seeing the shop when Judy and I make our next trip to Durham.

 

All the best and have a great new year.

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BMWJustin

Ed: exactly right, good/fair business goes a long way. Hope our paths will cross, I'll be happy to show you around.

 

cruisin: You and right I did unintentionally leave out the sport touring- touring customers. This group of customers will probably be our most important and biggest. I have gotten such great ideas/comments from this forum it just goes to show the BMW sport touring community is very strong and very involved.

 

ka5ysy: Thank you Doug for the comments. We have worked long on hard on the plan, but honestly in the past few days through this forum I have heard the meat and potatoes if you will. I have heard directly from the customers what they are expecting/wanting from a dealer today and for that I must say thank you and how much we appreciate everyone taking the time. I hope to see you around and please stay in touch.

 

 

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Richard_D

My favorite shop is Haps in Sarasota. I drive 2 1/2 hours to get work done there rather than 15 minutes here where I live. The prices are always very reasonable and they always ask me if I would do them a favor by putting miles on their demo bikes while I'm waiting. Super nice people and no BS.

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cruisin
. . . cruisin: You and right I did unintentionally leave out the sport touring- touring customers. This group of customers will probably be our most important and biggest. I have gotten such great ideas/comments from this forum it just goes to show the BMW sport touring community is very strong and very involved.

 

glad to hear that. The local shops (Honda, Kawi, Suzuki, etc.) seem to cater to the guys that they know to be competitive in some way and by & large ignore customers they have little knowledge of. The locals also are very high priced in Amarillo making it a common occurrence for people to travel as much as 250 miles for sales and service. I'm not anywhere near you, but like that you are doing your market research and apprently listening to your potential customers. It appears the feedback you have gotten thus far is very sound and I wish you the best of luck in operating a BMW shop in a time when so many of them are failing.

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Matts_12GS
My favorite shop is Haps in Sarasota. I drive 2 1/2 hours to get work done there rather than 15 minutes here where I live. The prices are always very reasonable and they always ask me if I would do them a favor by putting miles on their demo bikes while I'm waiting. Super nice people and no BS.

 

I will do that with Eurocycles in Tampa as well. They did a huge thing for me a few years ago that both kept me in the "brand" as well as a loyal customer.

 

I had an input shaft and clutch splines go south on my 98 RT. I called their parts guy and said I would be in the area the next weekend and asked what could be done. They expedited the parts, did not charge me for the expedition and cleared a tech's schedule to get my transmission repaired in that one day.

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lawnchairboy

Fix it, or service it, right, the first time.

 

events like track days, duel sport rides etc would be great, and other dealers seem to have success with them.

 

 

 

Good luck! I respect you for the having the gumption and risk tolerance to attempt this.

 

 

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kmac

How about a fleet of test bikes in my garage with regular reviews for your customers.?

 

Too Much?

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ltljohn

My local dealer has an annual open house in the spring with test rides of the new models. There is food and sale prices on gear and accessories.

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BMWJustin

One thing is for certain the forum members that have had good experiences at shops are so loyal and that is very refreshing to see. Our first impression, whether it be a service, parts order, cup of coffee, bathroom break etc... is very very important. In todays market not only is the customer speaking with friends in town but friends all across the globe via the internet.

 

kmac: I like you--shoot for the stars!! That does bring up a good point though and an idea. I have a friend, Peter Jones that is a very good well known motorcycle writer in the area- he maybe up for weekly/monthly rides and reviews on bikes and products-- would anyone be interested in reading those type of reviews on a website or newsletter?

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Uncle Beemer
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.

I would suspect that comments like this from dirtrider is why some dealers are so arrogant or tend to dismiss rider's opinions. Either way...it would not garner any points with me if I were the dealer principle. dirtrider, you were way out of line in your response to the OP. I think you owe him an apology.

