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Keeping customers happy is our business

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Story by John Cheng

What does “Customer Relations” mean? To some, it might mean addressing customers’ concerns in a timely fashion, but at Brian Jessel BMW, Customer Relations means acknowledging and acting upon customer feedback, exceeding expectations and building long term relationships. That way, we can assist each of our customers with every aspect of our their motoring needs.

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Brian Jessel BMW’s Customer Relations department was established more than 10 years ago as a result of Brian’s determined vision to give our customers the best care in the business. Today, the department has grown to four full-time staff: Jim Krahn, Customer Relations Manager; Jack Lai, Senior Customer Relations Assistant; and Pagan Wong and Jorge Su, Customer Relations Assistants.

Together they have 47 combined years of customer service experience, and are carrying out Brian’s vision of exceeding customers’ expectations on a daily basis. As a result Brian Jessel BMW has a well established and dedicated Customer Relations department to look after our customers. We realize that many customers may have had poor customer care in the past, and as such our new customers may not be aware that we have a department strictly dedicated to improving the quality of their experience with us, and that this department is available to address their concerns and feedback. At Brian Jessel BMW we understand that in order to maintain high customer satisfaction we must always have this as our first priority.

In order to maintain our priority of quality customer care, Customer Relations is embedded into the operations of our organization. For example, Jim Krahn and his Department are in charge of managing the Retail Balance Score Card (RBSC) scores for the entire dealership. RBSC is an overall performance measuring system that was put in place to rate every Authorized BMW Retailer in Canada.

Developed and maintained by BMW Canada, RBSC measures a set of categories: Monthly vehicle deliveries, monthly sales and service customers’ satisfaction index, QMA initiatives, and parts accessories sales, just to mention a few. In order to achieve good scores, the CR Department continually monitors the RBSC scores and address concerns where applicable.

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Vancouver morning show radio personality Kid Carson of The Beat 94.5 FM credits the site for part of his show’s ratings growth. “I felt the need to go to the listener and earn them one at a time,” he says. “Facebook literally intertwines my social circle with my audience. I feel like everyone there is a friend.” Facebook is also playing a significant role as a campaign tool in this year’s in this year’s US Presidential race. The site gives the candidates have the ability to get their message to the masses and lets the masses communicate directly with them by allowing them to build vast networks of friends and colleagues. But for every story with an upside you’re likely to find a downside, and Facebook is no exception.

The site has drawn serious criticism for several clauses within its privacy policy, one of which reserves the right to sell users’ data—including personal information and all uploaded photos, videos and other information—to private companies; another of which allows Facebook to “use information about you that we collect from other sources, including but not limited to newspapers and Internet sources such as blogs, instant messaging services and other users of Facebook, to supplement your profile.” As frequently as users are unaware of Facebook’s own privacy agreement, they are just as often unaware of how to use their profile’s privacy settings, or are less than cautious

when revealing personal information to friends online all of which can make them vulnerable to data miners and identity thieves. Employers are also increasingly using Facebook to track their employee’s personal histories and habits; universities and high schools are using the site to investigate underage drinking and other on-campus infractions; and law enforcement departments are using Facebook and other social networking sites to apprehend criminals only too willing to share their exploits online.

But for every gang member busted through his online profile, there will always be those who want to subvert the conversion of Facebook into a useful tool for “Big Brother” and instead use the site to tweak authority. Take the George Washington University students who recently posted news of a “cake party”; when school administrators, fearing “cake” was a metaphor for some kind of illicit activity, called the police to raid the party, all the police officers found were students… and cake.

All of which serves to remind us that in the case of Facebook, it’s easy for the lines between the personal and the public can easily become blurred. While we may think that we’re only sharing our personal information with those of our choosing, there are any number of ways, when it comes to Facebook, that our information can leak into—or be grabbed by— the hands of others. That said, Facebook has in only a few short years reinvented and transformed how we communicate with one another. Let’s see if we’re all still “friends” with Facebook five years from now


Jim Krahn, Director of Customer Relations

With more than 10 years of experience with BMW Canada as a Parts and Warranty Manager, Jim was already an expert on BMW vehicles before joining Brian Jessel BMW. Jim successfully built his department on three fundamentals: up-to-date product knowledge, outstanding customer service skills, and understanding of the internal processes of the dealership. More often than not, customers have trouble using the state-of-the-art technologies found on BMW vehicles—and guess which department they usually go to first? That’s why the Customer Relations team is usually one of the first to receive information on new technologies, so they can deliver product information via their outstanding customer service skills. 

