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Alphabet speeds up BMW servicing with real-time booking

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Alphabet has cut the time it takes to book vehicles into a BMW Service Centre as part of the next phase of its Teleservices connected car initiative.

The business mobility provider now has real-time access to BMW's online service booking systems meaning a reservation slot in the workshop can be booked directly into a BMW Service Centre while the customer is on the phone.

Previously, when a leasing company needed to book a customer’s leased vehicle in for a planned or unscheduled service this would require numerous emails and/or phone calls between the driver, the leasing company and the servicing garage. In some cases this could take up to four hours to confirm the service appointment for the customer.

Now, Alphabet representatives can view live, real-time workshop availability and book a service slot into the Service Centre there and then. What previously could take three to four hours can now be done in three to four minutes.

Announced earlier this year, Alphabet’s Teleservices initiative, in collaboration with BMW UK, offers a new service and maintenance programme for company cars which utilises teleservice data direct from the vehicle manufacturer.

As a result of access to the data the representative booking the service with the driver over the phone now knows exactly what service actions the car needs and how long it will take. This helps to identify those vehicles which can be serviced within a 90 minute ‘While You Wait’ window.

As a result of Teleservice intelligence, Alphabet proactively contacts drivers who require a service or some form of attention and plan it in – avoiding the hassle of last-minute or even worse, neglected service warnings which provide a headache to both the fleet driver and fleet manager alike.

As a result, Alphabet has seen an increase in corporate drivers taking up the 90 minute ‘While You Wait’ servicing option since the introduction of Teleservices earlier this year for leased BMW and Mini vehicles with maintenance agreements.

Kit Wisdom, head of technical services at Alphabet, said: “This is the next and natural stage of evolution for Teleservices for us. Not only do we now know what a vehicle needs in terms of servicing, but we can also now book the service directly into the Service Centre workshop, making the process absolutely seamless.

“By working closely with BMW UK, the new service for Alphabet customers is helping to reduce downtime for fleets, improve driver satisfaction with the vehicle servicing process, increase overall safety and duty of care, while minimising end-of-contract charges. We’ve seen a 110% increase in the number of proactive, service bookings for customers.

“We’re all busy people these days but by the intelligent application of connected car technology we can provide fleet drivers and decision makers with real world benefits, such as greater convenience through ‘While You Wait’ Servicing and increased employee productivity. In the corporate driver world, the opportunity for ‘While You Wait’ Servicing is a very welcome change and one which drivers are increasingly taking up.”

For more on Alphabet’s SMR initiative see next week’s Fleet News.

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