BMW Listens to its Customers

Head-up display, light carpet or cup holder? Customer needs are sometimes quite simple - but everything is of vital importance.

Car manufacturers have been wooing their customers with ever-newly developed features for decades. Latest models are loaded with high-tech and there is no end in sight to this development. However, there are still exotics from the past that can successfully hold their own against sensors, screens and AI.

For example, if you look at the interior features highlighted by BMW in 2017 and 2018 for the X3 and X4 model series, you quickly notice equipment features that you would not expect at this point:

Source: www.press.bmwgroup.com

Why does BMW highlight a cup holder and storage areas? Because it's exactly what SUV buyers want. As early as 2010, the "Initial Quality Study" by the market research institute J.D. Power and Associates in Westlake Village/California painted a clear picture: American buyers were dissatisfied with Audi, BMW, Mercedes and VW. The reason: there weren't enough cup holders in the cars. In addition, SUV buyers thought the storage areas were too small. In the years that followed, BMW took up this customer need in its communication and highlighted the corresponding equipment features and their user value. A little thing that cannot be taken for granted.

What do your customers want from you? Just ask.

It pays to find out what your customers expect. You don't necessarily need a lengthy questionnaire or systematic survey for this. Particularly SMEs can exploit the advantage of personal customer relationships and learn more about wishes, expectations and needs in face-to-face discussions. Who knows - maybe the answers are quite down-to-earth simple and yet very crucial.

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By the by: a cup holder can also be high-tech. BMW introduced a version with gyroscope technology in 2019! And indeed, heated or chilled cup holders have been around for a long, long time…