10 Questions with Chris Learmonth14/07/2018
Chris Learmonth, the Managing Director of BMW Park Lane works endlessly to make sure the company delivers a premium customer service. In this interview, Mr Learmonth explains his personal experiences at BMW Park Lane and what the brand means to him.
1. What do you like most about working for Park Lane?
The buzz of working in central London, all of our brands, and time with our customers and colleagues in the business. No two days are ever the same.
2. Have you always worked in the automotive industry?
Yes, ever since I left school at 18 I joined the industry as a trainee originally working in manufacturing and purchasing before moving into the sales and retailer environment. It’s been a great journey so far!
3. Park Lane has come so far, what makes a successful business?
Doing the basics brilliantly, focusing on our customer experience and our employee engagement. Having a real passion for the brands that we represent and keeping ourselves motivated with new projects to improve our business.
4. What fascinates and inspires you?
The pace that the retail side of our industry is changing at and how we can both be part of that and disrupt the industry in a positive way by trying new methods to make ourselves a better and more agile business
5. What does the brand mean to you?
BMW really is the ultimate driving machine every time you turn the key. For MINI, you can’t help but smile and feel good every time you sit in a MINI!
6. Thinking about the Park Lane Company,what do you envision for years to come?
Our focus on 1:1 engagement with our customers will be key to relationship building and also how we interact with our customers digitally. We will strive to be the customer’s choice and continue to hold our position as the UK’s largest BMW retailer.
7. What makes Park Lane different to other retailers?
Our location is unique in comparison to any of our rivals. We are the UK’s only BMW/ MINI retailer that is fully owned by BMW UK. Our people and company ethos is focused on the brand and our customers without the distractions that you can get in either large groups or those that focus on brands other than BMW group brands.
8. What do you think is the biggest change in modern retailing in the last few years?
How customers want to interact with us and at what point in their buying journey they choose to do that. The internet ensures customers are well informed on products, offers and services that are available. They are now able to complete far more of a purchase online and our role is to assist them from that digital space to the conclusion of a deal. In today’s world customers expect us to be more customer centric and focused and ‘always on’ at times that work best for them.
9. What are the changes you are currently experiencing in consumer behaviour?
Whilst customers want a more digital oriented experience we are also seeing a bigger customer desire for 1:1 customer engagement and a more experiential and meaningful transaction. Customers are mindful of brand values particularly our newer millennial buyers that are joining us for the first time with the brand.
10. What is your most memorable memory of Park Lane?
Any of our opportunities to get our teams together and recognise everyone’s combined efforts from across the business, particularly those that excel in delivering customer experience.
On behalf of the BMW Park Lane team we would like to take the opportunity to thank Chris Learmonth for his great leadership, ongoing support and his participation in this interview.
BMW Park Lane