Jim also believes in taking care of our customers even before they step into our store for the first time. How does he do this? Jim and his team monitor the processes and procedures from every aspect of the dealership to ensure customers receive the best vehicle purchasing and servicing experience with Brian Jessel BMW. If theyfind a process results in repeated similar customers’ concerns, they will improve the process to ensure we achieve and exceed customers’ expectations. Therefore, with such experience “readied” for our customers, we are taking care of them even before they have purchased a vehicle and or require servicing! Jim once provided his insight on hiring to me; he said he always looks for someone who cares about the people and the business. When asked what is his vision for the department in the next five years, he stressed the need to expand on the number of employees in the department to match the growth from all departments. Jim also shared his decision to delegate some of his usual day-to-day duties in order to dedicate more time to analyzing repeat concerns and strategizing steps to prevent them. Jim also stated that he wants to help embed a culture of customer satisfaction and work-life balance throughout our organization. Needless to say, his response demonstrates his caring for the dealership, our employees, and our customers. With such caring, I can assure all Brian Jessel BMW customers that we are going to each experience to the next level! If you ever have any concern or question about your BMW vehicle, our Customer Relations department is here to help you at any time; you’ll find Jim Krahn’s office conveniently located between the Sales and the Service Department.

“Jim also stated that he wants to help embed a culture of customer satisfaction and work-life balance throughout our organization.”

Jack Lai, Customer Relations Assistant

Jack, who is also bilingual in English and Mandarin, is the most senior staff member in the Customer Relations Department. He possesses a great amount of hands-on knowledge of the dealership and has experience in both the Sales and Service departments. With his skills and knowledge, Jack can step into a wide-range of positions to help a customer; for instance, when we were in need of a Workshop Dispatcher to organize all the Repair Orders for our Technicians, Jack offered his expertise and acted as an interimDispatcher—for more than two months—until we found a permanent successor. Although this job description might seem easy on paper, far from it. The Dispatcher must record the required repair and align the work to the skills and knowledge of every Technician and Apprentice, and then prioritize the Repair Orders according to types of appointments. Jack also acts as a Service Advisor or a Vehicle Delivery Specialist whenever the dealership and customers need his assistance. Needless to say, his skills and knowledge are very valuable to the operation of the dealership, and to our customers.

Jorge Su, Customer Relations Assistant

Jorge Su, who is fluent in English, Cantonese and Spanish, was promoted to the Customer Relations Department in 2006 from our SPA Detailing Department. Although Jorge is the newest addition to the team, his experience as a vehicle Detailer and an automotive Apprentice not only provides him knowledge of the internal functions of a dealership, but also provides him experience in handling customers’ inquiries on a first-hand basis. Jorge can answer some technical and paint/scratch related questions, and like his colleagues Jorge also handles and follow-ups on daily customer feedback in both the Sales and Service Departments; he can also provide assistance with detailed explanation to deliver Brian Jessel BMWs to customers when needed.

Pagan Wong, Customer Relations Assistant

Since the Customer Relations covers a wide range of tasks and duties, our staff hold similar titles but their job descriptions vary from one person to another. Pagan, for example, is fluent in English, Cantonese and Mandarin and provides assistance mostly to the Sales Department. Pagan is stationed beside our 15-vehicle Delivery Centre, in order to assist each customer taking delivery of their new Brian Jessel BMW. She explains in detail which services we provide and address any question customers may have. She also ensures every customer has received a copy of the Delivery Checklist, so customers can have peace of mind knowing that in the fact that their vehicle has been prepared to perfect condition by our Lot Department. Pagan then follows up with customers after seven days to answer any questions, receive feedback and ensure the customer is enjoying his or her ultimate Brian Jessel BMW!

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