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cali_beemer

Its funny this topic is still going, so I will share a recent experience. I went to my local dealer and bought some stuff last Firday. I was also looking for a PIAA wire harness. The guy found the part number but had no price and there was some questions about what it included. He was going to contact the company and find out the price and contents on Monday. I waited on Monday and never heard from him. I called today and the guy was at lunch so I left a message for him to call me. The day went by and still no reply. The guy had my cell number, the home number and my email address. Nothing. So I went on the internet, did a search, found my answer and part number at Amazon.com and ordered it. It took me 5 minutes to do what my dealer could not in 2 days. I tried to support my local dealer but when they dont call and follow up it makes it hard to do. I will echo my previous comment to the OP. A dealer has to offer some sort of service in order to gain sales. With the internet in the palm of your hand, even on cell phones, a customer can go find what they want and often cheaper online. The challenge in todays world is to create ways to want the customer to buy from you. My dealer does alot of customer participation events so if its offered by my dealer I will buy from them, but at some point like in the situation I just mentioned, people will just seek another source. I needed my part here by Friday so I had to go to plan B. while this isnt an expensive part, its still $35 they will not see. If you multiply the number of times a business may let that happen, it equels a good chuck of change. In todays economy it may mean the difference between keeping your doors open or an, "out of busineess" sign in the window.

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Indy Dave

Although I've been following this thread, I must admit my initial skepticism in the origional post. Many, if not all of us, have seen similar threads that have been essentially PR/advet driven. So with all due respect to the OP, I share some of dirtrider's hesitancy regarding the post/thread, and at the same time wish you well in your new venture. I hope we continue to see your participation on the board in other threads. Some excellent points have been made, and obviously you can't 'do it all'.

 

Best of luck!

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Jon_M

I'm not sure how to make this point, but here goes. My biggest gripe is to be bumped down the priority list when a more favored or bigger-spending customer comes in. I recently gave some engine and transmission work on my vintage bike (see avatar at left) to a shop quite a distance away from me on the recommendation of many riders who knew the owner and praised the quality of his work. I was given a price and an estimated completion time, and then had to wait for weeks as my job kept being shoved aside so that other, more important work could be completed --a matter of keeping lucrative repeat customers happy.

 

This is a tricky balance, and I hope you get it right. Regular customers want quick access and speedy service with a smile, and that's easy to understand. But taken too far, this can work to the disadvantage of non-regulars. In my case, a two-week promised turnaround turned out to be three months. The work was routine with no surprises --the kind of work the shop does all the time. He finally finished the job during a slow week when regulars were not coming in and out. I will never go back, so there is no danger of me becoming a regular. That insider-outsider treatment really pissed me off.

 

As a point of comparison, the dealer near where I live who regularly services my R12RT gives special consideration to traveling riders and law enforcement motor officers. I am in complete agreement with that kind of favoritism. But otherwise, I feel that my cash dollars are as green as any other customer's. Allowing for adjustments because of unexpected problems or hard to find parts, my work once started should be completed without interruption.

Edited by Jon_M

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Uncle Beemer
Although I've been following this thread, I must admit my initial skepticism in the origional post. Many, if not all of us, have seen similar threads that have been essentially PR/advet driven. So with all due respect to the OP, I share some of dirtrider's hesitancy regarding the post/thread, and at the same time wish you well in your new venture. I hope we continue to see your participation on the board in other threads. Some excellent points have been made, and obviously you can't 'do it all'.

 

Best of luck!

With the dwindling number of dealers...you should wish these guys well!!

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kmac

Are Beemer dealers dwindling alot? We just had a new one open up this year in Riverside. There are 4 in about 70 miles range from my house and ALOT more in a 100ish mile circle.

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RT-Mike

I would like to add,don't try to sell me something I don't need.

 

Mt last visit to our local dealer,in for some warranty work,I was asked by the service writer if I wanted a new set of tires also.

 

I replied "I don't think so,the bike is vertually new with 2700 miles on the original rubber"

 

His reply "Are you sure? sure looks like they could be replaced"

 

I had to once again confirm,"I had don't NEED any new tires,even as bad as the Bridgestone crap that BMW puts on the bike new,I can pull a few more miles out of them"

 

When I received the service statement,it stated "Customer refused new tires" in a standard form.

 

Must be for liability issues,which I understand,but the practice still turned me off.

 

Good luck on your new adventure,will stop by and check out your new facility new Summer.

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BMWJustin

workin the angels: I understand the initial skepticism and in due time myself and hopefully other members of the team will show through our actions our involvement in the forum. Right now is a hard time for myself just from the fact I am so busy with everything. This forum sees to have a great bit of knowledge and passion for the brand and I am very excited to be a part of it.

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hopz

I have been on the road since this first posted so my comments are late, irrelevant and personal... so there, I will save you the trouble of correcting me.

 

I don't need a long post to state the B.F.O. (Blinding Flash of the Obvious.

 

- Have a friendly atmosphere, smiles, acknowledge everyone who enters the door, even the tire kickers.

- Honest in all your dealings.

- Do what you say.

- Fair prices

- Be helpful, interested, and learn to listen.

- Tell your parts people to be sensitive to special situations- those that require expedited parts or guys on the road.

- etc.

- Be aware of special, high population events in your service area... rallys etc. Be prepared with things like Final Drives, Tires, etc.

 

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BMWJustin

Jon_M: It is a fine line you must walk- it seems the BMW riders are a lot different than most european brands I have experience with just for the simple fact they ride their bikes, I mean really ride! I think having multiple techs could help with the LD riders coming in and not hurt the "repeat local work". Need to make sure our Service manager is on the ball and very good with time management for the techs and when a promise is made a promise is always kept. No matter what.

 

On the topic of dealers, I think we could all agree there are parts of the country that yes, all motorcycle dealers are struggling no matter what brand. I have read, seen, heard of some dealers falling out- but also I have heard some new open points coming available and people really doing well.

Kmac, California has always been flooded with all sorts of dealers, but that is too close for comfort for this mountain boy!

 

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OlGeezer

Justin - All I can say after reading this thread is I'm glad I'm not a BMW dealer! Good luck to you. I have a friend who lives in Asheville. I'll ask him to drop in and say "hi".

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Jon_M

You are right, the key is that a promise made is a promise kept. If the shop I complained about had told me up front that the work would take three months, I could have gone elsewhere or adjusted my expectations. Instead, he strung me out with excuses, kept moving the completion date, and wasted a ton of my time. The work he did was completely satisfactory, but he gets no repeat business from me.

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motor 1

Sounds like u guys are riders like most of ur customers will be. Good luck and I look forward to riding there in the Spring. Rick

Edited by motor 1

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Uncle Beemer
Are Beemer dealers dwindling alot? We just had a new one open up this year in Riverside. There are 4 in about 70 miles range from my house and ALOT more in a 100ish mile circle.
Apparently you have no clue!

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Beemer_Nancy

What I want is some priority if I'm "on the road"and have a problem. Recently, I had my bike towed for a tire issue hundreds of miles from home. Dealer knew I was coming, dropped bike and keys off well after they closed, they knew what I needed. An hour after opening, no call. I called them, after talking with service, I needed to talk to the parts people about tires. They needed to look up their inventory and would call me back (I'm sitting in a motel). No call for 45 minutes....I was supposed to be at my destination last night and now it's almost 11 am. I'm not happy. I call again, we agree on tires. Two more hours go by, no call. I call them again, now 1 pm. They're working on it. I get a motel shuttle to the dealer. I don't get out of there till 3pm.

 

Don't do that! I didn't get to my destination till 11pm. As nice as the individual people were, I'll never forget how they ate my time and I missed an entire day of events at my destination.

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skinny_tom (aka boney)
What I want is some priority if I'm "on the road"and have a problem. Recently, I had my bike towed for a tire issue hundreds of miles from home. Dealer knew I was coming, dropped bike and keys off well after they closed, they knew what I needed. An hour after opening, no call. I called them, after talking with service, I needed to talk to the parts people about tires. They needed to look up their inventory and would call me back (I'm sitting in a motel). No call for 45 minutes....I was supposed to be at my destination last night and now it's almost 11 am. I'm not happy. I call again, we agree on tires. Two more hours go by, no call. I call them again, now 1 pm. They're working on it. I get a motel shuttle to the dealer. I don't get out of there till 3pm.

 

Don't do that! I didn't get to my destination till 11pm. As nice as the individual people were, I'll never forget how they ate my time and I missed an entire day of events at my destination.

 

 

Here's an example of "how to be:"

 

Monday, 3000 miles from home I rode my bike into a dealer in VA with a slipping clutch due to contamination. On Friday at about 11:00 am I'm leaving for home with all parts and materials covered under warranty and thorough test ride completed by the shop.

 

Lucky for me I was planning on being in the area for the week and some wonderful person (KTsRidin) loaned me a bike for a day. Hi Kirsten :wave:

 

On another note, I've been thinking about this thread for a while. I'm not the typical "dealer's customer" since I do my own service and will likely only bring my bike in for warranty work...

 

I'm an instant gratification kind of guy. If I come in to your shop for parts or accessories, I'm there because I want to take them home with me. As others have stated previously, if you have to order it, I can order it- and usually I can get it for less than what you'll charge me.

 

Am I willing to pay extra to have it now? Absolutely. And here's why;

 

I live about an hour (each way) from the nearest dealer for any of the different bikes I ride/service. If I take the time to come over to your shop or I'm in the area and stop by, I've already invested an hour (each way) in acquiring the stuff. I really don't want to wait several days then invest another two hours in coming over there to get them. So if you have what I need, you have a sale. If you don't have what I need, it can be on my doorstep in the same amount of time. Make sense? The only way around this is to get your suppliers to drop ship stuff you order for me and have it sent right to my house. (I've asked several dealers to do it and they won't.) It makes no difference to the supplier who I buy it from, they still make the sale somewhere, but you're the one caught in the middle.

 

Example: I own a vintage Vespa for which I occasionally buy parts. If I go to the Vespa shop to buy parts they don't have in stock, they order it from the same exact place that I can order the parts from. I pay the same no matter who I buy them from and usually get free shipping. So what's the point of going to the dealer? To get something NOW. Clearly, keeping a large inventory is costly, but it's how sales are made to people like me.

 

Also, BeemerBoneyard has raised the bar. I used to walk into the dealer and tell them I'm doing a 12k service and Greg would put together a pile of stuff for my bike. Greg was awesome. But if I didn't get Greg, then we'd have to discuss the various things associated with the 12k service and I'd have to walk the parts guy through the parts I needed, hoping to not forget something. This, just by itself took easily half-an-hour of time that the parts guy could have spent helping someone else. But now, I can go online to BeemerBoneyard and buy a 12k kit. It has everything in it. Depending on your customer's needs, you might want to consider this too, since I'd buy one from my local dealer on the way home if they had a pre-made kit handy. (but they don't, so I buy it online.)

 

I could go on forever, and it seems I've already written a book.

Edited by b o n e y

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tallman

Tom,

having been on the other side of the counter, I understand the "instant gratification" desire.

But it simply isn't possible for all things.

We had custmoers come from 2-350 miles away.

Often they would call and ask is "X" in stock?

That way we could either save a trip, order and have it drop shipped to them, or order and have it there when they did come over.

A dealership would have to have pockets deeper than BMW to handle every possible situation and overnight VOR status resullts in pretty fast service and solutions.

:wave:

Best wishes.

 

General question to some posters.

Do you show up at your doctor's office 2-4 hours late and expect immediate treatment

?

Do you do that and expect immediate service from anyone else that operates on an apponitment basis for service?

Would you do that with a lawyer, going to court, an accountant or someone who bills by the hour?

If not, why would we expect a professional service center at a motorcycle dealership to treat us differently?

a Service/Parts Manager who deals with a customer who doesn't call to reschedule, shows up without an appointment, or hours late for a scheduled service knows that you don't do that to other professional providers.

Or do You?

 

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Indy Dave

All good points, Tim. As I read through all the posts, situations and 'needs' mentioned, hopefully all others who have read the posts (or posted) can see the tremendous challenge faced by dealers. Often it seems many live in tidal pools and forget about the sea the dealer / service department deal with daily.

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skinny_tom (aka boney)
Tom,

having been on the other side of the counter, I understand the "instant gratification" desire.

But it simply isn't possible for all things.

We had custmoers come from 2-350 miles away.

Often they would call and ask is "X" in stock?

That way we could either save a trip, order and have it drop shipped to them, or order and have it there when they did come over.

A dealership would have to have pockets deeper than BMW to handle every possible situation and overnight VOR status resullts in pretty fast service and solutions.

:wave:

Best wishes.

I certainly don't have the answers to the topics I brought up, but it's also why I said I'm not the typical customer. For the record, I do all my apparel and gear shopping locally because, like you, I have to try it on first to make sure it fits. Even if I have to order it and wait.

:wave:

 

 

 

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kmac
Are Beemer dealers dwindling alot? We just had a new one open up this year in Riverside. There are 4 in about 70 miles range from my house and ALOT more in a 100ish mile circle.
Apparently you have no clue!

 

Wow..harsh

I was simply stating that while i see other brands of bike dealerships closing and struggling, In MY area in California we have alot of BMW shops and a brand new one just opened because the owner thinks he can do well out here....I think my question had merit. I know the economy sucks, I am in construction in a horrible market right now....but of all brands of bikes BMW seemed to still be keeping their head above water, not feasting buy any means but still profitable.

Edited by kmac

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tallman
Tom,

having been on the other side of the counter, I understand the "instant gratification" desire.

But it simply isn't possible for all things.

We had custmoers come from 2-350 miles away.

Often they would call and ask is "X" in stock?

That way we could either save a trip, order and have it drop shipped to them, or order and have it there when they did come over.

A dealership would have to have pockets deeper than BMW to handle every possible situation and overnight VOR status resullts in pretty fast service and solutions.

:wave:

Best wishes.

I certainly don't have the answers to the topics I brought up, but it's also why I said I'm not the typical customer. For the record, I do all my apparel and gear shopping locally because, like you, I have to try it on first to make sure it fits. Even if I have to order it and wait.

:wave:

 

 

 

 

Yeah, you'd think they'd stock stuff that fits guys like us with freakishly sexy builds.

:Cool:

I think the "they have to have it in stock right now" argument wrt apparel is of little importance to me because my whole lifeit has been unusual to find stuff that fits.

:wave:

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UberXY

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

 

Hi Justin: You live in a great motorcycle (and beer) destination town and I wish you all the luck in the world. We rode down to Asheville from the MOA rally in TN for breakfast, and ended up spending most of the weekend there. Good food, good music, interesting people.

 

A question: it seems to me that for the last few years, BMW has been requiring dealers to spend a lot of money building facilities that look and feel more like Old Navy stores than motorcycle shops. Are they going to let you have an old school, traditional sort of bike shop, like the old Hermy's shop?

 

I met with BMW about opening a new dealership in an available territory about 5 years ago, and with their requirements, the business would be borrowing money for years and years just to keep the lights on. Another guy with a great deal of successful motorcycle business experience looked at the deal and eventually said no, and the dealership never started. It was in an excellently affluent and high tech market, but BMW just wanted way too much money spent up front for frivolous architecture.

 

I hope BMWNA is being realistic now with their demands, and again, I hope it all goes very well for you. I'm only five hours away and am looking forward to riding down for your opening.

 

Edited by UberXY

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Uncle Beemer
Are Beemer dealers dwindling alot? We just had a new one open up this year in Riverside. There are 4 in about 70 miles range from my house and ALOT more in a 100ish mile circle.
Apparently you have no clue!

 

Wow..harsh

I was simply stating that while i see other brands of bike dealerships closing and struggling, In MY area in California we have alot of BMW shops and a brand new one just opened because the owner thinks he can do well out here....I think my question had merit. I know the economy sucks, I am in construction in a horrible market right now....but of all brands of bikes BMW seemed to still be keeping their head above water, not feasting buy any means but still profitable.

Sorry man, Didn't mean it to sound harsh I. Let's just say that most of us do not enjoy your number of dealers to choose from. Many in the eastern part of the US are closing.

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kmac

It is nice to have choices. It forces the dealers to realize they have to be competitive on service and pricing. Most dealers are pretty good around here. If not people will just drive in another direction.

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tallman

"I met with BMW about opening a new dealership in an available territory about 5 years ago, and with their requirements, the business would be borrowing money for years and years just to keep the lights on. Another guy with a great deal of successful motorcycle business experience looked at the deal and eventually said no, and the dealership never started. It was in an excellently affluent and high tech market, but BMW just wanted way too much money spent up front for frivolous architecture.

 

I hope BMWNA is being realistic now with their demands, and again, I hope it all goes very well for you. I'm only five hours away and am looking forward to riding down for your opening"

 

Those were the good old days.

You might not believe some of the new requirements.

 

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BMWJustin

BMW has been great- the honest truth. Their market study and info is priceless. Of course their are certain things but for the most part Thomas and I have been very happy with the company and especially the people. From the top down the people are great!! (That of course includes you all!)

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BMWJustin

UberXY: I am glad you have gotten the chance to come stay in our wonderful city. You are right the beer might be right up there with the roads! 2010 beercity USA! I think like 12 micros within 10 miles of each other. Steve the one thing I can say is we have worked really hard to keep our plans looking a certain way. We hope by opening day our shop will look sophisticated enough for BMW but old school enough for my Dad :) Thanks for your comments and I hope you stop in, I will be happy to show you around.

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UberXY
UberXY: I am glad you have gotten the chance to come stay in our wonderful city. You are right the beer might be right up there with the roads! 2010 beercity USA! I think like 12 micros within 10 miles of each other. Steve the one thing I can say is we have worked really hard to keep our plans looking a certain way. We hope by opening day our shop will look sophisticated enough for BMW but old school enough for my Dad :) Thanks for your comments and I hope you stop in, I will be happy to show you around.

 

Justin: just keep us posted as to opening day. Two of my riding buddies and I will be down from Virginia for it. And then we will head for another great evening at the Asheville Biergarden.

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slipknot

I'm going to offer some advice from a different tack. I've worked in several shops and the shops with the worst customer service invariably have low morale. What effects morale the most is not being able to make positive changes to procedures or situations. One of the worst things you can do to an employee is not trusting him or her to draw a line against abusive customers. Eventually the attitudes of the assholes (and too many spoiled Americans are) will change the attitudes of the very best employee into the same.

 

One other corrosive effect on morale is to allow an employee with a bad attitude to effect other employees. Often it is one who brown noses the boss and convinces the boss he or she does everything right while using passive-aggressive behavior and patronizing remarks to newer or less forceful employees.

 

One other is when someone new is brought in to fill a managerial position while the longer term employees are ignored by the owner. This creates resentment and a lack of cooperation which can escalate to back stabbing and key personnel leaving. Even though the ones turned down for a promotion may not be the best choice for the position.

 

Although the above may seem less of a problem in a new shop all of the above will eventually creep up on everyone. Regular meetings of departments are not likely to expose these problems because people do not tend to confront or expose problems directly to the boss. One-on-one conversations with the boss, even if the boss is trusted and respected, will not expose growing morale problems. It takes constant contact and personal attention with each employee by the owner who makes each employee feel as though he/she is a co-owner to keep open communications. Anything less means more turnover and the usual effects on customer satisfaction.

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BMWJustin

slipknot: thanks for the comments, very good stuff. Similar to customers, even with employees it is a relationship it needs to have attention, Positive attention. I have been in a few of those situations looking in and they can escalade very fast. Thanks again for the great comments-I hope our team has the experience and the professionalism to get past those common problems.

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Richard_D

Slipnot, some of the best advice so far.

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SSTwin

Slipknot, as others have said, your observations are both astute and far reaching. My profession is to provide coaching and training to help automotive and motorsports dealer personnel do a better job at "customer service".

 

It's really quite simple;

 

1. Happy employees yield satisfied customers who tend to become loyal and advocate for the dealer.

 

2. The dealer principal/owner holds the ultimate key. It is the "Speed of the Leader" that really determines everything else. An involved, participating, fair, yet firm leader will make ALL the difference.

 

Justin, on a personal basis, it seems that you are way ahead of the game as you get going. Do your best to keep it that way; your involvement, leadership, support and discipline WILL make a difference.

 

Good luck and keep us all posted about your grand opening. A ride up to Asheville to help celebrate would be a double treat for this resident of "Flatistan".

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kmac

Sounds like my Dads philosophy of parenting

:rofl:

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